Geisha Girl (1952)

Geisha Girl (1952)
Article 5571 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 9-22-2018
Directed by George P. Breakston and C. Ray Stahl
Featuring Steve Forrest, Martha Hyer, Archer MacDonald
Country: USA
What it is: Comedy

A pair of American G.I.s on leave in occupied Japan disguise themselves as civilians so they can enjoy the pleasures of Tokyo to which they would otherwise be denied. One of them accidentally ends up in possession of a bottle of super-explosive pills, so they find themselves targeted by both Japanese gangsters and military police.

If the super-explosive pills in the plot description above make you suspect they primarily serve the plot in a Gizmo Maguffin capacity… you’d be right. It is true that they get used at one point, but you never actually see them in use and the only evidence you see of it is a newspaper headline. However, that doesn’t entirely consign this movie to the realm of fantastic marginalia; there’s another plot element involving what amounts to the character of a super-hypnotist appearing in the story. He’s so powerful, he can actually put himself to sleep if he looks in the mirror without sunglasses on, so this amounts to a super-power. This character not only substantially increases the fantastic content of the movie, but the humorous content as well; he’s certainly funnier than the somewhat smarmy Archer MacDonald who plays the primary comic character of this rather tepid comedy. For me, the most interesting thing about it is that it was shot on location in Tokyo during the American occupation of the country, and parts of the movie feel like a travelogue.

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