13 January 2005 | sol-kay
Danger and intrigue in post-war Japan
(There may be Spoilers) Pretty good Humphrey Bogart flick that has the distinction of being the first US made movie filmed in post-war Japan with a beautiful rendition of the song "These Foolish Things" sung by co-star and Bogie's love interest in the movie the exotic and hauntingly beautiful Florence Marly, Trina Pechinkov Landis, that rivals the song "As Time Goes By" in the Humphrey Bogart classic WWII movie "Casablanca".
Joe Barrett, Humphrey Bogart, who owned a nightclub in Tokyo, the "Tokyo Joe Cabaret" before the outbreak of the war between Japan and the USA goes back after the war to start where he left off in the nightclub business. Discharged from the US Army Joe finds it almost impossible to have a business in Japan without the approval of the US Military Occupation Government and is given only a 60 day visa to stay in the country.
Finding out from his friend and co-owner of the "Tokyo Joe" Ito, Teru Shimada, that he wife Trina, Florence Marly, and singer at the nightclub is alive not that she died during the war as Joe thought, makes Joe want to stay over his allowed 60 days. Joe is in for a big surprise when he finds out that Trina had married a top US lawyer working in Japan Mark Landis, Alexander Knox. Joe even more shocked when he finds out from Barom Klmura, Sesssue Hayakawa, an air freight owner whom Joe is fronting for to extend his visa that she also did propaganda broadcasts during the war for the Japanese government making her a traitor to America. Trina is an American citizen and libel to be prosecuted by the US Military Government in Japan.
Things get far more complicated for Joe when he discovers that Trina has a seven year old girl Anya, Lora Lee Michel, who was born after Joe left her for the USA in 1941 and who he's the father of. The fact that Trina did broadcasts for the Imperial Japanese government was because they took Anya away from her as she, like all Americans stranded in Japan during the war, was thrown into a Japanese prison camp.
While Joe is struggling with this dilemma his working for Kumura is unknowing helping him smuggle dangerous Japanese Communists and dreaded Black Dragon leaders into the country to start an open and bloody revolt against the occupying American Military Government.
Better then you would expect Bogart film since it's almost unknown when you compare it to Bogie's many great movies.The movie also has one of the most exciting fight as well as shoot-out sequences you'll ever see in an Humphrey Bogart movie.
The great photography of post-war Japan in the film as well as the fine cast make "Tokyo Joe" more then worth watching but the most intriguing thing about the movie is it's very interesting story-line that was in a way really prophetic. That had the Communists who were trying to overthrow the US installed democratic Japenese Government working out of South Korea. A country that was invaded by the North Korean Communist on June 25, 1950 a year after the movie "Tokyo Joe" was released.