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This military service comedy chronicles the misadventures of the U.S.S. Bustard in Japan. The crew has stolen a Buddha statue from a Japanese village, which if discovered missing would threaten Japanese/American relations. Doc Willoughby is the ship's petty officer, whose antics are constantly getting him into trouble with his captain. On shore leave, Willoughby falls for a seemingly demure Japanese girl in a kimono shop, who actually turns out to be a Japanese/American nurse in the US Navy, Lt. Tomiko Momoyama. However, it turns out she was betrothed as a child to a traditional Japanese man named Toshi, who fully intends on enforcing tradition. Willoughby divides his time between trying to return the Buddha statue back to the Japanese village it rightfully belongs to, and trying to woo Tomiko from the traditional Japanese man she rightfully belongs to. Written by
Nobody ever considered anything about this movie worthy of an Academy Award. Nobody's life was ever changed by this story. But isn't fun worth something? Doug McClure plays a disrespectful ship's doctor (Willoughby) aboard the USS Bustard, skippered by James Whittemore at his most delightful, with an officious XO (played by Gary Vinson--remember him as the lovesick sheriff from the short-lived sitcom "Pistols and Petticoats"? Or was I really the only person in the USA who actually watched that show?). You'll love to hate him, and relish Willoughby's revenge. There's the eternally beautiful Nancy Kwan as the love interest, engaged to James Shigeta, the handsome chauvinist (Shigeta and Kwan also worked together on "Flower Drum Song". Poor, poor James. All that opportunity and he NEVER ended up with Nancy!) Don't waste money buying this, if it's available. Don't turn down a better movie (Many are). But if it's on TV some night and you're insomniacking, watch it. It's a lot of fun!
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