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Tokyo Joe [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Price:£49.95+£1.26shipping
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2010
Before I bought this DVD I never heard of Palladium, the company that released this DVD. Unlike some other smaller companies, Palladium offers a movie in superb quality. Only a pity there are no subtitles. But that wouldn't hold me from buying more of their releases.

About the movie: "Tokyo Joe" is a nice film, which I could watch again in a few years time. It's not a "Maltese falcon" or "Big sleep", but nevertheless a very watchable movie. If you haven't seen it, you'll have an entertaining one-and-a-half hour with this if you should buy it.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon 11 December 2008
Joe Barrett sure knows how to woo `em.

Humphrey Bogart made some doozies in the late Forties and early Fifties. He liked to keep working, but either he or his agent had some lousy taste: Chain Lighting (1950). Sirocco (1951). Battle Circus (opposite June Allyson, no less) (1953). Tokyo Joe fits right in. It's not just that these movies are hackwork, but Bogart's iconic mug is showing his age. He was 50 when he made Tokyo Joe. He can snarl, threaten, sneer and go wooing with the best, better, in fact, than the best, but it's Silly Symphonies when he undertakes judo or throws more than one or two punches.

With Tokyo Joe we're not just talking stunt doubles. Every shot in Tokyo with a guy in a trench coat wearing a hat where we can't see a face is a fake Bogart. There are a lot of them. Every shot of Bogart facing the camera with Tokyo in the background is just Bogart on a Hollywood sound stage with backscreen projection. There are a lot more of these. All that backscreen stuff is handled carelessly.

Like most strong actors, Bogart worked best, in my opinion, when he had strong actors to react with. Tokyo Joe doesn't give him much. Florence Marly is the love interest. She's beautiful, but so icy she could give your lips frostbite. Alexander Knox (Mark Landis), who competes for Florence Marly, was a fine actor, but always so civilized, often stuffy, sometimes weak.

What's it all about? Bogie as Joe Barrett returns to Tokyo right after fighting in the last good war to check on the gambling bar, Tokyo Joe's, which he used to own. He'd always felt Tokyo was his home. It's a sad homecoming. The woman he'd married, Trina Pechinkov (Marly), a White Russian émigré in Japan, he'd heard was dead. Instead, she'd been imprisoned. But now she's remarried to Occupation big shot Mark Landis...and she has a daughter. You guessed it, the child is Bogie's and he hadn't known. He wants Trina back. He hooks up with Baron Kimura (Sessue Hayakawa) to start a two-bit freight airline so he can stay in Tokyo and woo Trina away from Landis. From now on we're going to be in a world of deceit, the importing of Japanese war criminals back to Japan, of Bogart wearing a leather flight jacket, fist fights, bowing and ah so-ing, corny patriotic speeches, a precocious child who gets kidnapped...and sacrifice designed to bring a tear or two. The tension between Bogart and Alexander Knox is non-existent. So are the love sparks between Bogart and Marly. Sessue Hayakawa (who was a huge silent screen star in American movies) has a Japanese accent when he speaks his English lines that is so thick it's sometimes difficult to understand the full extent of the Baron's evil plans.

That leaves just Bogart to carry the film. He nearly does it...he wasn't Hollywood's most iconic movie star for nothing. (At best, the top icon probably would be a three-way tie with Bogart, Cary Grant and Mickey Mouse.) He even manages to make us forget the tyke he shares some scenes with. On balance, you'll enjoy Bogart, but Tokyo Joe is a movie to keep low on your list of Bogart movies to watch.
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on 11 January 2014
Well what can you say about the greatest actor that ever lived whatever film he starred in was excellent and this is no exception well worth the few pounds it cost
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Whilst scanning thru the list of upcoming movies available to UK free to air users, I saw the name Bogart attached to Tokyo Joe and naturally had my interest piqued. The guy or gal who writes the two line sell for the movies showing said "little known Bogart movie set in post war Japan, where he is forced to resort to extortion and smuggling to save his woman and child". Sounds ace eh? Well there's a good reason that Tokyo Joe is a little known Bogart movie, it's because it simply isn't very good. It's a film that Bogart manages to get thru with his reputation still in tact, but really it's only because of him the film is worth sitting thru.

Directed by Stuart Heisler {The Glass Key}, Tokyo Joe is adapted from a story written by Steve Fisher and sees Florence Marly, Alexander Knox and Sessue Hayakawa co-star along side the irrepressible Bogie. Filmed in that semi-documentary way that was popular around the time, it's a ponderously downbeat picture that hasn't got the script to make it a dialogue driven cracker. There's some interest in its look at post war Tokyo, with some of the actual location work in Tokyo {exteriors} helping fuel that docu-realism angle they were going for. But even that plus point is dragged down by the uneasy sit it has with the artificial studio lot work and the stuffy screenplay provided by Hume & Millhauser. Florence Marly has a lovely structured face, but she's a very poor actress if this is anything to go by, whilst Knox appears to be star struck alongside Bogart. Thankfully Hayakawa is up to the challenge, while the print of the film is of excellent quality.

It's a shame about its many faults because its story is a good one, smuggling, kidnapping and army political post war machinations should make for a fine movie. In fact on release the general public warmed to its pertinence of the setting and time. The critics were less enamoured and once one strips away the novelty value, all that is left is Bogart admirably carrying the load to the inevitable gloomy, all be it briefly exciting, finale. 4/10
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on 3 March 2013
Everything OK I am really happy with the DVD. Came on time ... love this movie saw it many years ago and wanted to see the movie again!
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Good. Bogart was already a favourite of mine when this film was made!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2012
I enjoyed the film: alright, it's not classic Bogie, but then again it is him, and it's well worth the watch. He makes it work. However, the transfer isn't as good as it could be. This firm tend to specialise in getting stuff released in as short a time as possible, and don't spend too much time worrying about the quality. See their truly execrable Charlie Chan box set. Thankfully my niece hadn't opened it before I lent her my copy, so she could get a refund. Get 'Tokyo Joe' to fill a gap in your collection and enjoy the film, but don't expect too much in terms of picture quality.
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on 2 August 2015
Good film.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you like Humph films, you will want to see this, and you should enjoy it, but it will not rank in your top 10, or even 20. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing special either.
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