Tokyo Joe (1949)

87-88 mins | Melodrama | November 1949

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HISTORY

According to a 10 Dec 1948 HR news item, 2d unit director Art Black and cameramen Joseph Biroc and Emil Oster, Jr. shot 40,000 feet of background film in and around Tokyo. This was the first time after World War II that an American company cleared rights with Army authorities for filming in Japan. According to a 7 Dec 1948 HR news item, Humphrey Bogart's company, Santana Pictures, negotiated with Warner Bros. for the loanout of Viveca Lindfors to co-star; however, Florence Marly eventually played the role. This was Sessue Hayakawa's first American film since ... More Less

According to a 10 Dec 1948 HR news item, 2d unit director Art Black and cameramen Joseph Biroc and Emil Oster, Jr. shot 40,000 feet of background film in and around Tokyo. This was the first time after World War II that an American company cleared rights with Army authorities for filming in Japan. According to a 7 Dec 1948 HR news item, Humphrey Bogart's company, Santana Pictures, negotiated with Warner Bros. for the loanout of Viveca Lindfors to co-star; however, Florence Marly eventually played the role. This was Sessue Hayakawa's first American film since 1924. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Nov 1949.
---
Daily Variety
11 Oct 49
p. 3, 14
Film Daily
11 Oct 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 48
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 1948.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 48
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 49
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 49
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 Oct 49
p. 50.
New York Times
27 Oct 49
p. 35.
Variety
12 Oct 49
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit cam
2d unit cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus dir
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styling
SOURCES
SONGS
"These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)," music by Jack Strachey and Harry Link, lyrics by Holt Marvel.
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1949
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 26 October 1949
Production Date:
4 January--16 February 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Santana Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 November 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2622
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87-88
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13749
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Joe Barrett arrives in Tokyo after the war, intending to re-open his club, Tokyo Joe's. Although it is illegal to operate a gambling club in American-occupied Japan, Joe makes a trip to the off-limits club, which is currently managed by his Japanese partner, Ito. After Ito tells Joe that Trina, his Russian wife, did not die during the war, Joe rushes to her house, where he learns that she divorced him during the war and is now married to American lawyer Mark Landis. Joe, who is still in love with Trina, vows to get her back, and to this end, applies for an airline franchise, which would allow him to stay in Japan after his visitor's visa expires. Learning that Joe's application will take a long time to process, Ito introduces him to Baron Kimura, a gangster, who agrees to pressure Landis in exchange for a partnership in the airline. Later, in response to Joe's questions, Trina reveals that unknown to Landis, she worked for the Japanese during the war in order to protect her baby. Thus, Joe learns that he has a daughter, Anya. Not wishing to hurt his child or ruin her stepfather's career by revealing Trina's past, Joe speaks directly to Landis, who willingly agrees to help Joe obtain the necessary permits. Although Joe and Ito believe Kimura is shipping something illegal on their planes, they have no proof. One day, Kimura orders Joe to fly to Seoul, Korea, to pick up a load of antique pottery, and along with the pottery, the pilots transport a Japanese stranger. Later, Landis learns about Trina's past and turns her ... +


Joe Barrett arrives in Tokyo after the war, intending to re-open his club, Tokyo Joe's. Although it is illegal to operate a gambling club in American-occupied Japan, Joe makes a trip to the off-limits club, which is currently managed by his Japanese partner, Ito. After Ito tells Joe that Trina, his Russian wife, did not die during the war, Joe rushes to her house, where he learns that she divorced him during the war and is now married to American lawyer Mark Landis. Joe, who is still in love with Trina, vows to get her back, and to this end, applies for an airline franchise, which would allow him to stay in Japan after his visitor's visa expires. Learning that Joe's application will take a long time to process, Ito introduces him to Baron Kimura, a gangster, who agrees to pressure Landis in exchange for a partnership in the airline. Later, in response to Joe's questions, Trina reveals that unknown to Landis, she worked for the Japanese during the war in order to protect her baby. Thus, Joe learns that he has a daughter, Anya. Not wishing to hurt his child or ruin her stepfather's career by revealing Trina's past, Joe speaks directly to Landis, who willingly agrees to help Joe obtain the necessary permits. Although Joe and Ito believe Kimura is shipping something illegal on their planes, they have no proof. One day, Kimura orders Joe to fly to Seoul, Korea, to pick up a load of antique pottery, and along with the pottery, the pilots transport a Japanese stranger. Later, Landis learns about Trina's past and turns her in to the authorities, planning to clear her name. The American authorities then tell Joe that "Kamikazi," his Japanese pilot, is an American agent who has learned that Kimura plans to smuggle Japanese war criminals back into the country to organize an anti-American Communist movement. The authorities ask Joe to deliver the criminals to them. Suspecting that Joe may not be trustworthy, Kimura kidnaps Anya with the help of her nanny, who works for him. Meanwhile, the Japanese take over the controls of the plane and land at a small airport. After they disable Joe's plane and set it on fire, the Japanese are surrounded and captured by waiting American soldiers, who have been dispersed to every airfield in the vicinity. Anya is still missing, however, and the Japanese refuse to reveal her whereabouts. Joe then discovers Ito, who has begun to commit sepuku, a traditional Japanese form of suicide. Before Ito dies, he tells Joe that Anya is in the neighboring cellar. While soldiers surround the area, Joe goes into the cellar alone and overcomes Kimura and his men. He is able to rescue Anya, but is fatally wounded in the struggle. +

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.