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Blood on the Sun
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Top Customer Reviews
Cagney does a very good job as the editor. A bundle of self-assured energy, as ever, he nonetheless adds depth by trying to speak a bit of Japanese and Mandarin, and by doing some very credible judo. Matter of fact, his judo coach was LAPD's Jack Halloran, who also took a role in this flick and went on to become a regular Hollywood character actor!
The movie is filmed almost entirely in sets at the studio, which is unsurprising. Nevertheless, it looks fairly good. In fact, the "expat bar" set is a faithful reproduction of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed bar at the old Imperial Hotel in Tokyo!
Cagney was just coming off an Oscar and just out of contract with WB Studios. Here, he and his brother produced, and they did a decent job. In short, the films hold up. Not a major classic, but an exciting potboiler! And as a correction to various reviewers, the film takes place neither in "post-WWII Japan" nor "The 1920's" but in the 30's.
As a personal aside, I served many years as a US diplomat in Communist China--another ruthless east Asian dictatorship. Maybe some other viewers will find the Japanese officials in Blood on the Sun to be too fake, smarmy, and banal. I found them pretty realistic!
Sure, the fights scenes are a little hokey by today's standards, the Japanese villians are just Americans with bad makeup, and of course the movie is in Black & White, but this movie is now a permanent part of my Hollywood Judo movie collection. Well actually it's my only Hollywood Judo movie.
To be honest, I didn't find the feature film on this DVD to be all that exciting. The plot is coherent and without any obvious flaws, and the characters have a lot of promise. It just isn't terribly enthralling. There's a fairly good fight sequence near the end, if that sort of thing interests you. Unfortunately, that sort of thing doesn't usually interest me, and nothing leading up to that had given me any emotional investment in either of the factions. James Cagney's acting is quite good, and, as always, he commands quite a presence on the screen. It's unfortunate that he's one of the only interesting things to watch in this film.
The picture quality is actually fairly good which is a bonus when you consider how cheap the disc is. The picture is the tiniest bit fuzzy at points, but for the most part it's ahead of many other budget DVDs. The sound quality is certainly acceptable, if not the clearest thing you'll ever hear. If you've already seen and enjoyed this movie and are wondering which DVD version you should buy, know that you could do a lot worse than the Laserlight edition.
The included documentary JAMES CAGNEY ON FILM runs 36 minutes long and is a fairly formulaic piece, very similar to the other such programs that Laserlight has included on their DVDs. It's a fairly tame short piece, made up primarily of an uninspired voice-over speaking while the camera pans over numerous black and white publicity shots of Cagney. A few film trailers make up the rest of the action.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Blood on the Sun, 1943 film
Baron Tanaka wrote a secret plan on world conquest. An American newspaperman in Tokyo exposed it. Read more
Hollywood either didn't know and/or didn't care about this so-called in part historically based melodrama. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Man About London Town
Actually a great unrecognized movie. Cagny tried to tell our Government that the Japanese were going to try us on but was rebuked as "only an actor"! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Edgar
Cagney is great as always.
This is not as good as some of his movies but I have never found a Cagney movie I did not like.
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