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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 WAYNE on a forbidden and terrifying adventure 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

John Huston later dismissed this film, claiming that the final version, re-cut by the studio, didn't resemble his vision at all and that he would've liked to have his name removed from the credits. Stylistically, Huston wanted to make it a particularly Japanese film in terms of photography, pacing, color and narration. According to him, only bits of this attempt were still intact and visible in the theatrical version. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Recommended Curio
22 December 2003 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

A Hollywood mini-epic that is more about the barbarian's political strategies than the geisha's sensual art. In fact, though John Wayne was the right choice for the role of Townsend Harris, the first US consul general in Japan, he looks awkward as a romantic lead, especially besides sleek Eiko Ando as the geisha. Huston handled the Japanese aspects of the story in a reverent fashion; the film even begs for subtitles, since he let the Japanese perform considerable portions of dialogue in their native language. As Wayne –perhaps for different reasons- Huston must have felt attracted to the colonialist side of the story, but although it's known that Fox reshot scenes and re-edited the film, there wasn't much to do with a script concealing the expansionist interest in breaking Japan isolationism behind the Consul General's demagogy. A recommended curio.


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