Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tokyo File 212|
Actors: Florence Marly, Lee Frederick, Katsuhiko Haida, Reiko Otani, Tatsuo Saito
Directors: Dorrell McGowan, Stuart E. McGowan
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 06/22/2004
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Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 6/20/2011...
A Dangerous Spy Net in the Powderkeg Orient!
In this Red menace spy thriller, a military intelligence operative poses as a journalist in Occupied Japan. His mission is to re-establish contact with a college chum. After the chum’s experience studying abroad, he apparently entered the kamikaze pilot training program but the war ended before he flew the first and final suicide assignment. Not dying a war hero and accordingly at loose ends, he exchanged one set of totalitarian beliefs for another and thus became active in far left activities such as labor agitation and aiding the Communist cause in Korea, where the US was fighting a war. The American is supposed to persuade his Japanese friend to get on the right side and break up the ring of spies giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
The story, exposition and incident strike me as stiff. The male lead Robert Peyton brings to mind Fred MacMurray, with the lanky build and without acting chops. Too shopworn sultry for me, actress Florence Marly is given lines in which her character annoyingly refers to herself in the third person. “Steffi went shopping today. Do you like Steffi’s dress?”
Large gestures in keeping with post-war potboilers mar believability. When told the war is over, the kamikaze trainee throws his cup of sake across the room. In fact, Japanese drill instructors would have had recruits beaten out of any tendency toward spontaneous or undisciplined gestures like throwing stuff.
Interesting shots are so brief as to be impossible to take in. For example, a better director would have lingered with a shot that used as background one of the Two Kings guardian figures standing outside a Buddhist temple.
However, the most appealing point of this movie is that it was filmed entirely in Japan. Street scenes of the Ginza and Yurakucho look developed, a real tribute to Japanese re-building in only six years after the war. The scene in the working man’s izakaya (dive) works as an illustration of a wicked den of iniquity. Smoking, drinking, singing, girls in hula-skirts dancing on tables. It looks like a lot of fun.
I think because of the authentic setting, the movie is well worth watching for anybody who has an interest in Japan or people who have visited the Ginza.