Escapade in Japan (1957)
Adventures in Japan
With his mum Mary (Teresa Wright - Count the Hours) having gone on ahead to Japan to deal with problems in her marriage to Dick (Cameron Mitchell - Tension at Table Rock) young Tony Saunders (Jon Provost) is put on a plane some days later. But on the way there the plane has to ditch into the sea due to engine trouble and whilst most of the passengers are found Tony is lost in the fog. Fortunately he is picked up by a small Japanese family out fishing and he is soon playing with their son as if they were life long best friends. Back at the village the boys over hear talk of the police coming and fearing that Tony is in trouble the young boys run away together.
"Escapade in Japan" was an RKO product of the 1950's but if you weren't aware of that you might think that it was a Disney movie. It has that sort of family friendly adventure feel about it from young Tony being saved by a Japanese family and the amusement of him learning to use chop sticks to the young boys being boys and running away together. It is entertaining but to be honest nothing special, the sort of movie which if you saw it as a child back in 1957 probably have fonder memories than for anyone else. Having said that it works well enough, it is colourful with some nice scenic shots and there is a nice mix of humour and action which builds to a dramatic climax.
There is also the parent side to the movie which sees the pairing up of Teresa Wright and Cameron Mitchell. Now I like them both but these are not the most convincing of performances and it is pretty obvious how their side of the story is going to play out. And for those who might have sharp eyes there is an uncredited performance from Clint Eastwood as a pilot.
Of course there is the political side of the movie as we have this image of Americans and Japanese working together. Is there much depth to it? Not really but it does provide for a few amusing scenes where the language barrier causes issues and we have the innocence of youth breaking down barriers.
What this all boils down to is that "Escapade in Japan" is a fun bit of family entertainment from 1957 which whilst not terrible will hold more charm for those who watched it as a child.
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