7.1/10
6,181
47 user 22 critic

Sayonara (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 20 December 1957 (Japan)
A US Air Force major in Kobe confronts his own opposition to marriages between American servicemen and Japanese women when he falls for a beautiful performer.

Director:

Joshua Logan

Writers:

Paul Osborn (screen play), James A. Michener (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Won 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlon Brando ... Major Lloyd Gruver
Patricia Owens ... Eileen Webster
James Garner ... Captain Mike Bailey
Martha Scott ... Mrs. Webster
Miiko Taka ... Hana-Ogi
Miyoshi Umeki ... Katsumi
Red Buttons ... Joe Kelly
Kent Smith ... General Mark Webster
Douglass Watson ... Colonel Crawford (as Douglas Watson)
Reiko Kuba Reiko Kuba ... Fumiko-San
Soo Yong ... Teruko-San
Shochiku Kagekidan Girls Revue Shochiku Kagekidan Girls Revue ... Theatrical Revue
Ricardo Montalban ... Nakamura
Edit

Storyline

Major Lloyd Gruver, a Korean War flying ace reassigned to Japan, staunchly supports the military's opposition to marriages between American troops and Japanese women. But that's before Gruver experiences a love that challenges his own deeply set prejudices... and plunges him into conflict with the U.S. Air Force and Japan's own cultural taboos. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"I am not allowed to love. But I will love you if that is your desire..." Marlon Brando and an exquisite new Japanese star. They LIVE James A. Michener's story of defiant desire. It is called "Sayonara" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The medal ribbons worn by some of the characters are as follows (reading left to right, top to bottom): Major Gruver Silver Star, (unknown). Air Medal, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal (??), American Campaign Medal., Medal for Humane Action, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Korea Medal. On his right he wears a blue ribbon in a gold frame - a Presidential Unit Citation for the Air Force,

Joe Kelly Korean Service Medal, United Nations Korea Medal

General Webster Distinguished Service Medal?, Silver Star, (unknown), Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Navy Expeditionary Medal (??), (unknown), Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, (unknown), American Campaign Medal., European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with three stars), National Defense Service Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, (unknown), Order of the British Empire (for services during World War II?), (unknown), (unknown) It is interesting to note that General Webster has no medals for service in Korea. (Source: Wikipedia) See more »

Goofs

After the doctor's examination, Maj. Gruver removes a pistol from its holster, and again after the cut. See more »

Quotes

Major Gruver: You know what I saw yesterday? I saw two rocks that just got married.
Captain Bailey: [slightly confused] You what?
Major Gruver: I saw two rocks that got married. And they looked very happy together, too.
Captain Bailey: Oh, I'll bet they did.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 77 Sunset Strip: Hong Kong Caper (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Sakura Sakura
(uncredited)
Words and Music by Suifu Kishimoto and Shiro Matsumoto
See more »

User Reviews

Now that Brando has left the building...
3 July 2004 | by GooperSee all my reviews

Brando's position in the pantheon of the greats is secure. Now that

he is gone, (his life expired just yesterday) it will be worthwhile to

review his legacy. Pictures like 'Sayonara', which were grade 'A'

productions, but subject to criticism when they came out ,can now

be viewed in a new light. We can now see the care lavished upon

them. 'Sayonara' is a superb film in every category.

Brando's odd (to say the least) 'southern' accent proves to be a

brilliant choice in defining his character's contrasting presence in

the Japanese scene, an approach he would employ later in his

amazing, bizarre interpretation of Fletcher Christian. Whatever one

thinks of Brando's choices in tackling a role, he was never dull,

and watching him experiment is a viewer's treat. And Miyoshi

Umeki: what a discovery! The portrayal of those in Japan who are

just living their lives is done with sensitivity and humanity.

Just as important as the stars' performance and the story itself, is

Franz Waxman's music. It cannot be praised too highly, and is a

perfect example of a meticulously crafted score: mature, totally

sincere, and without one trace of cynicism or misdirection. Film

music like this is safe from being taken for granted. Waxman's

theme for the Red Buttons/Miyoshi Umeki relationship is among

the most poignant and haunting even written for the screen. Its

variations range from wistful to heartbreaking.

None other than Irving Berlin supplied the title song (he gets as

much screen credit as Waxman!). No pop hit, it nevertheless

integrates well with Waxman's score.

Ellsworth Fredericks' masterful Technirama lensing makes this

picture one of the best of the 50s. Seeing it in widescreen is a

thrilling event. The title sequence, in red lettering, is a fine example

of how every department, even one which deals with the 'job' of

giving credit, made sure that each element of a film like this

worked in concert with each other, to create a cohesive whole.

What a pleasure it is to have a proper introduction to a film, with

visuals and overture tailored to the drama to come. Such was the

style then. Bill Goetz produced. Thanks, Bill!

Josh Logan as a director is often reviled, but why is it then, that his

pictures are especially enjoyable, particularly with repeat

viewings? His huge closeups are terrific! He really went for the

gusto in splashing his stories on the screen, and made the most

of the 'big Hollywood production' thing.

Jack L. Warner's mid to late 50s productions rivaled 20th-Fox's in

lavishness and quality. Fortunately for us, the fans of pictures like

'Sayonara', he and Zanuck always tried to outdo each other.

Tonight, to honor the memory of Marlon Brando, I'm rolling

'Sayonara'.


23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 47 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

20 December 1957 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Sayonara See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyoto, Japan See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$26,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed