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Blood on the Sun

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Sylvia Sidney, Porter Hall, John Emery, Robert Armstrong
  • Directors: Frank Lloyd
  • Writers: Frank Melford, Garrett Fort, Lester Cole, Nathaniel Curtis
  • Producers: William Cagney
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • Release Date: July 22 2003
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00009NH9S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,675 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
These comments apply to the edition released by Artisan in July of 2003. Aurally and visually, this version is relatively clear, particularly when one considers its age. However, there are problems with its presentation.
The film is described on its container and on the disc itself as being in black and white. In fact it is colorized, and rather unnaturally so.
Special features are promised by the insert, accessible through the MENU button. In fact, there are none.
Incidentally, there was a version of this on VHS with a time of 98 minutes; this runs 94.
One might hope that Steve Beeks of Artisan will act to insure more care in future offerings.
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Format: DVD
Based on a true story, BLOOD ON THE SUN is an entertaining little stewpot of a movie.
James Cagney plays Nick Condon, managing editor of the Tokyo Chronicle. It's 1920-something and the United States and Japan share an uneasy peace. That peace threatens to be broken violently when the "Tanaka Plan," a Japanese government document outlining a blueprint for world domination, falls into Condon's possession. Condon has to get the document out of Japan and announce its contents to the world, the Japanese have to stop him.
When I first saw BLOOD ON THE SUN I shrugged it off as a piece of late-war propaganda. There ARE a lot of stereotypical portrayals and attitudes coursing through this one- the Japanese are portrayed for the most part as buck toothed, diabolical schemers. Cagney is attacked from behind twice in this movie. The officials present trumped up charges in their attempt to stop his muck-raking ways. The outrageousness of a foreign correspondent stealing and threatening to publish a secret state paper seems lost on this movie. Then I did a computer search of "Tanaka Memorial" and had a chance to read the document in question. If it's not a forgery (the Japanese government claimed it was), it dwarfs the movie's presumptions. As a side note, the web site I visited informs us that the Chinese, and not a crusading American editor, originally released the document.
As usual, Cagney is a bundle of energy and is great fun to watch. I've read that he took judo classes in preparation for this part, and it seems he's doing a lot of his own stunt work. Sylvia Sydney plays Iris Hilliard, Cagney's love interest and someone interested in the document as well.
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Format: VHS Tape
By 1945, the war in the Pacific was rapidly drawing to a close, and one would think that Hollywood would have presented a then contemporary view of America's relation with Japan. Surprisingly enough, director Frank LLoyd harkens back to a pre-Pearl Harbor take on Japanese, which is to say that as far as Orientals were concerned, Charley Chan was mainstream America's image of the Asian. It took the events of 12/7 to awaken America to a newer, more lethal yellow peril. What is remarkable about LLoyd's BLOOD ON THE SUN is that nearly every one of the Asian characters is played by an American wearing some really bad makeup. Since political correctness was non-existant then, no one seemed to mind the incongruous accents and eye makeup. Into this mess of a national antipathy towards anything Japanese comes James Cagney, a Tokyo-based American news editor who somehow comes into possession of a secret Japanese document that outlines nothing less than a domination of the world by the Japanese emperor. The plot revolves around efforts by the Japanese to regain custody of this document before Cagney has a chance to publicize it. From a purely dramatic point of view, the interest of the film lies less in the race for possession of the document and more in a not so subtle expose of what passed for an anger towards all things Japanese. Most of the Japanese were of the buck-toothed, slanty-eyed, grinning widely school of acting. The only true oriental who radiated any genuine emotion was the Chinese veteran character actor Philip Ahn, who has made a career of playing rogues and coolies with an impressive depth of dignity. Here Ahn has a bit part as a sadistic Kampetai (Japanese secret police) official who nevertheless gives a chilling performance as a officer who exudes menace with each soft-spoken word.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
(Please note that of the eight DVD versions of BLOOD ON THE SUN that are currently listed on Amazon.com, I am reviewing the Laserlight "Special Edition" release. That's the one that comes with a documentary on the film career of James Cagney and a goofier-than-thou introduction by Tony Curtis.)
To be honest, I didn't find the feature film on this DVD to be all that exciting. The plot is coherent and without any obvious flaws, and the characters have a lot of promise. It just isn't terribly enthralling. There's a fairly good fight sequence near the end, if that sort of thing interests you. Unfortunately, that sort of thing doesn't usually interest me, and nothing leading up to that had given me any emotional investment in either of the factions. James Cagney's acting is quite good, and, as always, he commands quite a presence on the screen. It's unfortunate that he's one of the only interesting things to watch in this film.
The picture quality is actually fairly good which is a bonus when you consider how cheap the disc is. The picture is the tiniest bit fuzzy at points, but for the most part it's ahead of many other budget DVDs. The sound quality is certainly acceptable, if not the clearest thing you'll ever hear. If you've already seen and enjoyed this movie and are wondering which DVD version you should buy, know that you could do a lot worse than the Laserlight edition.
The included documentary JAMES CAGNEY ON FILM runs 36 minutes long and is a fairly formulaic piece, very similar to the other such programs that Laserlight has included on their DVDs. It's a fairly tame short piece, made up primarily of an uninspired voice-over speaking while the camera pans over numerous black and white publicity shots of Cagney. A few film trailers make up the rest of the action.
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