- 2 hr 27 min
Sayonara is a 1957 American drama film directed by Joshua Logan, based on the 1954 novel of the same name by James Michener. The film stars Marlon Brando, Ricardo Montalban, and Patricia Owens, and tells the story of an American Air Force officer stationed in Japan who falls in love with a local woman, but faces opposition from both their families and society due to cultural differences.
The film begins with Major Lloyd Gruver (Marlon Brando) arriving in Japan as a member of the Air Force. Gruver is accompanied by his friend and fellow officer, Joe Kelly (Red Buttons), and they are greeted by an interpreter, Hana-ogi (Miiko Taka). Gruver is initially uncomfortable with the Japanese culture and customs, but he is soon charmed by the beauty and grace of the country's people.
Gruver's experiences in Japan are not limited to his duties in the Air Force. He meets and falls in love with a Japanese actress named Katsumi (Miyoshi Umeki). However, their love is met with resistance from both sides, as Gruver's fellow officers disapprove of a relationship with a Japanese woman, and Katsumi's family and society view Gruver as an outsider.
The theme of cultural differences is a prevalent throughout Sayonara. Gruver's experiences in Japan force him to confront his own prejudices and biases, and the film depicts the challenges of cross-cultural relationships in a rapidly changing world.
Sayonara also deals with the issue of interracial marriages, which was a taboo subject in the 1950s. The film portrays the challenges faced by couples who defy societal norms and the pressures placed on them to conform to societal expectations.
The performances in Sayonara are outstanding. Marlon Brando gives a nuanced and sensitive portrayal of a man struggling with conflicting emotions, while Miyoshi Umeki's performance as Katsumi is both charming and moving. The chemistry between Brando and Umeki is palpable and their love story is one of the most memorable aspects of the film.
Ricardo Montalban also gives a strong performance as Nakamura, Katsumi's manager and confidante. Nakamura is a complex character who is torn between his loyalty to his culture and his friendship with Gruver. Montalban's performance captures the subtle nuances of his character's conflicting emotions.
Sayonara is also noteworthy for its stunning visuals. The film was shot on location in Japan, and the beautiful landscapes and traditional Japanese architecture are showcased throughout the film. The costumes and makeup design are also exceptional, and the attention to detail in depicting Japanese culture is impressive.
Overall, Sayonara is a timeless love story that tackles issues of race, culture, and societal norms with sensitivity and grace. The film's performances, visuals, and themes make it a classic of American cinema and a testament to the power of love and acceptance.
Sayonara is a 1957 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 27 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.