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Sayonara Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Sayonara takes its own sweet time to unfold; in so doing, it permits us to make intimate acquaintance with its characters, so as to better understand their multitextured motivations. The film is set in Japan during the Korean War. While on leave, pugnacious American soldier Red Buttons falls in love with Japanese maiden Miyoshi Umeki. Given the army's official policy against interracial marriage, Buttons is courting a court-martial. His best friend, major Marlon Brando, tries to talk Buttons out of "ruining" his life. Brando himself is about to marry Patricia Owens, the daughter of general Kent Smith. Fighting back his own prejudices, Brando agrees to be Buttons' best man at the latter's wedding to Umeki. Later, Brando himself falls for Miiko Taka, a beautiful Kabuki dancer. This sparks an all-out onslaught of racial bigotry from the Army brass, and an official edict sending American soldiers back to the states without their Japanese wives. Buttons cannot bear being parted with Umeki; as a result, the two commit suicide. The tragedy compels the army to soften its attitudes towards miscegenation. Brando is reunited with Taka, who in a parallel situation has had to ward off the inbred prejudices of her people. Nominated for ten Academy Awards, Sayonara won five, including "Best Supporting Actor" (Red Buttons, whose moribund career was revitalized herein) and "Best Supporting Actress" (Miyoshi Umeki). And yes, that is Ricardo Montalban in Japanese makeup as a Kabuki actor. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:December 5, 1957

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Joshua Logan Best Director 1957 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Joshua Logan Best Director 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joshua Logan Best Director 1957 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Marlon Brando Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Marlon Brando Best Actor 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Paul Osborn Best Adapted Screenplay 1957 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Priestley Best Art Direction 1957 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William Goetz Best Picture 1957 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Red Buttons Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1957 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Red Buttons Best Supporting Actor 1957 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ellsworth Fredericks Best Cinematography 1957 Nominee

Cast

Marlon Brando
as Maj. Lloyd Gruver
Red Buttons
as Joe Kelly
Ricardo Montalban
as Nakamura
Miiko Taka
as Hana-ogi
Patricia Owens
as Eileen Webster
Martha Scott
as Mrs. Webster
James Garner
as Capt. Mike Bailey
Kent Smith
as Gen. Webster
Douglass Watson
as Col. Craford
Harlan Warde
as Consul

Crew

Joshua Logan
Director
William Goetz
Producer
Paul Osborn
Screenwriter
Ellsworth Fredericks
Cinematographer
Irving Berlin
Songwriter
Franz Waxman
Composer (Music Score)
Robert Priestley
Set Designer
Norma Koch
Costume Designer
LeRoy J. Prinz
Choreography
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