5.7/10
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2 user

The Hero of Liao-Yang (1904)

A Japanese man carries a secret message during the Russo-Japanese War. He is captured by the Russians, but escapes and delivers the message successfully.
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Storyline

Several Japanese youths are playing various games and enjoying some refreshments outdoors when a military courier arrives. The messenger asks for one of the young men, and gives him his orders. The young man puts on his uniform, leaves home, and reports to a unit in the field, where preparations are being made for a battle against the Russians. The young soldier is then sent on a dangerous but important mission. Written by Snow Leopard

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Genres:

Short | Drama | War

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Release Date:

22 September 1904 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Biograph production number 2968. See more »

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Interesting, Well-Made, & Occasionally Compelling
30 September 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This well-made short feature is pretty interesting, and at times even compelling. Set in the Russo-Japanese War, it focuses on one young soldier who is sent on a dangerous and important mission. The story is good enough to stand on its own, but it also features some good camera usage and some battlefield visual effects.

Dramatically, the best feature of this film is the way that it portrays the main character, showing him first in his everyday life before moving on to the war scenes. Nor does it present this in order to push any heavy-handed perspectives - it simply adds to his character and increases the viewer's identification with him.

The general context of the battle of Liaoyang is not explained in much detail. In part, this keeps the focus strictly on the main character, though it is also possible that some of the film's original viewers may have been fairly familiar with Liaoyang, since it was one of the important battles of the war.

This would have to be considered one of the better movies of the first few years of the 20th century, both in terms of its technique and in terms of its story. Both work pretty well.


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