Japan's Longest Day (1968)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - Docudrama, War Drama  |   Run Time - 157 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Sandra Brennan

This star-studded and relatively lavishly produced fact-based war drama, set in 1945 Japan during WW II, chronicles the attempts of Japan's War Minister, (played by Toshiro Mifune), to prevent Emperor Hirohito from publicly broadcasting the declaration of surrender. The War Minister rallies those officers around him who also want to keep the war going. The conspirators murder the leader of the Imperial Guards and storm the palace. Fortunately they are stopped by the palace guard. On learning of this failure, the War Minister commits suicide. At least one Western reviewer of this 1967 film (for Variety) still bore very harsh memories of the war and attributed all sorts of face-saving propagandistic intent by the Japanese to this relatively innocuous movie. He was particularly distressed that the aura of sanctity surrounding the Emperor remained intact and was even enhanced by this film; even so, he praised it as expertly acted and entertaining in its own right, despite being an apparently "official" film.



war, bishop, broadcasting, commander, coup, emperor, gathering, General, imperialism, Japan, killing, officer, palace, security-guard, soldier, suicide, surrender