Blood on the Sun is a 1945 American drama romantic thriller war film directed by Frank Lloyd starring James Cagney and Sylvia Sidney. The film is based on a fictional history behind the Tanaka Memorial document.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for a Black & White (Wiard Ihnen, A. Roland Fields) film in 1945. A computer-colorized version of the film was created in 1993.
In 1973, the film entered the public domain in the USA due to the copyright claimants failure to renew the copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.
Nick Condon (James Cagney) is a journalist for the Tokyo Chronicle. He prints a story disclosing Japan's plan to conquer the world. The newspaper is seized by Japanese officers. Condon gets the Tanaka Plan, a paper in which all the plans are described. The Japanese spies who follow him think that Ollie and Edith Miller (Wallace Ford and Rosemary DeCamp) are the ones who discovered the plan because they suddenly have a lot of money and are coming back to the USA. When Condon goes to the ship to bid them farewell, he finds Edith dead. Hearing someone in the adjoining room, he tries to enter, but the intruder escapes. He has only a glimpse of a woman's hand wearing a ring with a huge ruby. Returning home, he finds Ollie, badly beaten. Ollie gives him the Tanaka plan before dying.
Premier Giichi Tanaka (John Emery) wants his plans to remain secret, and sends Col. Hideki Tojo (Robert Armstrong) Capt. Oshima (John Halloran) and Hijikata (Leonard Strong) to follow him everywhere. Meanwhile, Condon hides the document with the Tanaka plan behind the portrait of Emperor Hirohito in his house.
Condon meets Iris Hilliard (Sylvia Sidney), half American and half Chinese. At first, he suspects her of being the lady in the ship, then he doesn't. They fall in love. She seems to be betraying him, especially when Condon sees the ring with the ruby in her hand.
At the end, it turns out she's been sent by a politician who wants peace and was present when the Tanaka plan was devised. Condon leaves his job after ten days. When he's about to leave Japan, he meets the politician and Iris in the harbor. The politician signs the document to prove it's real. They are discovered by the Japanese army.
Iris runs away with the document in a cargo ship which will take her out of Japan. To distract the Japanese officers, Condon fights his greatest enemy and tries to reach the American Embassy. He's shot at by spies dressed in street clothes, but he's not killed. The consular adviser goes out of the Embassy and takes Condon inside still alive, and the Japanese officers can't prevent it, because they couldn't find the Tanaka document when registering Condon.James Cagney as Nick Condon
Sylvia Sidney as Iris Hilliard
Porter Hall as Arthur Bickett
John Emery as Premier Giichi Tanaka
Robert Armstrong as Col. Hideki Tojo
Wallace Ford as Ollie Miller
Rosemary DeCamp as Edith Miller
John Halloran as Capt. Oshima
Leonard Strong as Hijikata
James Bell as Charley Sprague
Marvin Miller as Yamada
Rhys Williams as Joseph Cassell
Frank Puglia as Prince Tatsugi
Hugh Beaumont as Johnny Clarke (uncredited)
Blood on the Sun was adapted as a radio play on the December 3, 1945 episode of Lux Radio Theater with James Cagney and on the October 16, 1946 episode of Academy Award Theater starring John Garfield.
In the television series Cagney & Lacey, the character Christine Cagney has the poster of Blood on the Sun in her apartment , with the strapline "Cagney's Mightiest" adding to her characterization.