Tokyo Joe

Watch Tokyo Joe

  • Approved
  • 1949
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 6.3  (2,580)

Tokyo Joe is a gripping film from 1949, directed by Stuart Heisler and starring the iconic Humphrey Bogart in the title role. Set in post-World War II Japan, the movie follows the journey of Joe Barrett, an ex-flyer and former prisoner of war who returns to Tokyo to help his friend rebuild his business, only to become embroiled in a dangerous and complex web of political intrigue and personal vendettas.

The movie opens with a montage of Tokyo's bustling streets, where Joe arrives after years of absence. He is greeted by his friend Mark Landis (Alexander Knox), a war veteran who now runs a successful salvage business, and Ruth (Florence Marly), a beautiful and enigmatic woman who seems to be hiding something. Joe is initially reluctant to accept Mark's offer to work for him, as he is haunted by memories of his imprisonment and by his estranged wife Trina (Sessue Hayakawa), who is now living in the city with their daughter.

However, as Joe settles back into Tokyo life, he becomes drawn into a series of dangerous situations that force him to confront his past and his present. His attempts to track down Trina lead him to a shady nightclub run by Baron Kimura (Teru Shimada), a notorious gangster who controls the local gambling scene and harbors his own grudges against Joe. At the same time, Joe discovers that Mark has become involved with a group of smugglers who are using his business as a cover for their illegal activities, and that Ruth may be involved with them as well.

As tensions mount and enemies close in on all sides, Joe must use his skills as a pilot, a soldier, and a detective to unravel the conspiracy that threatens to destroy him and those he cares about. He is aided by his loyal Japanese assistant, Ito (Sō Yamamura), and by an American journalist, Mark's sister-in-law, who believes that Tokyo Joe is the key to uncovering a major corruption scandal involving the occupation authorities.

The movie is notable for its nuanced portrayal of postwar Japan and its complex relationships with the US, as well as for its suspenseful plot and Bogart's trademark tough-guy performance. His character, Joe, is a man of contradictions, both a hardened survivor and a sensitive soul who struggles to come to terms with his emotions and his loyalties. Florence Marly, too, is excellent as Ruth, a femme fatale who is much more than meets the eye.

The film incorporates elements of film noir, spy thriller, and war drama, as well as an element of romance that is both tender and tragic. Its climax is a thrilling airplane chase that showcases Bogart's bravado and the film's technical expertise. The score, by composer Franz Waxman, is evocative and atmospheric, capturing both the exoticism and the danger of the film's setting.

In conclusion, Tokyo Joe is a must-see for fans of classic Hollywood cinema, and a powerful blend of action, drama, and political commentary. It examines themes of guilt, redemption, and identity in a way that is both timeless and specific to its historical moment, and offers a glimpse into a fascinating and complex period in world history.

Tokyo Joe is a 1949 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.

Tokyo Joe
Where to Watch Tokyo Joe
Tokyo Joe is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Tokyo Joe for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (2,580)