|First Yank Into Tokyo|
Original film poster
|Directed by||Gordon Douglas|
|Produced by||J. Robert Bren|
J. Robert Bren
|Music by||Leigh Harline|
|Cinematography||Harry J. Wild|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Release date(s)||September 5, 1945
|Running time||82 minutes|
In the film, the U.S. government assigns Major Steve Ross to receive plastic surgery to appear Japanese; Ross had lived in Japan and is well versed with Japanese culture. The government assigns Ross to rescue Lewis Jardine, a scientist bearing valuable secrets about the atomic bomb. Ross is also driven by the knowledge that his one true love, Abby, was captured by the Japanese and "is in their hands". Both Abby and Ross's former college roommate, the treacherous Hideko Okanura, are now at the same prison camp where Jardine is being held. Abby (Barbara Hale), does not recognize Steve but senses something strange about the new Japanese soldier from Korea. She detects something about him that makes him different from all the other Japanese who are uniformly portrayed as crazed sadists who, when not busy committing war crimes and stealing, drink themselves into a stupor and then give free rein to their insatiable lust for American women. Okanura, now a colonel in the Japanese army (after attending American universities to steal industrial secrets and plan sabotage), also detects something strangely familiar about his new NCO. In addition to committing acts of non-stop savagery, Okanura enjoys driving his subordinates to suicide and leering at Abby. He then sees a dog chase Major Ross across the prison yard and he remembers where he last saw such "superb open field running". It was in a college football game where Steve Ross excelled. Okanura (played by Richard Loo) also remembered that his American roommate displayed a nervous thumb gesture identical to the one seen in the mysterious new NCO. In the film's "exciting climax", Major Ross places a bomb in the prison camp's factory (where Allied prisoners are being worked to death by vicious Japanese guards who then steal their food). Just as Okanura is on the verge of exposing him at a banquet where movies are shown that were taken by Okanura during his American treachery (including films of Ross playing football), the bomb goes off and throws the camp into confusion. Ross kills Okanura with his bare hands, frees Abby and Jardine and then leads the group to a rendezvous with an US submarine just off shore. At the last second, Steve realizes that he cannot go back to the States "looking like a Jap" and bundles his charges into a boat and then staying behind to help some Korean prisoners kill some more of the "yellow monkeys".
Originally the film centered around Ross helping to acquire a new kind of gun. The atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred during production of the film; the producers subsequently altered the plotline.
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