The Barbarian and the Geisha

The Barbarian and the Geisha

John Huston (1958)

U Certificate


Our Score
Tough-guy director John Huston teamed up with John Wayne for the first and last time to make this historical drama about Townsend Harris, America's first consul to Japan, and his diplomatic victory over the isolationist shoguns. Huston cast Wayne because he would physically and metaphorically tower over the Japanese, while Wayne was attracted to the role because it got him out of westerns and showed America's historical influence over their wartime enemy. Wayne and Huston loathed each other from day one, however, and the movie was an unmitigated disaster - from the indulgent casting of Huston's Oriental girlfriend, Eiko Ando, to a riot caused when a special-effects fire nearly wrecked a fishing village.


In 1856, the first American Consul to Japan overcomes opposition from the local authorities and is eventually permitted into Tokyo, where he falls in love with a geisha who teaches him how to adapt to her country's customs and protects him from harm. John Huston's romantic drama, starring John Wayne, Eiko Ando and Sam Jaffe.

Cast & Crew

Townsend Harris John Wayne
Okichi Eiko Ando
Henry Heusken Sam Jaffe
Tamura So Yamamura
Ship captain Norman Thomson
Lieutenant Fisher James Robbins
Prime minister Morita
Daimyo Kodaya Ichikawa
Shogun Hiroshi Yamato
Director John Huston
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD