Escapade in Japan (1957)

90 or 92 mins | Adventure | November 1957

Director:

Arthur Lubin

Writer:

Winston Miller

Producer:

Arthur Lubin

Cinematographer:

William Snyder

Editor:

Otto Ludwig

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, Walter Holscher

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Take My Heart . Difficult to read credits of the viewed print were completed by studio production records. The film begins with a written foreword stating that the picture was photographed entirely in Japan, and thanking the United States Far East Air Forces, the Japanese citizenry and public officials, and civil and religious authorities for granting permission for the first time to photograph their sacred spaces.
       Although a May 1956 DV news item announced that Sam Wiesenthal would produce the picture, he was not involved in the final film. Studio press materials list Henry Okawa as “Capt. Hibino,” but Katsuhiko Haida played the role in the final film. Nine-year-old Roger Nakagawa, who played “Ashiko Tanaka,” made his feature-film debut in Escapade in Japan ... More Less

The working title of this film was Take My Heart . Difficult to read credits of the viewed print were completed by studio production records. The film begins with a written foreword stating that the picture was photographed entirely in Japan, and thanking the United States Far East Air Forces, the Japanese citizenry and public officials, and civil and religious authorities for granting permission for the first time to photograph their sacred spaces.
       Although a May 1956 DV news item announced that Sam Wiesenthal would produce the picture, he was not involved in the final film. Studio press materials list Henry Okawa as “Capt. Hibino,” but Katsuhiko Haida played the role in the final film. Nine-year-old Roger Nakagawa, who played “Ashiko Tanaka,” made his feature-film debut in Escapade in Japan . More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Sep 1957.
---
Daily Variety
7 May 1956.
---
Daily Variety
5 Jul 1957.
---
Daily Variety
11 Sep 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 Sep 57
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 1956
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 1956
p. 35.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 57
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Sep 57
p. 530.
New York Times
24 Dec 57
p. 11.
Variety
11 Sep 1957.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
In charge of prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward master
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Prod unit dir
Tech adv
Dial supv
Scr supv
Prod asst
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Take My Heart
Release Date:
November 1957
Premiere Information:
World premiere in San Francisco: 17 October 1957
Production Date:
early October--late December 1956
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 October 1957
Copyright Number:
LP9089
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Technirama
Duration(in mins):
90 or 92
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18307
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Tokyo, Japan, American diplomatic attaché Richard Saunders and his wife Mary await their seven-year-old son, Tony, who is flying to meet them. While Mary, who has learned that Dick had an affair at his last post, informs her husband that she is planning to leave him, Tony’s plane experiences engine failure and plunges into the ocean. By morning, Dick and Mary are frantic with worry, and the American embassy sends Col. Hargrave to keep them updated on the rescue operation. After fifteen hours, the first record of survivors is released, but when Tony’s name is not among them, Hargrave reluctantly reveals that a heavy fog over the ocean is making the rescue difficult. Meanwhile, while sailing off the Japanese coast, fisherrman Kei Tanaka and his wife Michiko spot an unconscious Tony floating in a life raft, and pull him onboard. They nurse him back to health, aided by their young son Asahiko, nicknamed Hiko, who speaks halting English. Soon, Hiko teaches Tony to use chopsticks, while Tony teaches Hiko to play with a yo-yo. Once they reach the Tanakas' village, however, Hiko overhears his parents discussing the imminent arrival of the police, and wrongly assuming that Tony is in trouble, runs away with his new friend. When the Saunderses learn of Tony’s rescue, they race to the village, only to find that both boys have disappeared. Although Mary and Michiko cannot converse, they feel connected in their mutual concern for their sons. The two boys hop on a truck, hoping to reach Tokyo, which Hiko vaguely knows is “over the mountains.” When the truck gets a flat tire, they find a nearby farmhouse, where the kind ... +


In Tokyo, Japan, American diplomatic attaché Richard Saunders and his wife Mary await their seven-year-old son, Tony, who is flying to meet them. While Mary, who has learned that Dick had an affair at his last post, informs her husband that she is planning to leave him, Tony’s plane experiences engine failure and plunges into the ocean. By morning, Dick and Mary are frantic with worry, and the American embassy sends Col. Hargrave to keep them updated on the rescue operation. After fifteen hours, the first record of survivors is released, but when Tony’s name is not among them, Hargrave reluctantly reveals that a heavy fog over the ocean is making the rescue difficult. Meanwhile, while sailing off the Japanese coast, fisherrman Kei Tanaka and his wife Michiko spot an unconscious Tony floating in a life raft, and pull him onboard. They nurse him back to health, aided by their young son Asahiko, nicknamed Hiko, who speaks halting English. Soon, Hiko teaches Tony to use chopsticks, while Tony teaches Hiko to play with a yo-yo. Once they reach the Tanakas' village, however, Hiko overhears his parents discussing the imminent arrival of the police, and wrongly assuming that Tony is in trouble, runs away with his new friend. When the Saunderses learn of Tony’s rescue, they race to the village, only to find that both boys have disappeared. Although Mary and Michiko cannot converse, they feel connected in their mutual concern for their sons. The two boys hop on a truck, hoping to reach Tokyo, which Hiko vaguely knows is “over the mountains.” When the truck gets a flat tire, they find a nearby farmhouse, where the kind residents feed them. They sleep in the barn, and are at first frightened by the dark but finally fall asleep in each other’s arms. In the morning, they illegally board a train and talk about why their eyes have different shapes. Meanwhile, Mary grows more anxious, but after the farmers report having seen the boys, Japanese policeman Capt. Hibino publishes Tony’s photograph in all of the country’s newspapers and vows that they will be found soon. The children jump off the train in Kyoto and spend the day wandering past temples and through the marketplace. They dodge the police by slipping into a burlesque theater, where they worry that the women may be cold without their clothes. That night, the boys are welcomed into a geisha house, but after Hiko overhears the head geisha plan to call the police, the boys slip out at dawn. To avoid the increased police activity, they board a school bus, and there meet pretty schoolgirl Dekko, who agrees to hide them. After the teacher leads the children on a tour of important temples, they share Dekko’s lunch. By the end of the day, however, the other children see Tony’s photograph in the paper and inform the teacher. He calls the police, who notify the Saunderses and Hibino. As Hibino orders a search of Kyoto, however, the frightened boys hop on another train. There, an American G.I. buys them ice cream, but when he sees the newspaper story about the missing boys, calls the embassy. Hibino sets up a roadblock at Nara, the end of the train line, but the children escape into the city. Chased by the police, they climb several flights of stairs at a pagoda, stopping only when they have scrambled out onto the slanted roof and are perched high above the street. The Saunderses arrive as a crowd gathers below, and Dick races up to save the boys. Aided by the police, he crawls onto the ledge and pulls the boys to safety. Dick carries Tony to Mary’s waiting arms, and while looking into Dick’s eyes,she promises the boy that no one will separate the family again. When Dick turns to Hiko, however, the still-frightened boy runs away, and Dick catches him once again. Soon, everyone gathers at the Tanakas', where Dekko arrives to reunite with her new friends. +

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.