Drama / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 4902


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February 14, 2018 at 04:24 PM



Marlon Brando as Major Gruver
Ricardo Montalban as Nakamura
James Garner as Captain Bailey
Dennis Hopper as MP in Kelly's House / MP at Tokyo Airport
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1.07 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 27 min
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2.26 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 27 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ildimo-35223 3 / 10

The mediocre Japanese-American exotica of 1957

Splendid production value and acute liberalism cannot save this dramatically impossible film, one in a series of Hollywood expeditions to oriental exotica in the '50s. (The other major one in the same year is about some bridge over troubled Japanese water and is incomparable in any sense - though as Oscars have it they were both contenders for Best Picture that year). Brando is great as usual in his own muted way, though peculiarly limp in order to depict his literally last minute transformation, making this one of his less attractive performances. Red Buttons, James Garner are solid (sort of) newcomers, Montalban is unrecognisable and almost steals it, while Miyoshi Umeki earned an Oscar, one of the four Logan's film ultimately gathered.

Reviewed by judith-71710 10 / 10

Evocative Brando Film

Superbe film of Michener novel as relevant today as when it was made with its themes of racism, duty, confession, repentance, humility and above all, love. I believe the film could use some restoration to preserve the wonderful performances of its cast & cinematography. Most of all, this is Marlon Brando at his mesmerizing best. For this reviewer, he was & continues to be le numero un!

Reviewed by evanston_dad 7 / 10

Lumbering But Effective Movie About Race Relations

A rather lumbering but nevertheless fairly effective movie about American/Japanese race relations shortly after World War II.

Marlon Brando is the military brat whose nicely laid out life -- marrying a general's daughter, golden boy of the highest echelon of privileged military elite -- crumbles when he falls in love with a Japanese singer. Red Buttons is one of Brando's men, persecuted for having the audacity to marry a Japanese woman. And Miyoshi Umeki is said woman, quiet, obedient, and doting. This story takes far longer to tell than it needs to under Paul Osborne's screenplay and Joshua Logan's stagey direction. But it's a story very worth telling, and it's told without a lot of the dramatic histrionics and preaching that were common in message movies of the time.

"Sayonara" was the most nominated movie at the 1957 Academy Awards, receiving 10 nominations in the year that saw "The Bridge on the River Kwai" win Best Picture. It took home four awards, for Best Supporting Actor (Buttons), Best Supporting Actress (Umeki, who barely says a word throughout the whole movie), Best Art Direction, and Best Sound Recording. It won additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Logan), Best Actor (Brando), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing. As far as I'm concerned, it was lucky to be in contention at all in a year that gave us "12 Angry Men," which was also nominated for Best Picture, and "Sweet Smell of Success" and "Paths of Glory," which weren't.

Grade: A-

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