5.6/10
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21 user 10 critic

The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958)

In 1856, the first U.S. Consul General to Japan encounters the hostility of the local authorities and the love of a young geisha.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Charles Grayson (screenplay), Ellis St. Joseph (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Townsend Harris
Eiko Ando ... Okichi
Sam Jaffe ... Henry Heusken
Sô Yamamura ... Governor Tamura (as So Yamamura)
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Storyline

Townsend Harris is sent by President Pierce to Japan to serve as the first U.S. Consul-General to that country. Harris discovers enormous hostility to foreigners, as well as the love of a young geisha. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

JOHN HUSTON'S UNPARALLELED ADVENTURE AND LOVE STORY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

30 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Barbarian See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyoto, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the true story of American diplomat Townsend Harris, his time in Japan in the 1850s and 60s, and his romance with a 17-year-old geisha named Kichi. Their story is one of the most well-known folk tales in Japan. The real Harris died in New York in 1878, and the real Kichi committed suicide in Shimoda in 1892. See more »

Goofs

At one point, Townsend calls to his Chinese servant Sam; this was not, as some thought, a mistaken reference to an actor's real name. See more »

Quotes

Henry Heusken: You're in good hands now.
Townsend Harris: Yes, indeed.
Okichi: Also, "yes, indeed"?
Townsend Harris: Yes, indeed!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Based on facts with John Wayne as intrepid American Ambassador in Japan
31 August 2011 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The picture develops the true tale of Townsend Harris (John Wayne) who during the nineteenth century is sent -along with his helper (Sam Jaffe)- by President Pierce to Japan to serve as the first American Consul-General to that nation . Towsend gets enormous hostility to foreigners , as well as dangers and risks . There finds romance with a gorgeous geisha (Eiko Ando) . Meanwhile he confronts the governor , Baron Tamura (Shomamura ), but finally he contacts in Edo with the Shogun . Then the geisha beauty is sent to destroy the barbarian from the west .

This costumer picture is based on historic events . Japan was dominated for a dynasty occupied by the Togugawa family from century XVI until 1868 and characterized by ruling ¨ Daimios ¨ , confronting occidental people and shunning the opening imposed by Admiral Perry in 1863 ; he was the first foreigner in Japan who undergoes a culture shock . Being dead emperor Komei , succeeded in 1867 , Mutsu Hito , one time crowned as emperor Meiji , he abolished the Shogun , ( happenings developed in various films as ¨ Shogun ¨ with Richard Chamberlain and ¨The last Samurai¨ with Tom Cruise ). Matsu Hito carried out various changes, as a liberal cabinet , creating a Duma or Parliament and following actual models and modern spirit . Anti-reforms riots to return old values , traditional way of life and code Bushido were realized by the Samurais a type of medieval knight for preventing of occidental life style .

John Wayne becomes the first Ambassador from the Western world is this oriental adventure . The film deals with conflicts between the radical conservatism and modernism ; upon relation of the West and East World . Besides , a sweeping, complex human drama with all the ingredients : betrayal , romance , inter-racial love story, , emotions and is pretty interesting . Stunning images illuminate the full-blown feats of Towsend Harris under impressive sets created by Lyle Wheeler and Walter Scott . Glimmer and colorfully filmed by cameraman Charles G Clarke shot in locations as 20th Century Fox Studios, Los Angeles, California,(studio) ,Eiga Film Studios,Tokyo, and Kawana ,and Kyoto , Japan .Evocative and appropriate score by Hugo Friedhofer . Panned by the critics , the movie was a flop at box office , receiving awful reviews , considering Wayne is horribly miscast and ¨Barbarian and Geisha¨ resulted to be one of the worst of his bad films . However , nowadays is best deemed . Motion picture produced and released by Twenty Century Fox- Darryl F Zanuck- is regularly directed by John Huston . The movie hasn't the thematic unity of 'African's Queen', ' Asphalt jungle' , ' Key Largo' , ' Maltese Falcon' or ' The treasure of Sierra Madre' the John Huston's best and shares his failures to 'Phobia' , ' the Bible' or 'Kremlin letter' . Rating : 5,5 , acceptable and passable .


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