Matt Brennan runs into Jo Holloway, the Red Cross girl he romanced in Europe when he was a flyer in World War II, when he is offered a job by jet manufacturer Leland Willis as a test pilot.... See full summary »
Joe Barrett returns to Tokyo after World War II where he once owned a bar, Tokyo Joe's, and deserted his wife Trina. They have a seven-year-old daughter. Kimura forces Joe into piloting war criminals by revealing that during the war Trina made treasonous propaganda broadcasts.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
This could have been a great movie. Post World War II location movies have an intriguing atmosphere. Post-war Japan offered a terrific setting, but the obvious backlot location, with cheesy process shots trying to pass for a Japanese location, ruins the effect.
Alexander Knox is great, sardonic but principled, and Sessue Hayakawa is deliciously malign. Florence Marly is a poor substitute for Lisbeth Scott -- or couldn't Bogey get his own wife Lauren Bacall to work for scale? Bogey himself looks a little shopworn. Even the love child is fat-faced and unappealing.
Compromise pervades the film, from the cardboard sets to the hack director. Because it was cheap, exterior shots were minimal, and so the action scenes, which could have made for a more exciting story, give way to lots of talky interior stuff.
As the studio system weakened, star-owned production companies, like Bogart's, Burt Lancaster's and Alan Ladd's, were in vogue. Stars can't resist the chance to star in a movie where they don't have to take direction, so they often hire weak directors, usually with dismal results. This is one of them.
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