Blood on the Sun (1945)

94 or 98 mins | Drama | 1945

Director:

Frank Lloyd

Writer:

Lester Cole

Producer:

William Cagney

Cinematographer:

Theodor Sparkuhl

Production Designer:

Wiard B. Ihnen

Production Company:

Cagney Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's opening credits include the following written foreword: "While the entire world watched the early success of the German "Mein Kampf," few were aware of the existence of an oriental Hitler...Baron Giichi Tanaka. His plan of world conquest depended upon secrecy for success. This story deals with its first exposure by an American newspaperman in Tokyo." Giichi Tanaka, a general and statesmen, became known in the 1920s as the mastermind of Japanese expansionism. In 1925, after serving as minister of war, he was made head of the Seiyukai party and became prime minister in 1927. In 1929, he was forced to resign because of his inability to control army extremists, and died the same year. According to a Jun 1945 Life magazine article, the Tanaka Plan, or Tanaka Memorial, which outlined Japan's conquest of Manchukuo, China, reportedly was written by Tanaka and presented to Emperor Hirohito in 1927. When the plan was published in China, Tanaka denounced it as a forgery. As noted by the NYT review, the highly debated plan was not exposed by an American journalist, as depicted in the film.
       According to a HR news item, in May 1944, producer William Cagney approached Orson Welles about appearing in the picture. In Jul 1944, HR announced that Welles had been cast in the role of "Tanaka." HR announced in Aug 1944 that Ann Dvorak was set to play "Iris." Blood on the Sun marked Sylvia Sidney's first screen appearance since the 1941 film The Wagons Roll at Night (see below). According to a ... More Less

The film's opening credits include the following written foreword: "While the entire world watched the early success of the German "Mein Kampf," few were aware of the existence of an oriental Hitler...Baron Giichi Tanaka. His plan of world conquest depended upon secrecy for success. This story deals with its first exposure by an American newspaperman in Tokyo." Giichi Tanaka, a general and statesmen, became known in the 1920s as the mastermind of Japanese expansionism. In 1925, after serving as minister of war, he was made head of the Seiyukai party and became prime minister in 1927. In 1929, he was forced to resign because of his inability to control army extremists, and died the same year. According to a Jun 1945 Life magazine article, the Tanaka Plan, or Tanaka Memorial, which outlined Japan's conquest of Manchukuo, China, reportedly was written by Tanaka and presented to Emperor Hirohito in 1927. When the plan was published in China, Tanaka denounced it as a forgery. As noted by the NYT review, the highly debated plan was not exposed by an American journalist, as depicted in the film.
       According to a HR news item, in May 1944, producer William Cagney approached Orson Welles about appearing in the picture. In Jul 1944, HR announced that Welles had been cast in the role of "Tanaka." HR announced in Aug 1944 that Ann Dvorak was set to play "Iris." Blood on the Sun marked Sylvia Sidney's first screen appearance since the 1941 film The Wagons Roll at Night (see below). According to a HCN article, John Halloran, who plays "Oshima" in the picture, was James Cagney's judo instructor. Halloran, a former policeman, resigned from the Los Angeles Police Department after the police commission sent FBI agents to investigate him because his favorite sport was judo, according to HCN . Although Gee Wee and Tom Herbert are listed as cast members in HR , their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. HR notes that the bar depicted in the picture was an "exact replica" of Tokyo's Imperial Hotel bar designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. According to modern sources, Blood on the Sun did not do well at the box office and did not help revive James Cagney's flagging career. The film won an Academy Award in the Art Direction (Black-and-White) category. Herts-Lion reissued Blood on the Sun in 1963, according to FD . Cagney and Sidney reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre production, broadcast on 3 Dec 1945. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 May 1945.
---
Daily Variety
26 Apr 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Apr 45
p. 5.
Film Daily
12 Nov 1963.
---
Hollywood Citizen-News
29 Nov 1944.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 45
p. 8.
Life
18 Jun 45
, 16606
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Dec 44
p. 2230.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 May 45
p. 2433.
New York Times
29 Jun 45
p. 12.
Variety
2 May 45
p. 27.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl scenes by
From a story by
Based upon an idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Matte paintings
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Tech adv
Research dir
DETAILS
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 28 June 1945
Production Date:
began mid October 1944 at Samuel Goldwyn Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Cagney Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 June 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13349
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
94 or 98
Length(in feet):
8,432
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10705
SYNOPSIS

In 1929, in Tokyo, Nick Condon, the editor of the English-language newspaper Tokyo Chronicle , reports that Japan's prime minister, Baron Giichi Tanaka, has authored a document called the "Tanaka Plan," which, among other things, advocates the military conquest of America. Concerned by the report, Capt. Oshima of the Tokyo police and Kajioka, the chief of the Secret Police, question Nick, who insists that he picked up the story over the news wires. In private, however, Nick admits to his publisher, Arthur Bickett, that he wrote the piece based on rumors. Later, in an American bar, Nick meets reporter Ollie Miller and is surprised to discover that he has a roll of cash and is sailing for America that night. Ollie refuses to tell Nick who paid him the money, but advises him to leave Japan as soon as possible. Later, when Nick arrives at the dock to say goodbye to Ollie and his wife Edith, he is accosted by Oshima and Kajioka and then finds Edith strangled to death in her cabin. Nick spots a woman lurking around the cabin and chases her, but she escapes. Nick then heads for his house, having learned from friend Charley Sprague that Ollie is looking for him there. As soon as he arrives, Nick hears gunshots and discovers a fatally wounded Ollie. Before dying, Ollie entrusts Nick with the Tanaka document, which the Chinese government had paid him to smuggle out of Japan. Hearing knocks at his door, Nick hides the document behind a portrait of Emperor Hirohito, and when Oshima and his men burst into the room to search for the plan, ... +


In 1929, in Tokyo, Nick Condon, the editor of the English-language newspaper Tokyo Chronicle , reports that Japan's prime minister, Baron Giichi Tanaka, has authored a document called the "Tanaka Plan," which, among other things, advocates the military conquest of America. Concerned by the report, Capt. Oshima of the Tokyo police and Kajioka, the chief of the Secret Police, question Nick, who insists that he picked up the story over the news wires. In private, however, Nick admits to his publisher, Arthur Bickett, that he wrote the piece based on rumors. Later, in an American bar, Nick meets reporter Ollie Miller and is surprised to discover that he has a roll of cash and is sailing for America that night. Ollie refuses to tell Nick who paid him the money, but advises him to leave Japan as soon as possible. Later, when Nick arrives at the dock to say goodbye to Ollie and his wife Edith, he is accosted by Oshima and Kajioka and then finds Edith strangled to death in her cabin. Nick spots a woman lurking around the cabin and chases her, but she escapes. Nick then heads for his house, having learned from friend Charley Sprague that Ollie is looking for him there. As soon as he arrives, Nick hears gunshots and discovers a fatally wounded Ollie. Before dying, Ollie entrusts Nick with the Tanaka document, which the Chinese government had paid him to smuggle out of Japan. Hearing knocks at his door, Nick hides the document behind a portrait of Emperor Hirohito, and when Oshima and his men burst into the room to search for the plan, they avoid the portrait out of respect. Nick then uses his newly acquired judo skills to escape the police, but Oshima finally knocks him out. After spending the night in jail, Nick is released, but discovers that all evidence of Ollie's murder as well as the document have been removed from his house. Hayashi of the Foreign Office then takes Nick to Tanaka's home, where unknown to Nick, Tanaka has been meeting with the woman from the boat, the half-Chinese, half-European Iris Hilliard. While insisting that the Millers are alive, Tanaka, Kajioka and Col. Tojo of the Japanese Army advise Nick to return the document, which they maintain is a forgery. Nick balks at the suggestion and later asks Charley to write an item announcing his departure for America in ten days. At the bar, Nick, who is being followed by secret police agent Hijikata, is introduced to Iris by Joe Cassell, a reporter who until recently was stationed in China. Nick is attracted to Iris and begins to romance her. Although Nick reveals little about his situation, Iris reports to Tanaka that she is sure he has the document. Iris then asks Nick what he knows about the document, but he feigns ignorance. When Nick hears that Bickett, under pressure from the Japanese government, is replacing him with Joe, he writes a column denouncing Joe for embezzling funds raised in America for Chinese refugees. Disgraced, Joe begs help from Tojo, for whom he has been secretly working, but Tojo refuses him. Filled with remorse, Joe then offers to smuggle the document out for Nick, but Nick turns him down. After Joe reveals that he set him up with Iris, Nick storms over to Iris' apartment and accuses her of trying to frame him as a spy in order to force him to give up the document. Unaware that Oshima has planted listening devices in her place, Iris, who has fallen in love with Nick, confesses to him that she has the document, having taken it from his house while he was in jail. Although Iris assures Nick that she can obtain verification of its authenticity from a witness to the document's signing, she is confronted by Tanaka soon after Nick leaves. Tanaka gives Iris two hours to reveal the witness' name, and when the deadline passes, he orders Tojo and fellow officer Yamamoto to execute her. Having failed in his mission, Tanaka then commits hara-kiri. A week later, Nick, who is about to sail for America, is alerted by embassy official Johnny Clarke that a warrant for his arrest has been sworn out. Having gotten a message from Iris asking him to meet her at a shack on the wharf, Nick arranges to rendezvous with Johnny in one hour and heads for the wharf. Iris, who managed to escape her apartment, has brought Prince Tatsugi, the witness, to the shack to sign the document in front of Nick. Although Tatsugi knows that he will be killed as a traitor, he signs the document, saying that Tanaka's militarism will destroy Japan. After Tatsugi leaves, Iris and Nick prepare to flee Japan in a fishing boat. Before they take off, Oshima, who has shot Tatsugi, starts breaking down the door to the shack. Nick sends Iris on with the document, then challenges Oshima to hand-to-hand combat. After Nick beats Oshima unconscious, he eludes Hijikata and rushes to the U.S. Embassy. As he approaches the building, he is shot by snipers on orders from Yamada, who searches in vain for the document. Having heard the shots, Johnny runs out of the Embassy and informs Yamada and Kajioka that the U.S. government will be investigating the incident. Although Yamada suggests that they "forget everything" and "forgive," Nick, wounded but alive, vows to "first get even." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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