Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tokyo File 212 (1951)

I know you're getting fed up with films that are difficult to get your hands on. Well I'm going to start to remedy that right now. This is a film that is available from Alpha Video and can be had for about five bucks in places like Amazon. I'm guessing that you should be able to get this through Netflix.

This is an atypical little thriller that was one of my "finds" of 2009.

This is a Tokyo set and filmed tale taking place during the Korean War about a certyain "Mr Carter" posing as a reporter (he's really an American agent) in order to investigate a group of commies operating in the "last bastion of freedom in the Far East". He goes to great length to run down some enemy agents who pose a threat to freedom loving people everywhere (okay never mind that their plans don't amount to much, they're commies which is enough.)

A mix of western and eastern sensibilities collide in a film that looks very much like Japanese films from the time. It is unlike any Hollywood movie I've ever seen. It clear that the producers set about really making an American film in Japan since nothing here looks like it was shot in America or in an American studio. All of the locations are not anywhere in the United States. This is a wonderful travelogue of life in post war Japan and for me this film scores several points just for not being from these parts. It scores several more for a plot that is convoluted enough to make you want to keep watching. The film is great little thriller. It's filled with wit and has enough intriguing characters that this is an animal unto itself. (Part film noir, part spy film, part travelogue).

I have to admit that its far from perfect, the climax is almost silly and involves a cheat of sorts. Still considering how much they got right and how much unlike any other American movie this is I'm sure you'll be like me and forgive the bumps at the end.

This is highly recommended for anyone who wants a good film from years past that isn't the same old same old.


  1. What a sweet blog! I see several films that are new to me. I'll certainly enjoy perusing it.

    Just to let everyone know, Tokyo File 212 was uploaded to the bay today. I knew I had to see this film when I read, "Great scene in a Japanese brothel, depicting extraordinary debauchery." in the torrent description.


  2. http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/5442013/Tokyo_File_212_(1951_film_noir)