5.6/10
282
12 user 9 critic

Behind the Rising Sun (1943)

Approved | | Drama, War | 27 January 1944 (Mexico)
In Japan, foreigners and their Japanese friends are caught up in the rising tide of militarism.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

James Young (book) (as James R. Young), Emmet Lavery (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margo ... Tama Shimamura
Tom Neal ... Taro Seki
J. Carrol Naish ... Reo Seki
Robert Ryan ... Lefty O'Doyle
Gloria Holden ... Sara Braden
Donald Douglas ... Clancy O'Hara (as Don Douglas)
George Givot ... Boris
Adeline De Walt Reynolds ... Grandmother
Leonard Strong ... Tama's Father
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Storyline

Cornell-educated Taro Seki returns to Japan just as the war party gains control. He hopes to work for American engineer O'Hara, and falls for his secretary Tama, but he is drafted. War service in China finally hardens Taro to atrocities, and he returns to Japan a changed man. His father, now a cabinet minister, feels remorse at what war has done to his son and country, but too late to save Taro's foreign friends. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The year's most timely story.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

27 January 1944 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Alytrotoi laoi See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$239,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nancy Gates (Tama's sister) and Daisy Lee (Takahashi's servant) are in studio records/casting call lists, but do not appear in the movie. See more »

Goofs

During the bombing of Tokyo, presumably the Doolittle raid, B-17 "Flying Fortresses" ( a heavy bomber) are shown carrying out the attack. The Doolittle raid was carried out by B-25 bombers, a medium bomber, launched from the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet. See more »

Quotes

Taro Seki: But, Dad, can't you understand? Tama isn't just any girl. She's the girl I love.
Reo Seki: Please, Taro, try to face the facts as they really are.
Taro Seki: I am. This is the girl I love and this is the girl I'm going to marry.
Reo Seki: I am sorry, Taro. Tama may be a good girl but she's not good enough for you.
Taro Seki: Nonsense!
Reo Seki: When you marry, you must marry well. And when your children marry, they must also marry well. Or better, if possible. For the family is everything and one must build it as one would build up any business.
Taro Seki:
Reo Seki:
Taro Seki:
Reo Seki:
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Five Came Back: Combat Zones (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Alma Mater
(ca 1870) (uncredited)
(Cornell University's Marching Song)
Music by H.S. Thompson from his ballad "Annie Lisle" (1857)
Lyrics by Archibald Croswell-Weeks and Wilmot Moses Smith (ca 1870)
Sung by Tom Neal a cappella
See more »

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User Reviews

Loopy, intriguing WWII propaganda
22 May 1999 | by kev-22See all my reviews

We'd call it racist today, but this constantly amusing bit of rabble rousing did what it had to do at the time, while allowing somewhat refreshingly that not all Japanese were monsters. When this was made, the outcome of the war was still not assured, although the bombing raids over Tokyo were in full swing, as the end of the film shows. Along the way there's an incongruous mix of white RKO stock leads unconvincingly playing the main Japanese characters while actors of actual Japanese descent play minor supporting parts. J. Carrol Naish may seem silly as a Japanese businessman, but he is surprisingly sincere as the misguided father who goads his nonviolent, Americanized son with jingoistic pleas to enter military service. To the father's eventual dismay, the son, played by Tom Neal in one of Hollywood's more notable instances of miscasting, becomes an increasingly callous savage who comes to relish Japanese atrocities while on duty in China. Showing that Hollywood could do the Goebbels thing with the best of them, the film proceeds to show Japanese soldiers pushing opium on children, yanking mothers away from crying infants, hauling Chinese women into prostitution houses, bayoneting children, and--worst of all--slapping around American nationals! The highlight is a wacky, drawn-out duel of strength between an American boxer (Robert Ryan doing his "The Set Up" thing six years before the fact) and a Japanese jujitsu expert. The film's opening titles claim that the whole thing is 100 percent true and authentic, a perfect red flag to take it all with a grain of salt.


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