WriterSy Gomberg, Jack Sher, Marion Hargrove Release dateJuly 1957 (1957-07) Based onplay by Evan Wylie and Jack Ruge Initial releaseMay 29, 1957 (New York City) Music directorHenry Mancini, Irving Gertz, Stanley Wilson, Earl E. Lawrence ScreenplayMarion Hargrove, Jack Sher, Sy Gomberg CastAudie Murphy (Pvt. Joe Woodley), George Nader (Sgt. Ed Kennedy), Keenan Wynn (Harold Hathaway), Fred Clark (Col. E.E. Fuller), John Agar (Sgt. Dick Mason), Charles McGraw (Sgt. Jim McNulty) Similar moviesRelated Jesse Hibbs movies
Joe butterfly 1957 audie murphy george nader keenan wynn comedy public domain
Joe Butterfly is a 1957 American comedy film directed by Jesse Hibbs starring Audie Murphy, George Nader and Keenan Wynn, with Burgess Meredith in the title role as a Japanese man. The movie was action star Murphy's only outright comedy, and it suffered by comparison to the similar Teahouse of the August Moon, released seven months earlier.
The film follows the staff of the Army weekly magazine Yank, who are among the first American troops in Tokyo after Japan's surrender. They are given the difficult task of producing an issue of the magazine in three days. Short on ideas and having to meet the deadline, they enter Japan's black market and come across con artist Joe Butterfly. Butterfly shows them the high life, letting them live in a mansion complete with beautiful girls.
The movie was shot partly in Hong Kong and Japan. According to co-writer Sy Gomberg, Audie Murphy was extremely uncomfortable playing comedy. However, the movie was an enormous hit in Japan, in part because of the Japanese people's admiration for Murphy, and partly because of its sympathetic depiction of the Japanese. Following the film, Murphy brought home a 14-year-old Japanese girl who stayed with the Murphys and helped raise their children while she attended school in America.