Stopover Tokyo (1957)

100 mins | Drama | October 1957

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HISTORY

Although Stopover Tokyo was based on John P. Marquand's novel of the same name, the hero of Marquand's novel was Mr. Moto, the Asian sleuth created by Marquand and featured in a series of pictures produced by Twentieth Century-Fox in the late 1930s (see entry for Think Fast Mr. Moto in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). Walter Reisch and Richard L. Breen, who wrote the screenplay and produced and directed the film, decided to eliminate the character of Moto and instead create the American agent "Mark Fannon," according to the DV and HR reviews.
       According to an 18 Apr 1957 HR news item, Robert Stack was suspended by the studio for refusing the role of Mark. A 22 Apr 1957 HR news item announced that May Britt was cast, but she does not appear in the film. Fox publicity contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library notes that the picture was shot entirely in Japan. Locations included the Maeda Airport in Tokyo, the Gardens at the Tatsumura Silk Mansion, the Kyoyamoto Hotel, the Keian Shrine, the Biwako Hotel and Lake ... More Less

Although Stopover Tokyo was based on John P. Marquand's novel of the same name, the hero of Marquand's novel was Mr. Moto, the Asian sleuth created by Marquand and featured in a series of pictures produced by Twentieth Century-Fox in the late 1930s (see entry for Think Fast Mr. Moto in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). Walter Reisch and Richard L. Breen, who wrote the screenplay and produced and directed the film, decided to eliminate the character of Moto and instead create the American agent "Mark Fannon," according to the DV and HR reviews.
       According to an 18 Apr 1957 HR news item, Robert Stack was suspended by the studio for refusing the role of Mark. A 22 Apr 1957 HR news item announced that May Britt was cast, but she does not appear in the film. Fox publicity contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library notes that the picture was shot entirely in Japan. Locations included the Maeda Airport in Tokyo, the Gardens at the Tatsumura Silk Mansion, the Kyoyamoto Hotel, the Keian Shrine, the Biwako Hotel and Lake Biwa. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Sep 57
p. 580.
Box Office
2 Nov 1957.
---
Daily Variety
28 Oct 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Oct 57
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 57
p. 1, 14.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Apr 57
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 57
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 57
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 57
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 57
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Nov 57
p. 585.
New York Times
27 Dec 57
p. 23.
Variety
30 Oct 57
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Supv of Japanese mus
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Stopover Tokyo by John P. Marquand (London, 1957).
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1957
Production Date:
late April--mid June 1957
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 October 1957
Copyright Number:
LP10088
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
100
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

When the U.S. High Commissioner of Japan agrees to light the eternal flame on a new sculpture symbolizing the growing friendship between Japan and the United States, Communist agent George Underwood sees an opportunity to derail the burgeoning peace movement. Soon after, Mark Fannon, a U.S. Intelligence coder, stops at the Tokyo airport on his way to Korea and is held over because he lacks the Letter of Entry needed to transit through the country. After Tina, the English assistant travel manager of Japan Airlines, is assigned to help him secure the proper documentation, Mark checks into a Tokyo hotel. When the bellboy delivers a golf bag with his other luggage, Mark surreptitiously slips a bundle of magazines into its side pocket. After the bellboy departs, Mark pulls his Letter of Entry from his pocket and ignites it. Later, he goes to a local golf course and there meets Nobika, a Japanese government undercover agent. Mark, who has been sent as a courier by the U.S. government, delivers the magazines to Nobika. Stating that there may be an assassination plot afoot, Nobika arranges to meet Mark the following Monday night. Disguised as a fellow golfer, Underwood spies on them from a distance and, after leaving the golf course, proceeds to the Pacific Coal and Iron Company, his front. That night at the hotel, Mark chances upon Tina, who is on a date with Tony Barrett, an American counter-intelligence agent stationed in Formosa. After abruptly bidding Tina goodnight, Tony excuses himself and drives off to meet Mark. Tony then takes Mark to a Japanese steam bath, where he warns that ... +


When the U.S. High Commissioner of Japan agrees to light the eternal flame on a new sculpture symbolizing the growing friendship between Japan and the United States, Communist agent George Underwood sees an opportunity to derail the burgeoning peace movement. Soon after, Mark Fannon, a U.S. Intelligence coder, stops at the Tokyo airport on his way to Korea and is held over because he lacks the Letter of Entry needed to transit through the country. After Tina, the English assistant travel manager of Japan Airlines, is assigned to help him secure the proper documentation, Mark checks into a Tokyo hotel. When the bellboy delivers a golf bag with his other luggage, Mark surreptitiously slips a bundle of magazines into its side pocket. After the bellboy departs, Mark pulls his Letter of Entry from his pocket and ignites it. Later, he goes to a local golf course and there meets Nobika, a Japanese government undercover agent. Mark, who has been sent as a courier by the U.S. government, delivers the magazines to Nobika. Stating that there may be an assassination plot afoot, Nobika arranges to meet Mark the following Monday night. Disguised as a fellow golfer, Underwood spies on them from a distance and, after leaving the golf course, proceeds to the Pacific Coal and Iron Company, his front. That night at the hotel, Mark chances upon Tina, who is on a date with Tony Barrett, an American counter-intelligence agent stationed in Formosa. After abruptly bidding Tina goodnight, Tony excuses himself and drives off to meet Mark. Tony then takes Mark to a Japanese steam bath, where he warns that the Cold War is about to heat up and that the High Commissioner's life may be in danger. After Tony leaves, Underwood slips into the baths, turns up the thermostat in Mark's cubicle and locks the door. Stricken by heat prostration, Mark collapses and awakens in his hotel room, where a nurse tells him the attendant found him in the nick of time. Soon after, Tina arrives with his Letter of Entry and is surprised when Mark declares that he plans to stay in Japan. Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call from Nobika, who is about to utter a warning when shots ring out, piercing the phone booth and killing him. Tracing the phone call to Mark's hotel, Lt. Afumi of the Tokyo police department escorts Tina and Mark to the scene of the crime and there shows them a note he found in Nobika's pocket. Detained as material witnesses, Mark and Tina stop at the local inn and after phoning the High Commissioner's office to warn that his life is in danger, Mark calls Tony in Formosa to inquire about the name of the village in which Nobika lived. Upon ascertaining that Nobika lived in Ogawa, Mark goes there and scours the neighborhood in search of Nobika's house, hoping to retrieve the classified information concealed in the magazines. Tracing the house through one of Nobika's discarded tobacco tins, Mark meets Nobika's precocious little daughter Koko, who is eagerly anticipating her father's return on her birthday. When Mark learns that Koko's mother is deceased, he finds himself incapable of telling her that her father will never return. After Koko falls asleep that night, Mark searches the house for the magazines and discovers Underwood crouching just outside the doorway. Claiming to be a friend of Nobika, Underwood clatters around the house, awakening Koko. After he departs, Koko comments that she has never seen Underwood before. The next day, Mark deposits Koko with Tina in Tokyo and then goes to caution the Commissioner, who stonily dismisses his warnings. When Mark appears at Tina's apartment, Tina comments on his wedding ring and then confides that she fears for his safety. After they embrace, Tina begs Mark to tell her that he is not married. Mark, whose wife is part of his fabricated identity, refuses to respond. Upon returning to his hotel, Mark receives a coded message instructing him to watch Katsura, the sculptor who created the memorial. Mark then proceeds to Katsura's open house, where he is called into a room and introduced to Capt. Masao of the Tokyo Police Security department. After exhibiting the missing magazines, Masao states that the classified materials concealed in them established Mark's identity as a U.S. agent. Masao then shows Mark a list of names of firms contained in the magazine, one of which is a cover for a Communist organization. Underwood, meanwhile, instructs his henchman to slip a bomb into Katsura's sculpture. As the Tokyo police undertake an investigation into the list of corporations, Mark visits Koko and Tina, and Tina confesses that she loves him. Soon after, the High Commissioner's wife tracks Mark down at Tina's apartment. When Mark tells her that Nobika is dead, she confirms that she penned the note found in his pocket and recalls that Nobika had written to ask if the Commissioner had any contact with the Pacific Coal and Iron Company. Mark hurries to the offices of Pacific Coal and Iron, and breaks in to search the files. There, Mark finds Tony, who claims that he was ordered to Tokyo to deliver a coded message to Mark. Just then Underwood enters the room, gun in hand, and taunts Mark that he is too late to save the Commissioner. When Tony lunges at the gun, Underwood fires, wounding him. Just then, Masao arrives to arrest Underwood. As Mark races to save the Commissioner, the Commissioner arrives at the memorial ceremony to take the torch from the hand of the runner and light the eternal flame. When Mark and Masao attempt to warn the Commissioner, he brushes them aside and approaches the memorial, bearing the torch. Grabbing a reporter's camera, Mark starts snapping pictures, bolts up the stairs to the memorial and plucks out the bomb. Mark lobs the device into the lake, where it explodes. Later, at the Commissioner's residence, Tony and Mark learn that they will be teamed together and assigned to the Middle East, prompting Tina to declare that neither one of them is marrying material. As Mark bids goodbye to Koko, she confirms that her father will never return. When Mark responds that he loves her and asks her to accompany him the U.S., she replies that she must stay in Nippon. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.