Using mostly non-professional actors, Teshigahara's movie deals with the plight of US Forces deserters from Vietnam on the run in Japan, centering on the culture clash between various fugitives and the Japanese who try to help them. Its weaknesses are slightly misplaced emphases in the English dialogue scenes, and a certain over-schematisation in John Nathan's script, which flanks the uncommitted central character with a racist slob on one side and a firebrand radical on the other. Its strengths, which are considerable, include a rigorous honesty about the psychology of desertion, a complete absence of sentimentality, and a meticulous naturalism in the settings and incidental details.
Cast and crew
Keith Sykes Lee Reisen Kazuo Kitamura Toshiro Kobayashi Barry Cotton