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Alone on the Pacific (1963)

Taiheiyô hitoribotchi (original title)
Kenichi Horie is determined to challenge his family, the law and the nature crossing the Pacific to America in a small sailboat. Despite his careful planning many unforeseen events will test his determination.

Director:

Kon Ichikawa

Writers:

Kenichi Horie (story), Natto Wada
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yûjirô Ishihara ... The Youth
Masayuki Mori ... Youth's Father
Kinuyo Tanaka ... Youth's Mother
Ruriko Asaoka Ruriko Asaoka ... Youth's Sister
Hajime Hana Hajime Hana ... Youth's Friend
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gannosuke Ashiya Gannosuke Ashiya
Gordon Beaman Gordon Beaman ... (as Beaman Gordon)
Matthew Dugan Matthew Dugan
Melvin H. Gilley Melvin H. Gilley
Norikatsu Hanamura Norikatsu Hanamura
Daisaburô Hirata Daisaburô Hirata
Noboru Ishikawa Noboru Ishikawa
Masaru Kamiyama Masaru Kamiyama
Richard D. Kilburn Richard D. Kilburn
Kôjirô Kusanagi Kôjirô Kusanagi
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Storyline

Kenichi Horie is determined to challenge his family, the law and the nature crossing the Pacific to America in a small sailboat. Despite his careful planning many unforeseen events will test his determination.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

15 April 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alone on the Pacific See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ishihara, Nikkatsu See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first Japanese film ever, to be (partly) shot on location in the USA. See more »

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User Reviews

Middling Ichikawa.
24 May 2009 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Not only a middle-of-the-road affair by Ichikawa's inconsistent standards, but a somewhat unsatisfying 'man in the wilderness' odyssey, ALONE ACROSS THE PACIFIC ought to have worked better than it does. I don't know if my disappointment was bigger because I'm a huge fan of survival films and, try as it might, it never quite becomes the foreboding, visceral experience it must have been for a man trapped in a boat for three months in the middle of the Pacific, certainly nowhere near the levels of unflinching grimness Ichikawa reached in FIRES ON THE PLAIN. Or if maybe it's disappointing because the tangible visceral quality is constantly undermined by a soporific voice-over narration and a flashback structure that has little insight to shed on the protagonist's character.

Presumably the young man decides to rebel against the rigid burdens of Japanese postwar society and set sail on a journey across the Pacific. After a somewhat meandering second act focusing on his trials and tribulations inside the petty schoone, which is partly amusing (boiling rice with beer) and partly claustrophobic (conversing with himself in the dark bowels of the boat) but never quite intense, savage or harrowing enough, it becomes apparent that Ichikawa's chance to 'make' the movie will stand or fall with the protagonist's arrival in America.

Once in San Francisco we are treated to guerilla shots of the Golden Gate Bridge taken from a boat, awkward closeups of American non-actors and very poor dubbing (a 60 year old man sounds like a 25 year old dude). From the way Ichikawa shoots the bustling roads of San Francisco (which echo the shots of the busy Osaka streets early in the movie), it seems to suggest a betrayal in the dream of a promised land, that booming America is in the end not that different from postwar Japan, but it's too little too late. Made in the same year as the superior (but stagey, stylized and intentionally artificial by comparison) ACTOR'S REVENGE, Alone Across the Pacific just doesn't have a lot to recommend it. Not a bad movie per se but not particularly gripping either. Ichikawa has done much better work.


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