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Tokyo Joe [VHS]

3.9 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Alexander Knox, Florence Marly, Sessue Hayakawa, Jerome Courtland
  • Directors: Stuart Heisler
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home E
  • VHS Release Date: May 16, 2000
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302875064
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,574 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Coral 62007: My Symphony Of Love / Dance Everyone Dance by Betty Madigan

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Tokyo Joe, set in postwar Japan, looks at the corruption and danger under U.S. occupation. In some ways a clone of Casablanca, Tokyo Joe has its own good scenes and twists. Humphrey Bogart is excellent in this film, but it has no other characters of note.
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