Blood On The Sun
World War Two had ended in Europe, but still raged across the wide Pacific. And in a string of armed encampments stretching in a crescent from Lone Pine, California to rural Wyoming and Montana, indigenous Japanese Americans remained incarcerated in concentration camps which saw American citizens imprisoned for the duration, solely on the basis of their ethnic origin. Racial hatred was rife against all ethnic Japanese, an American phenomenon misdirected against our own in the wake of Pearl Harbor; but which interestingly left our huge German-American population virtually unblemished. All of this was still at a fever pitch when, in June of 1945, two months before V-J Day, James Cagney, through the production company he owned with his brother, William, produced and starred in Blood on the Sun, one of the most powerful films to try to explain exactly how the Japanese "Co-Prosperity Sphere" came into mortal conflict with the United States. Based on historic fact, this riveting, brutal, action-packed motion picture traces the unintended unveiling of the dreaded Tanaka Plan for Japanese world domination of which the "Co-Prosperity Sphere" was the outpictured faÃ§ade. Cagney portrays an American reporter toiling in pre-war Japan who, completely innocently is given for safekeeping a purloined copy of the secret plan by his newspaper buddy, Wally Ford. The Japanese know Ford has uncovered their secret, and are willing to perform any act - including murder - to prevent it (and their true intentions) from being revealed before they were ready to strike.
A beautiful Japanese secret agent, believably played by Sylvia Sidney (who was, in fact, Jewish!) is sent to romance and ensnare Cagney, and every thuggish stop is pulled out to retrieve the plan and prevent him from surviving long enough to get it to the American Embassy and into the world press. (Very Remarkably, the motion picture casting reflects the time; all of the Japanese characters were played by American actors!) With a tremendous supporting cast typical of a Cagney Production (including Robert Armstrong of King Kong fame, sinister radio star Marvin Miller, and the aforementioned Wallace Ford), this exciting production of Blood on the Sun tells the truth and never lets up on the great Jimmy Cagney-style action.
Blood in the Sun has historically suffered being presented in very poor 16mm and 35mm dupe versions, most of which contained a very serious indigenous jitter. This stunning digital transfer was made from the brilliant original nitrate camera negative, which remains in mint condition after almost six decades.