Barbarian and the Geisha

The Barbarian and the Geisha

Director: John Huston

Cast: John Huston, John Wayne, Eiko Ando, Sam Jaffe

     
 

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John Wayne's only collaboration with director John Huston turned out to be a major career misstep for both men. Barbarian and the Geisha is the true story of Townsend Harris (Wayne), who in 1856 was appointed the first American consul to Japan. Headquartered in Shimoda, Harris discovers that the Japanese thoroughly mistrust the Americans (and, as it turned out,

Overview

John Wayne's only collaboration with director John Huston turned out to be a major career misstep for both men. Barbarian and the Geisha is the true story of Townsend Harris (Wayne), who in 1856 was appointed the first American consul to Japan. Headquartered in Shimoda, Harris discovers that the Japanese thoroughly mistrust the Americans (and, as it turned out, not without reason). It's an uphill climb, but Harris gradually earns the respect of the local power brokers-and in so doing, is permitted to enter the city of Tokyo. Geisha girl Eiko Ando, originally sent to thwart Harris' mission, falls in love with him and protects him from harm. Though running only 104 minutes, the film seems to drag on for eons. Filmed on location, The Barbarian and the Geisha is consistently good to look at, but the discomfort of both star Wayne and director Huston is painfully obvious in every frame.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Whatever one may think of him as an actor, John Wayne is clearly a man of action, which makes the casting of him in The Barbarian and the Geisha especially curious. Wayne plays a diplomat here, the real-life Townsend Harris, and it's not a part that draws on the reservoirs of strength that are part and parcel of Wayne. Barbarian's story is about a man of inaction; not of indecision, really, but a man who must act like a diplomat and wait for the appropriate moments to act. Those moments are few and far between in Barbarian, and one grows weary waiting for the inner tiger in Wayne to get a chance to spring into action. Charles Grayson's script is tasteful and, for a Hollywood movie, fairly faithful to facts; it just doesn't provide the amount of drama that it keeps thinking it does. Matters are not helped by John Huston's surprisingly uninvolved direction. Huston was a director who usually left an indelible impression on his films, but here it's journeyman work that could have been done by just about anyone. There's no passion on his end, and the film suffers as a result. Barbarian looks good and isn't short on scenery, costumes and atmosphere; but it does lack life.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/13/2012
UPC:
0024543836100
Original Release:
1958
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
ABC
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
21,576

Special Features

Disc 1 - Blu-ray The Barbarian and the Geisha in High Definition Fox Movietone News: Barbarian's Geisha Here For Premiere Fox Movietone News: Barbarian and Geisha Rates Critical Raves Fox Movietone News: Paris and Milan Premieres Fox Movietone News: Milan Premiere Original Theatrical Trailer Photo Gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Townsend Harris
Eiko Ando Okichi
Sam Jaffe Henry Heusken
So Yamamura Tamura
Norman Thomson Ship Captain Edmunds
James Robbins Lt. Fisher
Kodaya Ichikawa Daimyo
Hiroshi Yamato The Shogun
Tokujiro Iketaniuchi Harusha
Takeshi Kumagai Chamberlain
Fuju Kasai Lord Hotta
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita Prime Minister

Technical Credits
John Huston Director
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
Warren B. Delaplain Sound/Sound Designer
W.D. Flick Sound/Sound Designer
Eugene Frenke Producer
Hugo W. Friedhofer Score Composer
Stuart Gilmore Editor
Charles Grayson Screenwriter
Don Greenwood Set Decoration/Design
Webb Overlander Makeup
Joseph E. Richards Asst. Director
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Jack Martin Smith Art Director
Ellis St. Joseph Original Story
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Barbarian and the Geisha
1. Main Titles [3:36]
2. The Black Ship [2:15]
3. Strangers [6:20]
4. The Flag Controversy [2:44]
5. A Letter for Governor Tamura [:22]
6. Dinner Party [2:50]
7. Okichi [7:02]
8. A Geisha's Duty [2:45]
9. Defending Her Honor [3:07]
10. The Demon Of Death [3:18]
11. Cleansing Shimoto [4:52]
12. Goodbye, In Any Language [6:29]
13. Seeing Eye To Eye [1:57]
14. The Long-Awaited Journey [5:38]
15. Arrival Into Edo [3:12]
16. Meeting The Shogun [2:50]
17. The Community Of Nations [1:39]
18. Different Husbands, Different Wives [3:49]
19. Crossroads Of The World [4:36]
20. Assassination [5:36]
21. The Treaty Vote [:33]
22. Death For Harris [1:42]
23. Okichi's Sacrifice [1:43]
24. Forever/End Titles [4:09]

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