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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.


Joshua Logan


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




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


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


"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 »


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Debut of actress Miiko Taka. See more »


At about 27:30 into the movie, Gruver passionately kisses Eileen, who is wearing a heavy coating of bright red lipstick. Though they kiss lips to lips, when Gruver's face is shown just a second after the kiss, not one bit of lipstick is on his lips. See more »


Major Gruver: Are you gonna sit there with your bare face hangin' out and tell me you never heard of Tanabata?
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Referenced in Rhoda: The Weekend (1977) See more »


Hanayome Ningyo
(1913) (uncredited)
Words and Music by Haseo Sugiyama and Koji Fukiya
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User Reviews

Touching Marlon Brando movie
2 February 2019 | by bellino-angelo2014See all my reviews

This movie is very interesting in which it concerns the relationships between Japanese and American servicemen after the Second World War in Japan. Especially Marlon Brando's character goes from reservations (especially considering the period the movie is set) to falling in love with a Japanese woman and hopes to marry her. Brando shines in this movie, and I put it among his best movies. The standout of the cast is Red Buttons, who at the time was still unkown as an actor, but in his debut revealed that he was destined for greatness. His performance of Joe Kelly, an American airman, is incredibly believable and touching, and Buttons won the Academy Award for best Supporting Actor for this film, and he truly deserved it.

An interesting movie for the subject and the actors' performances, well directed and also very entertaining. And I think it's deeply underrated today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Japanese

Release Date:

20 December 1957 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Sayonara See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyoto, Japan See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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