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Blood On The Sun

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sylvia Sidney, James Cagney
  • Directors: Frank Lloyd
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • Release Date: Feb. 19 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005YUN8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,944 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

James Cagney goes up against the Japanese secret police in this action thriller. The film won an Academy Award for art direction and includes a memorable soundtrack from Miklos Rozsa.

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: VHS Tape
Maybe if Alfred Hitchcock had directed Blood On the Sun the film wouldn't be strangled by the phlegmatic pace and the sluggish acting. Based loosely on a true story involving Japanese plans for a world invasion, Blood On the Sun failed to convince this viewer of any suspenseful legitimacy. Although director Frank Lloyd uses Japanese actors for some of the roles, the evil characters do not possess depth or individuality. The Japanese spys, police officers, and government officials all talk, walk, look, and act similarly. In addition the Japanese characters become muddled in murders, inquistions, and counter intelligence which fail to define their contributions to the plot. James Cagney as the American reporter who has obtained a copy of the invasion plans seems to be sleepwalking through his part. Cagney does spark in the judo fight scenes in which he purportedly trained for with a master judo expert. Why Warner Brothers would release this film in 1945 when Japan had already been devastated by the horrors of Atomic warfare is a mystery. The film rankles with American jingoism and takes a condescending stance against Japanese culture. The film is tiresome and bogged down by poor editing, plot structure, and dismal camera work. One highlight of the film is the appearance of Sylvia Sydney who has never looked more radiant on the screen. Her face shines like an angel and her wardrobe accentuates her petite body. Even for Cagney fans, Blood On the Sun is a pass. I took two twenty minute naps during the film's 90+ minute running time.
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