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Tokyo Joe (1949)

Humphrey Bogart , Alexander Knox , Stuart Heisler  |  NR |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Price: $35.97 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Alexander Knox, Florence Marly, Sessue Hayakawa, Jerome Courtland
  • Directors: Stuart Heisler
  • Writers: Bertram Millhauser, Cyril Hume, Steve Fisher, Walter Doniger
  • Producers: Henry S. Kesler, Robert Lord
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: February 10, 2004
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000127Z5U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,520 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tokyo Joe" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It's hard to imagine nowadays that someone so innately bitter and cynical as Humphrey Bogart could be a major movie star--but he was, and the movies were richer for it. In Tokyo Joe, Bogart plays an Air Force colonel who returns to Tokyo after World War II to reclaim a nightclub he'd had to abandon. When he discovers that his former lover, a Russian refugee, is still alive and now married, he sets out to win her back--but in the process gets drawn into a fraudulent air freight scheme that may endanger the stability of post-war Japan, as well as a child he never knew he had. Tokyo Joe isn't a classic, but when the camera catches the lightning in Bogart's eyes or his calm voice twists into a snarl, it's a powerful jolt. His dark persona makes his virtuous acts all the more compelling. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue and romance in post WW2 Japan for Bogie January 21, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Life in post war Japan is a theme not often explored in Hollywood film making and that alone gives "Tokyo Joe" an extra element of interest. Often referred to as second-string Bogie effort, the film I feel has much to commend it and it weaves an arresting story of intrigue, corruption and lost love against the background of a Japan just coming back to life after the conclusion of the war.
Humphrey Bogart had most of his great roles already behind him by 1949. "Casablanca", "High Sierra", "The Maltese Falcon", "The Treasure Of Sierra Madre" to name a few cemented his name as one of Hollywood's most memorable stars over almost two and half decades of work. This might be a lesser effort than those examples but time had passed and being now a bit older suits Bogie very well in his playing of Joe Barrett, a man returning to Tokyo to reclaim both his pre war saloon/gambling den and to find that his supposedly dead wife is very much alive and holding a couple of dark secrets. Bogie handles both elements of the story, ie the rekindled romance with his wife Trina (Florence Marly), with the exciting second half of the story dealing with high level corruption, kidnapping and people smuggling rings.
Upon arriving in Tokyo Bogie finds things have changed greatly since the period prior to WW2. Not only does he discover his wife is still alive and remarried to an Americam Official Mark Landis (Alexander Knox) but that she has a young child who is actually his.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nest of snakes April 9, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Humphrey Bogart is equal to himself in this tightly devised plot. First a clear situation : Japan after the war under occupation by the Americans who are trying to chase the remnants of a militaristic and fanatical recent past. The Americans come back to Japan too to start some joint ventures with some Japanese. Then a personal situation : Joe had a joint business before the war and he tries to recuperate it and finds out it is impossible though he goes along with his ex-partner in another business that is a lot more shady than it should be. Then a sentimental situation : his ex-girlfriend and wife is married to a big shot in the American embassy or something. She has a daughter and this daughter is Joe's though she had her adopted by her second husband. This daughter was the backmailing tool of the Japanese during the war to force this woman to broadcast propaganda aimed at American forces in the Pacific during the war. But Joe and his new business is used to bring some old militaristic fanatics back to Japan to stir some trouble for the Americans. Joe, as an ex-colonel, has to go along with the allied forces, but his « business associates » kidnap his daughter to force him to do what they want. Then the rest is resistance and heroism, courage and back-fighting. Humphrey Bogart cuts the character quite convincingly and gives us an interesting thriller.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other "Casablanca" March 11, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
America's involvement in World War two was bookended by two Humphrey Bogart movies. Going into the War, there's Rick in the classic Casablanca; coming out of the War, there's Joe Barret in Tokyo Joe, but basically they are both the same hard-boiled-with-a-heart-of-gold guy. As if to emphasize this there's a nightclub in each, the Tokyo joint eponymously named "Tokyo Joe's."
The movie kicks off in 1948, as Joe Barret comes back after 7 years away to occupied Tokyo to take care of some unfinished business, soon getting into a playful Judo bout with his old friend and nightclub partner, Itoh (Teru Shimada). There's more unfinished business than he reckoned on, however, as he finds out that the beautiful wife he thought was dead is still alive. But this is no Madame Butterfly in reverse. The lady in question is Trina, a White Russian played by an actress with great cheekbones but with none of the smouldering quality of Ingrid Bergman. The writers lay on the twists thick and fast as we discover that Trina is now married to an Occupation bigwig, Mark Landis (Alexander Knox), and she has a kid which is Bogey's.
In order to protect Trina from a blackmail scam, Bogey gets sucked into a plot led by the evil Baron Kimura (Sessue Hayakawa) who bears an uncanny resemblance to former Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone. This scheme to revive the Black Dragon organization by smuggling Imperialist leaders back into Japan, is implausibly attributed to the Communists. The climax comes when Bogey's chubby little daughter gets kidnapped and Bogey's Japanese nightclub partner blames himself and commits hari-kiri.
"Still covering up for Kimura," Bogey admonishes him as he realises his old buddy won't be helping him with his judo practice anymore. "Don't you understand what guys like that have done for you?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Joe Barrett sure knows how to woo `em.

Humphrey Bogart made some doozies in the late Forties and early Fifties. He liked to keep working, but either he or his agent had some lousy taste: Chain Lighting (1950). Sirocco (1951). Battle Circus (opposite June Allyson, no less) (1953). Tokyo Joe fits right in. It's not just that these movies are hackwork, but Bogart's iconic mug is showing his age. He was 50 when he made Tokyo Joe. He can snarl, threaten, sneer and go wooing with the best, better, in fact, than the best, but it's Silly Symphonies when he undertakes judo or throws more than one or two punches.

With Tokyo Joe we're not just talking stunt doubles. Every shot in Tokyo with a guy in a trench coat wearing a hat where we can't see a face is a fake Bogart. There are a lot of them. Every shot of Bogart facing the camera with Tokyo in the background is just Bogart on a Hollywood sound stage with backscreen projection. There are a lot more of these. All that backscreen stuff is handled carelessly.

Like most strong actors, Bogart worked best, in my opinion, when he had strong actors to react with. Tokyo Joe doesn't give him much. Florence Marly is the love interest. She's beautiful, but so icy she could give your lips frostbite. Alexander Knox (Mark Landis), who competes for Florence Marly, was a fine actor, but always so civilized, often stuffy, sometimes weak.

What's it all about? Bogie as Joe Barrett returns to Tokyo right after fighting in the last good war to check on the gambling bar, Tokyo Joe's, which he used to own. He'd always felt Tokyo was his home. It's a sad homecoming. The woman he'd married, Trina Pechinkov (Marly), a White Russian émigré in Japan, he'd heard was dead. Instead, she'd been imprisoned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars "Come upstairs, Joe. They don't understand a word of English - unless...
Anyone else see the vague similarities of Tokyo Joe to Casablanca.

1 Bogart is an expatriate American
2 He owns a club
3 The movie has a love triangle
4... Read more
Published 2 months ago by William D. Jempty Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok - but not a great movie
I had not seen this one before. My wife saw it on cable TV recently and DVR'd it.

It tells the story of a seedy ex-pat (Joe - played by Bogart) who lived in Tokyo before... Read more
Published 12 months ago by ilbob
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Bogie's best
The movie is okay, not one of Bogie's best. However, if you love Humphrey Bogart like I do, you will probably enjoy it.
Published 16 months ago by J. J. Principato
4.0 out of 5 stars Tokyo Joe - Excellent Bogart movie, but no Bacall...
I like everything Bogart did, I wish he were coming out with more movies now because most new movies stink! Another great one, lesser known, is All through the Night. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mabes
5.0 out of 5 stars best service i've had!
This was the best service of buying something on line i've seen since starting.
The purchase came quickly and in condition that was written. Read more
Published on December 31, 2010 by richard price
4.0 out of 5 stars Bogart in Post-War Japan
TOKYO JOE (1949) may not be one of Humphrey Bogart's classic films, but it is certainly an entertaining thriller that features Bogie playing the kind of hard-boiled character that... Read more
Published on October 8, 2008 by Michael B. Druxman
3.0 out of 5 stars Tokyo Joe
Let's be up front, this is NOT a Bogie classic. It is entertaining & it's an interesting role for him. The story takes place in Japan shortly after WWII. Read more
Published on November 13, 2007 by Harry Brewer
3.0 out of 5 stars Humphy Dumphy
Bogart never made a bad flick and this film is not bad either, but its not on top of Bogart's best work ? Read more
Published on March 8, 2007 by gejome
3.0 out of 5 stars A dispirited star melodrama...
Bogart is a former nightclub owner who returns to postwar Japan to pick up his life with a wife (Florence Marly) he had deserted, only to find that she had remarried and was the... Read more
Published on January 14, 2007 by Roberto Frangie
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Bogart being Bogie.
It is middlin'. Neither his best or worst which is to say, damn good. He is Joe, owner of a bar/nightclub, in Tokyo, before the war. Read more
Published on October 25, 2006 by JOHN GODFREY
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