Tokyo Joe (1949)


“First I fly the seat off my pants, and then they repossess the pants. ” – Joseph ‘Joe’ Barrett

Number of Times Seen – 1 (17 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A former soldier returns to Tokyo a few years after the war in order to try and restart his courier business, but realizes that things are no longer the same as before the war.

My Take on it – This is a movie that has a great premise and deals with post war issues really well.

Humphrey Bogart gives a great performance here and enhances the story even more because of the way that he portrays his character.

The story deal with underworld crime in post-War Tokyo and toes the line between small time petty crimes and larger cries like smuggling and human trafficking.

They show how profitable the Black market became following the war and why it was so easy to get involved in such things.

The film excels during the scenes dealing with the crime aspects but falters during the romance ones.

The chemistry between Bogart and co-star Florence Marly is almost non-existent and it makes it quite unbelievable that they use to be married.

The film has a few aspects that are all too predictable and that takes away from things especially during the romance arts of the film.

When it chooses to focus on the crime aspects, things feel more focused and enjoyable to watch unfold.

Bottom Line – Interesting premise that works due to Bogart’s performance. The story does a great job toeing the fine line between petty crime and smuggling and shows how profitable it became for the Black Market once the war was over. The love story aspect of the story doesn’t work as well as one would hope since Bogart and Marly have poor chemistry together. Certain aspects of the story are quite predictable and that takes a way a bit from things even if ultimately, the film finds a way to keep things moving along when it focuses more on the smuggling aspect of the story. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – SCAP, an acronym used several times in the movie, stood for “Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers.” This was not only the title given to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, head of the Occupation forces, but was also used to refer to the offices of the Occupation – a staff of several hundred U.S. civil servants as well as military personnel who administered the Occupation of Japan. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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