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Farewell Rabaul (1954)
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Toho/Monochrome・ Standard/106 min.
Released February 20, 1954
Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka
Director Ishiro Honda
Screenplay Takeshi Kimura
Shinobu Hashimoto
Dai Nishijima
Director of Photography Kazuo Yamada
Art Supervisor Takeo Kita
Art Director Iwao Akune
Lighting Ichiro Ihara
Sound Masanobu Miyazaki
Music Sekio Tsukahara
Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Akira Watanabe
Hiroshi Mukoyama
This is a film about a Naval Air Corps Director who hates the war. Director Honda uses this film to ask the question "What is war?", showing the human bonds between Japan and America, Japanese military tactics which had little regard for life, and the attitude of Japanese military personnel who treated their actions as if they were just doing a job. This film contains few battle scenes, concentrating instead on the love stories of young officers and female members of the community in this lonely air base.

The setting for this film is Rabaul, an island in Papua New Guinea where the Japanese maintain a military air, the loss of which dealt a decisive blow to the Japanese in the South Pacific Theater. Unlike The Eagle of the Pacific, this movie contains many more dramatic elements. Lt. Wakabayashi, reputed as a daredevil-like leader with his strict way of life...his war friends...the teenage boy pilots in Wakabayashi's squadron...a reporter...the women at the local bar...through all these characters, Director Honda shows a quiet anger towards the spirit of a war which destroys society and shows little regard for human life.

Whereas The Eagle of the Pacific utilized a lot of footage from The War at Sea From Hawaii to Malay, this film has many scenes which are well coordinated between the drama and special effects crews. Good examples are the aerial dogfight with the enemy pilot nicknamed 'Yellow Snake', Lt. Wakabayashi attempting a forced landing at the seashore in order to save his friend, and where Lt.Wakabayashi flies into a thunderhead to escape the pursuit of enemy planes. This well-planned combination paved the way for the success of Godzilla later the same year.
Main character Ryo Ikebe (middle) and heroine Nurse Sumiko Komatsu played by Mariko Okada
Wakabayashi's war buddy Sub-Lt. Noguchi (Akihiko Hirata) falls in love with a girl from the Kanaki tribe named Kim (Akemi Negishi)
At Toho Studios, Director Honda (screenplay in hand) with Mariko Okada
Staff photo taken at the open set of the Japanese town on Rabaul
CAST
Ryo Ikebe Lt. "Daredevil" Wakabayashi
Mariko Okada Nurse Sumiko Komatsu
Rentaro Mikuni Lt. Katase
Chieko Nakakita Bar Waitress Michiyo
Akiihiko Hirata Sub-Lt. Noguchi
Akemi Negishi Kim, the native dancer
Yutaka Oka Sub-Lt. Hayama
Munetoku Koyamada Ensign Yoshida
Yu Fujiki Ensign Sakai
Tadashi Ishihara Ensign Kinoshita
Nobuo Mitsushima Ensign Umemoto
Minoru Ito Ensign Kita
Isao Watanabe Ensign Ichikawa
Toshiaki Ikawa Ensign Takada
Kimio Shimasaki Ensign Matsui
Masao Mizuno Ensign Kamiyama
Tadashi Nakadai Ensign Hoshino
Tsuneo Katagiri Capt. Kamada (commander)
Ichiro Obi Lt. Commander Hayakawa
Seijiro Onda Commander Sudo
Etsuro Saijo Lt. Commander Sugai
Akira Tani 2nd Warrant Officer Kiyokawa
Akira Kubo 2nd Warrant Officer
Shoichi Hirose Warrant Officer Kono
Mataaki Suzuki 2nd Warrant Officer Yada
Kiyoshi Kamoda Surgeon
Tadashi Okabe Communications officer
Saburo Kadowaki Attendant
Fuyuki Murakami Press Reporter Ito
Eddy Carp USAF Officer Thomas Hine
Mayuri Mokusho Bar Waitress Haruko
Toko Ueno
Kazumi Hanafusa
Hideko Ehata

Girls


Wakabayashi saves Noguchi during an emergency landing, but gets wounded in the process
Publicity still of Ryo Ikebe and Mariko Okada
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