- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Forget about the dialect discrepancies, the military send-ups, etc., and just sit back and enjoy this delightful film. Enjoy seeing the leading Japanese entertainer of the time, the beautiful Machiko Kyo, who plays Lotus Blossom. Revel in watching Marlon Brandon completely transformed. Appreciate the night opening of the gorgeous teahouse which takes your breath away in its simplicity and elegance. The films of the 1950s were mainly post-WWII simple movies meant to entertain and they do. This one is certainly one of them and well worth your time!
Teahouse of the August Moon
Pulitzer prize play, turned into a truly great and very entertaining film!! Authentic in everything...the people, location, the teahouse made by real Japanese artisens, etc., not to mention the music and the dancing!! It makes me feel like I took a trip! I lived in Korea for 2 years in Soul in the 70's, and much of the Korean countryside, especially by the yellow sea and mountains, is very similar.
very charming, lots truth
I've never been a fan of Glen Ford's "cute & befuddled" characterizations, but he is fine here, because he is surrounded by a great ensemble. Marlon Brando is a real treat though he is physically way too big. David Wayne may not have been a big box office draw, but he was very good actor and physically more believable. Too bad he did not make the movie. To those who fuss about white actors playing "yellow face" roles, just listen to the lines, not who delivers them. The story is good. In this politically correct day, some say the play and film it's stereotyped and condescending. Since I do not know what Okinawan's are really like, I'm not sure where the ethnic stereotypes apply. Seems like the stereotypes are the US Army characters. The Okinawan characters are very spunky people who manage to get what they want in the end, with a combination of persistence, stubbornness, hard work , cleverness, all in a desire to get ahead while retaining their culture. And the problem is ...? This is a fun, warm and friendly movie. And a family movie! It has a message that sinks in, it doesn't clobber you with it like so many modern movies. To anyone who loves to garden, the character of Captain Maclean (Eddie Albert) is a especially good.
- Richard E.Muller
TCM's Brief Synopsis will give you the whole story, in a cup - if you will. So I leave it to you to perhaps read that first. However, if you were ever in the Army- and there are not that many left from the 1940's, sadly - you can readily appreciate the stereotypes played by Glenn Ford, Paul Ford, Eddie Albert and Harry Morgan. I think "Teahouse" is a cleverly written play/screenplay about the good old American way of trying to influence other people - and how we usually fail to realize certain things. Colonel Purdy roars: "Don't you people have any respect for traditions?" Which comes back to bite him! And once again, Colonel Purdy: "Why in Heaven's name of occupation haven't you built a schoolhouse?!" Amongst all this push to bring the quiet souls of Okinawa in the the late twentieth century, there lie the age old tales of love, compromise and realization. Glenn Ford was never better in any comedic film and hovers somewhere between righteous indignation over Lotus Blossom and compromise to see the needs of the Tobiki villagers. He also manages to convert the psychiatrist who comes to find out why he has not been more productive. He appeals in the name of the customs of Tobiki, and to the naturalist in Alberts character - and succeeds! Paul Ford made a living of the put-upon Leader Without A Clue and is never better than this example. Harry Morgan assumes the role of the poor sargeant who is made to do all the dirty work, and has a key role as the weak link in the chain of command. My opinion is that the real star of this adventure is Sakini, the translator with a mission, brilliantly played by Marlon Brando. He is a clever example of the street-wise survivor who is able to make fortunes turn in his favor by serving the people who want to change things. As he says: "Socks up, Boss!" However, you might laugh your socks off after viewing this moving picture treasure.
This is one of those films that if you haven't seen it, you need to! Marlon Brando is unrecognizable as the young Okinawan bedeviler and village friend of Glen Ford. Brando shows a comedic and an extremely empathetic side not seen in many of his other films and it is why this one is such a treat. The film is a sendup of the Amercan military and its mistakes when overseas, many of which we still repeat today. I was a very young girl when I first saw this film in a theater and I've seen it dozens of times since then. I still enjoy it and I still find things in it I hadn't noticed before. One of the most beautiful scenes ever filmed is nighttime at the teahouse when the teahouse is completed. It is a time long gone now from Japan and that is such a shame. The music and the people in this film will warm your heart and give you a smile. Not to be missed!
Capitalism meets East...
- Ann Brown
...and neither will ever be the same! A charming film in which the conquered Okinawans gently lead their conquerors in the direction of democracy and a free market while still retaining the aspects of their own culture which they wish to retain. The beauty of the Asian life style charms the viewer as it does Glenn Ford, who is perfect as an officer who finally "gets it." Marlon Brando is astonishing as the shrewd interpreter who runs the show while calling his superiors "boss." Lotus Blossom the geisha is mesmerising. A terrific little film.
Nerves Grow Calmer with Time
Glad co-host Peter Feng (hope I've got that right)changed his mind again while watching. I gather that Okinawans see themselves as distinct from Japanese, and what I get from this movie is: they didn't NEED us any more than they NEEDED Japan. Re his comment that it still appears(in the movie) that these were people who perhaps couldn't be modernized and might therefore need help in the future -- perhaps true, if progress-obsessed people refuse to get off their necks! That's what I got from this movie and its performers.
Bet you never thought Brando did 'cute'.
And you thought Marlon Brando only did bad boy movies. This might not be Academy Award stuff but it sure is a cute movie. Keep your eye on Lotus Blossom while Capt. Fisby has his back turned.