27 user 5 critic

Bridge to the Sun (1961)

Based on a true story, this compelling drama relates the difficulties of a young woman married to a Japanese diplomat during World War II, victim of suspicion and animosity from her husband's government.


Etienne Périer


Charles Kaufman (screenplay), Gwendolen Terasaki (autobiography)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Carroll Baker ... Gwen Terasaki
James Shigeta ... Hidenari Terasaki
James Yagi James Yagi ... Hara
Tetsurô Tanba ... Jiro (as Tetzuro Tamba)
Yôko Takahashi Yôko Takahashi ... (as Kyoko Takahashi)
Hiroshi Tomono Hiroshi Tomono ... Ishi
Yoshiko Hiromura Yoshiko Hiromura
Sean Garrison ... Fred Tyson
Ruth Masters Ruth Masters ... Aunt Peggy
Lee Payant Lee Payant
Nori Elisabeth Hermann Nori Elisabeth Hermann ... Mako Terasaki
Emi Florence Hirsch Emi Florence Hirsch ... Mako Terasaki


In 1935, nineteen year old Gwen Harold of Johnson City, Tennessee, is visiting her Aunt Peg and her casual beau Fred Tyson, a low level bureaucrat, in Washington DC. Fred is able to get them an invitation to the Japanese Embassy's annual reception. At that gathering, they meet among others Hidenari Terasaki - called Terry for ease by Americans - the Under Secretary to the Japanese Ambassador. Terry and Gwen start to date, fall in love and decide that they want to get married. The entire process leading to this point has not been easy for either as she has largely hidden their relationship from her family due to the racial divide, and as his diplomatic post makes marrying anyone not Japanese difficult in what are increasingly tense geopolitical times globally. They are able to get married, which only increases the difficulties in their life, especially as Gwen is ill-prepared to accept the patriarchal customs of Japanese society, Terry who is expecting her to be a typical Japanese wife... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Story That Had To Be Told! See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »



France | USA


English | Japanese

Release Date:

23 February 1962 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Puente al sol See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When Hidenari takes Gwen to Japan for the first time, the car transporting them from their ship is a left-hand drive car. The Japanese, like those in the United Kingdom, drive on the left in right-hand-drive vehicles. See more »


Although the story is set in the 1930's and 1940's, the characters' clothing and hairstyles are those of the late 1950's/early 1960's. See more »


Gwen Terasaki: Well, go on say it: I was a shameless hussy and I disgraced your household. Well I am not going to crawl on my knees to you just because I made a little social error.
Hidenari Terasaki: Social error? Forgetting your place as wife of my household? Insulting a guest?
Gwen Terasaki: Who insulted whom, I'd like to know. What are you getting so worked up for anyhow? You didn't agree with him either.
Hidenari Terasaki: That is my privilege as a man, not yours. You were rude and humiliating. Acting thus may be permissible in the State of Tennessee...
Gwen Terasaki: ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

[prologue] This film is based on actual events in the life of Gwen Terasaki, as told in her autobiography. See more »


Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Bridge to the Sun made a lifelong impression
11 November 2005 | by cjscott60See all my reviews

In 1965 I watched this movie one night while my husband and newborn baby slept. This movie was the best I have ever seen and has haunted me for more than 40 years. I never realized the plight of the Japanese in the United States and this movie and the wonderful acting made everything so believable. I had never even been interested in any war movies prior to this and still don't but this one made a lifelong lasting impression on me. I have never cried so hard in my life at the end and have constantly checked out old movies to try and find it again. I would very much like to find this movie and keep it forever. I would recommend this movie to everyone from teenagers to seniors. At my tender age of 19, I realized after watching this movie that I had no idea of what real love was between two people. I even had to wake up my husband that night and just have him hold me while I sobbed. If anyone knows how to find this movie please advise.

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