EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|ESCAPADE IN JAPAN (aka: TAKE MY HEART) (director: Arthur Lubin; screenwriter: Winston Miller; cinematographer: William Snyder; editor: Otto Ludwig; music: Max Steiner; cast: Teresa Wright (Mary Saunders), Cameron Mitchell (Dick Saunders), Jon Provost (Tony Saunders), Roger Nakagawa (Hiko), Philip Ober (Lt. Col. Hargrave), Kuniko Miyake (Michiko Tanaka), Susumu Fujita (Kei Tanaka), Katsuhiko Haida (Capt. Hibino), Clint Eastwood (Dumbo), Mila del Sol (Filipino stewardess); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Arthur Lubin; RKO; 1957)|
|"Its artificial cuteness stings."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
B-film filmmaker Arthur Lubin ("New Orleans"/"White
the WACS ") directs this
forgettable low-budget family drama that never excites, but at least
its location shots in Japan keep it exotic looking. It's written by
Winston Miller. If you don't
blink, you'll catch Clint Eastwood as an American pilot named Dumbo.
Tony Saunders (Jon Provost)
is a seven-year-old
is put on a plane in Manilla by his Aunt Laura and he travels alone
to Tokyo to meet his American diplomatic
attaché father Richard Saunders (Cameron Mitchell), newly stationed in
Tokyo, and his mother Mary (Teresa
Unfortunately the plane develops engine trouble and crashes in
the fog covered sea, off the coast of Japan. Tony is rescued while
floating unconscious on a raft some fifteen hours later by Japanese fisherman
Kei Tanaka (Susumu Fujita) and his wife Michiko (Kuniko Miyake). He's nursed back to health
and is befriended by their son Hiko (Roger Nakagawa). When they reach the Tanakas'
small village, Hiko overhears his parents discussing that the police
are coming over and wrongly assumes that Tony is in trouble. The same
aged kids decide to run away together.
contrived premise was hardly convincing, which made it impossible for
me to get into the rest of the story.
American couple go to the village and soon bond with the non-English
speaking Japanese parents, both concerned about their runaway boys.
follow the boys as they trek to Tokyo by hopping aboard a truck, then
they sneak onto a train. They get off in Kyoto and visit temples and
marketplace. They avoid the police by
a burlesque theater and that evening find themselves in a geisha
house. Afterwards they are fed and
sheltered by a farmer for the night. There
several more escapes from the police, until the boys are rescued by
Tony's dad on a slanted pagoda roof before they fall.
soap opera style, Tony's parents who were contemplating a divorce
now vow to remain a united family and all ends well. We also get a
lecture on tolerance and about how people from different countries and
of different races have so much in common.
REVIEWED ON 9/7/2010 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ