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Betrayal from the East (1945)

Approved | | Action, Drama | 24 April 1945 (USA)
Before World War II, Japanese spies seek secrets of the Panama Canal.


William Berke


Alan Hynd (novel), Aubrey Wisberg (adaptation) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Lee Tracy ... Eddie Carter
Nancy Kelly ... Peggy Harrison
Richard Loo ... Lt. Cmdr. Miyazaki, alias Tani
Regis Toomey ... Agent Posing as 'Sgt. Jimmy Scott'
Abner Biberman ... Yamato
Philip Ahn ... Kato
Addison Richards ... Capt. Bates
Bruce Edwards ... Purdy - G-2 Agent
Hugh Ho Chang Hugh Ho Chang ... Mr. Araki (as Hugh Hoo)
Victor Sen Yung ... Omaya (as Sen Young)
Roland Varno ... Kurt Guenther
Louis Jean Heydt ... Jack Marsden
Jason Robards Sr. ... Charlie Hildebrand (as Jason Robards)
Drew Pearson Drew Pearson ... News Commentator


Just before World War II, Japan plants a network of spies and saboteurs in California. Agent Kato, seeking secrets of the Panama canal, recruits carnival barker Eddie Carter, who was there in the army. Also interested in Eddie is alluring Peggy Harrison: another secret agent?. Not as inclined to treason as Kato hoped, Eddie becomes a double agent in a deadly game against a devilish enemy. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Daring undercover agent and glamour G-girl on the trail of desperate enemy plotters (original ad ) See more »


Action | Drama








Release Date:

24 April 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den gula faran See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was released on April 24, 1945. It is the final film for actor / director R ussell Hopton who died on April 7, 1945 See more »

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User Reviews

East is East and West is West
16 April 2006 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

***SPOILER*** Shocking expose of an attempted Japanese take-over of the United States west-coast by a gang of Japanese spies and their American counterparts, ethnic Japanese Americans. Based on the 1943 block-buster book "Betrayal from the East" by Alan Hynd the movie shows how closed we, the USA, was in being taken over from within.

Getting wind of the massive Japanese conspiracy in early 1941 US Embassy officials in Tokyo Marsden & Hildebrand, Louis James Hyde & Jason Robards Sr, try to warn Washington and the US military about it but end up dead; Marsden falling overboard on a Japanese passenger ship going back to the states and Hildebrand falling to his death from a high-rise building in Tokyo.

In charge of this conspiracy back in the USA is the UCLA Football teams lead cheerleader Tani who's really Japanese Lt. Cmdr. Miyazaki, Richard Loo, and his band of Japanese agents led by Kato & Yamato, Philip Ahn & Abner Biberman. Kato gets in contact with his American friend and girlie show barker Eddie Carter, Lee Tracy, who served in the US military in the Panama Canal Zone a major target of Japanese Imperial Navy in the event of a war with the US.

Eddie broke and in need of cash quirky falls for Kato's offer to pay him for information abut US defenses in the Panama Canal and even gives him the name of a friend of his Sgt. Scott, who like Eddie is broke and willing to sell out his county for a few dollars, who still stationed there for further references. Little does Kato and his boss the secretive Lt. Cmdr. Miyazki know is that there's no such person as Sgt. Scott and that Eddie is setting him and his fellow spies up to be taken out and caught by the US military and FBI.

Eddie is later contacted by Peggy Harrison, Nancy Kelly, an undercover G-2, the forerunner to the CIA, agent on a train trip to L.A about the Japanses conspiracy. Told b Peggy to play along with his Japanese cohorts in order to find out what their up to she's later exposed as a G-2 undercover agent when Kato plants a hidden camera in Eddie's apartment. Peggy together with Eddie's and his Japanese house boy Omaya,Victor Sen Young, are secretly working with the G-2 US military Intelligence Agency.

Grabing Omaya the Japanese spies force Eddie to witness him being tortured and murdered by them to strike home to him what's to happen to anyone who cross' them. Peggy now knowing, from Eddie, that the Japanese spies are on to her has herself run over,in a G-2 staged accident,in order to make them think that she's dead.

Eddie is now given a ticket, on a Japanese freighter, to travel to the Canal Zone and get in contact with Sgt. Scott and get the vital information about US defenses there back to Lt. Cmdr. Miyazki. The whole operation is being monitored by the US military with a phony Sgt. Scott, Regis Toomey, planted there to make the Japanese spies feel that both Eddie, as an American traitor and spy for Japan, and Sgt. Scott, a real flesh and blood person, are legit.

Getting in touch with his Japanese contact in the Canal Zone a Mr. Araki, Dr. Hugh Ho Chang, Eddie is told to get all the information he can from Sgt. Scott about it's, the US military in the Canal Zone, defenses. Eddie also finds out that the "dead" Peggey Harrison is very much alive vacationing there undercover as a German tourist named Sandra Borough who not only changed her name but her hair, she dyed it blond obviously to look more Aryan,and blows her cover when she foolishly rekindles her love affair with him. This leads to Peggy being caught by the Japanese spies, and together with their German allies, boiled to death in a steam or Turkish bath.

Eddie has it out at the end of the movie with Lt.Cmdr. Miyazaki and even though he does the UCLA cheerleader in he ends up losing his life but eventually stops Miyazki's master plan to bring down he US with a coordinated outside Japanese military and inside Japanese sabotage assault on America.

The movie "Betrayal from the East" is done in a "Now it can be told" style narrative with syndicated columnist Drew Pearson inserted into the film giving it's both prologue and epilogue. Pearson telling the audience how close we were from being taken over by the Japanese Empire really hits home.

For all the Japanese meticulous planning it all in the end came apart because of the bravery and self-sacrifice of men and women like Eddie Carter and Peggy Harrison who put, and lost, their lives on the line in order to stop them.

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