Picturegoer – Jul 12th 1958

Bogarde makes the most of romance



GIRLS, whatever you do, don’t get caught without a hanky! East meets West again – and the romantic result is a sadder story than Sayonara. But, if Sayonara was good, in one respect this British excursion into similar country is that much better, because its Japanese heroine, Yoko Tani, who is prettier than she looks on the screen, can really act.

Only lightly touching on the racial problem of a British flight lieutenant (Dirk Bogarde) who falls for a Japanese language teacher during the last war in India, its much more a deeply moving love story.

A war-weary veteran, Bogarde is selected to take a course in Japanese in Delhi to equip him as a translator for the interrogation of Japanese prisoners.

His tutor (Yoko Tani) turns out to be the daughter of Japanese exiles: a flower-like creature who is burdened with a sadness she can’t reveal.

They marry. Bogarde is sent to the front, is captured by the enemy and escapes to a greater tragedy that awaits him in Delhi.

The role is one that perhaps Bogarde has waited most of his film career to portray. The most obvious romantic on the British screen, he plays it with a depth and delicacy that is wholly captivating. The rest of the characters are mere sketches, but effective in a limited way: John Fraser and Michael Medwin as the laughing boys of the language course: Ronald Lewis as a hide- bound, discipline-ridden squadron leader.