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      Bridge to the Sun

      1961 1h 53m Drama List
      Reviews 79% Audience Score 50+ Ratings Nearly a decade before the onset of World War II, Gwen (Carroll Baker), a young American woman, meets the Japanese diplomat Hidenari Terasaki (James Shigeta) while on vacation. The two fall deeply in love and eventually marry, however their idyllic existence is shattered after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. Having to relocate to Japan from the United States, Gwen faces daily discrimination, while her husband is monitored by the secret police due to his antiwar sentiments. Read More Read Less

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      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member A fantastic film, with so much to love about it. The story itself, which is true, is a little mind-boggling. An American woman from Tennessee (Carroll Baker) marries a Japanese diplomat (James Shigeta) and goes back to Japan with him after Pearl Harbor, when officials from both sides are deported. The pair have a daughter and live their lives in rural Japan while the war rages on. The film is highly sensitive culturally, and well ahead of its time. The Japanese characters are shown to be regular human beings, and there are no stereotypes. At the same time, aspects of the culture are on display, e.g. sacrificing one's desires for honor, filial piety, not displaying one's emotions, etc. This is for good and bad - in one fantastic scene, Baker rips into Shigeta for his culture's expectation that women be silent, and keep their opinions to themselves, which was probably her best scene. I also loved how the dialogue is often in untranslated Japanese. Though the war is a bit in the background, we see it from the perspective of Japan, which is fascinating. Seeing the community huddle around a radio and listen to Emperor Hirohito's voice for the first time, when he announces surrender to his country, is a powerful scene. Seeing American planes bomb the village is as well. It may be a touchy subject to those who suffered at the hands of Japanese aggression, or to those who (correctly) point out that Japan "started it", but I found the film balanced and truthful, relaying the events of this couple's life. We know that the people are suffering because of the actions of their own government, despite people like Shigeta (Terasaki-san) who advocated peace, but we can still feel for the tragedy of it all. And while the film humanizes the 'other side' in the war which is too often dehumanized, the main story is about this trials and tribulations of this interracial relationship set against the backdrop of their countries at war. There are very nice love scenes between Shigeta and Baker, and they play just as if it were two white characters, with romance, tenderness, and passionate kissing, which was incredibly refreshing. Shigeta is not demasculated in the slightest, and makes a strong leading man. Just compare his suave, thoughtful, and human portrayal to the racist, shameful, and disgusting 'Japanese-American' that Mickey Rooney gives us in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', which was also made in 1961. Baker's performance is good but probably not great, feeling at times a little forced, though it's always heartfelt. The film really makes you ponder what you might do in some of the difficult situations these two find themselves in. It's a powerful story of the depths of love, and the need for world peace. There are a couple of scenes that gave me goosebumps, and the ending is just fantastic. Highly recommended. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Strong romantic drama incorporating politics, culture clash, stigma, racism, bigotry... the full works from perhaps one of the most sensitive times in US history. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member Just saw the movie on TCM. I found it riveting. All the more amazing when I found it was based on a true story. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review s r A controversial film highlighting the issues of an interracial marriage in Japan prior to and during WW2. I felt it was drawn out, poorly dramatized and overly exaggerated. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Romance and love in spite of difficult politics and war. Basically it's a small town southern belle allowing a forward thinking Japanese diplomat to capture her heart. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member one of my all time favorite movies Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Bridge to the Sun

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Nearly a decade before the onset of World War II, Gwen (Carroll Baker), a young American woman, meets the Japanese diplomat Hidenari Terasaki (James Shigeta) while on vacation. The two fall deeply in love and eventually marry, however their idyllic existence is shattered after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. Having to relocate to Japan from the United States, Gwen faces daily discrimination, while her husband is monitored by the secret police due to his antiwar sentiments.
      Director
      Etienne Périer
      Producer
      Jacques Bar
      Screenwriter
      Charles Kaufman
      Production Co
      Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 10, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 53m
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