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Old 09-15-2002, 05:30 PM
Gr8Kat is offline
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Dallas, Oregon, USA
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The other night, I caught the tail end of a movie on TCM called something like "First Yank into Tokyo." It was a very obvious propaganda film made in 1945 about, I don't know, the need to bomb the hell out of the Japanese. Even though I know we were at war with Japan and they committed atrocities in China, blah blah blah, it was still shocking how hateful and racist the movie was.

The lead character was an American spy who'd supposedly undergone extensive plastic surgery to look Japanese. Funny thing is, the first time I saw him on the screen I said, "Look, it's a guy in yellow face!" I still can't believe anyone would honestly think he'd fool anyone. Yet not only did he supposedly fool all his dumb gaijin compatriots (his girlfriend, played by Perry Mason's Barbara Hale, refused to believe it was him until he gave details of their history together that only he would know), but the Japanese General he was working under only recognized him as his old college roommate(!) because of his habit of clenching his fist when he was angry. And he tried so hard to have a "Japanese" accent, including mispronouncing all his Ls as Rs. But none of the real Japanese actors talked like that!

Speaking of the real Japanese actors, I can't believe the lines they were made to spout! Like ranting about how the Americans promulgate such backward ideas that women have value and are equal to men! And the General's description of a female American prisoner (Hale) whom he intended to have his way with, "She has the face of a gazelle, and the skin of a peach blossom." The only word of Japanese any of them spoke was "Bonsai!!!!"

Really, it was hilarious, and very easy to MST, too. But it was still shocking and cringe-inducing. It's hard to imagine Hollywood churning out obvious, stereotype filled war-mongering pieces like that today, even about Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden. Maybe if Ann Coulter ran Hollywood
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