GenreCrime, Drama, Film-Noir ScreenplaySteve Fisher CountryUnited States
Release dateOctober 26, 1949 (1949-10-26) WriterSteve Fisher (story), Walter Doniger (adaptation), Cyril Hume (screenplay), Bertram Millhauser (screenplay) CastHumphrey Bogart (Joe Barrett), Sessue Hayakawa (Baron Kimura), Alexander Knox (Mark Landis), Florence Marley (Trina), Teru Shimada (Ito), Rhys Williams (Colonel Dahlgren) Similar moviesKill Bill: Vol. 1, Rising Sun, Black Rain, Valkyrie, The Last Samurai, The Wind Rises
TaglineBogart raids the Tokyo underworld to save his woman from Japan's crime baron !
Tokyo joe 1949 humphrey bogart clip
In the wake of Japans surrender, American expatriate Joseph Barrett (Humphrey Bogart) hopes to revive the Tokyo club he ran before he left to fight in World War II. Soon Barrett discovers that Trina (Florence Marly) the wife he assumed was dead has married another man and has a young daughter. As an overwhelmed Barrett struggles to obtain approval for residency in Japan, he becomes the blackmail target of Baron Kimura (Sessue Hayakawa), a crime boss with a dirty job for him to do.
Tokyo Joe is a 1949 Film Noir film directed by Stuart Heisler from a story by Steve Fisher, adapted by Walter Doniger and starring Humphrey Bogart, Florence Marly and Sessue Hayakawa. This was Heislers first of two features starring Bogart, the other was Chain Lightning that also wrapped in 1949 but was held up in release until 1950.
Joe Barrett returns to Tokyo after World War II where he once owned a bar, Tokyo Joe's, and deserted his wife Trina. They have a seven-year-old daughter. Kimura forces Joe into piloting war criminals by revealing that during the war Trina made treasonous propaganda broadcasts.
Tokyo joe trailer
After World War II, ex-serviceman Joe Barrett (Humphrey Bogart) returns to Tokyo to see if there is anything left of his pre-war bar and gambling joint ("Tokyo Joes") after all the bombing. Amazingly, it is more or less intact and being run by his old friend Ito (Teru Shimada). Joe is shocked to learn from Ito that his wife Trina (Florence Marly), who he thought had died in the war, is still alive. Believing her to be dead, Joe inadvertently deserts her and she has divorced Joe and is now married to Mark Landis (Alexander Knox), a lawyer working in the U.S. Occupation HQ. She has a seven-year-old child, Joes daughter Anya (Lora Lee Michel), born when Trina was in an internment camp after Joes departure from Japan just before Pearl Harbor.
Joe starts up an air freight business, fronting for Baron Kimura (Sessue Hayakawa), former head of the Japanese secret police. Joe believes Kimura is using the airline to smuggle penicillin and other drugs into the country, but discovers he is actually intending to smuggle in former senior officers of the Imperial Japanese Army and the leader of the Black Dragon Society in order to organize a Communist coup against the new democratic government. When he balks, Kimura kidnaps Anya to force him to comply. Joe rescues Anya and foils the Barons plot, but is fatally wounded in the ensuing struggle.
As appearing in screen credits (main roles identified):
A full cast and production crew list is too lengthy to include, see: IMDb profile.
The film was Sessue Hayakawas first postwar project and served as a revitalization of his career. From 1937 to 1949, Hayakawa had been in France, first as an actor and then was caught up in the German occupation, living ostensibly as an artist, selling watercolors. After joining the French underground, he aided Allied flyers during the war. When Humphrey Bogarts production company tracked him down to offer him a role in Tokyo Joe, the American Consulate investigated Hayakawas activities during the war before issuing a work permit.
Principal filming for Tokyo Joe took place from January 4 to the end of February 1949 on the Columbia Pictures studio lot, not on location in Tokyo, Japan. A second photographic unit was dispatched by Columbia to Tokyo to collect exterior scene shots and was the first movie company allowed to film in postwar Japan. The use of a Lockheed Hudson bomber converted into cargo hauling is featured with both interiors, and aerial sequences revolving around the aircraft.
Humphrey Bogart appears in Tokyo Joe and Chain Lightning. Humphrey Bogart appears in Tokyo Joe and In a Lonely Place. Florence Marly appears in Tokyo Joe and Tokyo File 212. Humphrey Bogart appears in Tokyo Joe and Knock on Any Door. Humphrey Bogart appears in Tokyo Joe and Sirocco.
The film fared well with the public as the subject of postwar Japan was an intriguing one featured in many of the headlines of the day. Most viewers were convinced that the film was a semi-documentary due to the extensive use of footage shot in Japan. The critics were less charitable, The New York Times contemporary review noted the juxtaposition of the footage as jarring: "... a note of reality which is embarrassingly at odds with the major and markedly synthetic elements of the plot", further stating: "The big weakness of Tokyo Joe, however, is a script which does not neatly come together, but squanders its good points amidst a field of corn."
Tokyo Joe was released in VHS format for home viewing on August 17, 1989, by Columbia Tristar with a further DVD release in 2004.