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Sayonara (5-Dec-1957)

Director: Joshua Logan

Writer: Paul Osborn

From novel by: James A. Michener

Music: Franz Waxman

Producer: William Goetz

Keywords: Romantic Drama

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Marlon Brando
3-Apr-1924 1-Jul-2004 A Streetcar Named Desire
Red Buttons
5-Feb-1919 13-Jul-2006 They Shoot Horses Don't They?
James Garner
7-Apr-1928 19-Jul-2014 Jim Rockford on Rockford Files
Ricardo Montalban
25-Nov-1920 14-Jan-2009 Roarke on Fantasy Island
Patricia Owens
17-Jan-1925 31-Aug-2000 The Fly
Martha Scott
22-Sep-1912 28-May-2003 Our Town
Kent Smith
19-Mar-1907 23-Apr-1985 Cat People
Miyoshi Umeki
3-Apr-1929 28-Aug-2007 Sayonara


Marlon Brando   ...   Maj. Gruver
Patricia Owens   ...   Eileen Webster
James Garner   ...   Capt. Bailey
Martha Scott   ...   Mrs. Webster
Miiko Taka   ...   Hana-Ogi
Miyoshi Umeki   ...   Katsumi
And Presenting
Red Buttons   ...   Joe Kelly
Kent Smith   ...   Gen. Webster
Douglas Watson   ...   Col. Crawford
Reiko Kuba   ...   Fumiko-San
Soo Yong   ...   Teruko-San
Shochiku Kagekidan Girls Revue   ...   Themselves
Also Starring
Ricardo Montalban   ...   Nakamura


Review by dennis henderson (posted on 17-Sep-2007)

Sayonara is one of those special romance dramas of the Fifties for several reasons: it was filmed in technicolor when that medium was the exception, it involved post-war racial prejudice in Occupied Japan and the American military, and sported a first-rate film score by Max Steiner, that included traditional as well as modern themes in his sensitive handling of the story line. And a first-rate cast is not the least of its attributes. Lieutenant Lloyd Gruver is an American airman stationed in Japan some six years after the War. With time on his hands, good looks, doting superiors, and an admiring military brass's daughter, he manages to somehow cross paths with a young, but highly regarded local theater dancer, who, though very successful in her world and craft, is nontheless, deeply committed to the values of her profession and class. Their budding romance is risky business for both of them almost from the beginning. Pressures both from the military heirarchy, and the local 'defenders of purity' club practically forbid any such liason, let alone marriage. Mounting difficulties on both sides of their two different worlds comes to a climax, when one of Gruvers' army buddies,who has initiated one of his own bi-racial romances, cracks to the pressures of resentment, intolerance, and threats, and takes matters to a tragic conclusion. The death of his two friends bursts the bubble of opposition surrounding the two lovers, who ultimately prevail over the two opposing worlds in which they found themselves trapped. Brando's casting and acting was flawless for the role. Of special merit was Ricardo Montalban's performance for which he won a supporting Oscar. The film, slightly controversial for its time, remains one of my favorites, not just for the gorgeous cinematography or Steiner's exotic and nostalgic themes, but for the sheer beauty and grace of the storytelling.

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