Farewell Rabaul (1954)

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Mr_Goji_and_Watch
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Farewell Rabaul (1954)

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:44 pm

Image

So has anybody else seen this? Just saw it today, it was pretty good. It's a fine war film, nothing particularly amazing but there are some stand out moments. It's nice to see Ryo Ikebe deliver a fantastic performance in a Honda film for once, I loved his character and the arc he goes through. It really reflects the attitudes that prevailed during the war, and it's great to see Hirata's character fuel his change. Like the original Godzilla, this one has some odd editing choices and errors but it's fine outside of that. The soundtrack wasn't particularly memorable but they do fit with what's going on. Rather it seems like the scenes are what give the music some weight rather than the other way around. Kazuo Yamada is a fine DP, though I much prefer Tamai and Koizumi's efforts with Honda. Tsuburaya's effect scenes are pretty good, even though some wires are plainly visible and it's obvious when the footage switches from archival footage to the effect scenes. There are some really great sets though.

Spoiler:
A really fantastic moment that I don't wanna talk about in the open is when Ikebe's character (Wakabayashi) saves Hirata's (Noguchi). At the beginning Wakabayashi refuses to let Noguchi rescue his buddy, claiming he's already dead. Wakabayashi is a stubborn, cold captain, and earns the nickname "Oni" Noguchi's girlfriend. Wakabayashi takes a rookie pilot (played by Akira Kubo) out with him on a mission, only for fresh faced pilot to lose control due to the shots his plane has taken. A captured POW later tells Wakabayashi and the others about how the Japanese seemingly have little regard for human life, critiquing their strategy on sending out inexperienced pilots on Zeros, remarking how it will eventually lead to their loss. The POW, a former salesman who now shoots down Zeros just 3 years after the war began, really leaves a lasting effect on the lead with a decade of experience and makes him realize Japan's position in the war. Ikebe's character turns for the better and immediately heads out to rescue Hirata's once he doesn't come back from a mission. Even though Noguchi dies on the way back, his lover thanks Wakabayashi and leaves him with a memento as thanks for his efforts before she commits suicide. He eventually witnesses a captain go out to the field to die during an air raid. Honda and Ikebe really sell the Wakabayashi's changes and give it meaning. Even though his efforts still result in the deaths of two characters, the experiences give Wakabayashi a new point of view, remarking to others not to be so eager to die and it eventually motivates his final sacrifice.


All in all it's a pretty solid film, Honda did better with this than most of his monster/sci-fi films due to it's character work and tone, but ultimately it's not as interesting as the heavy hitters like Godzilla or Matango.
Last edited by Mr_Goji_and_Watch on Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film, if you didn't touch upon those things," says Dougherty. "Otherwise you're just making a big dumb giant monster movie. There has to be a sprinkle of it, otherwise you're not being faithful to the original intent of the series. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan."

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Re: Farewell Rabaul (1954)

Postby MaxRebo320 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:14 am

From what I understand, this Honda's only none-Toku offering to have English subs, and one of his only two to even be on DVD period (The other being Eagle of the Pacific). And even then, both still have an abundance of effects. Anyways, I have been wanting to see this for a while, in part to Honda's attachment, but also since I've quite enjoyed other war-related films out by Toho from roughly the same period (Namely Storm of the Pacific from 1960, though also some of their later outings like Japan's Longest Day and Battle of Okinawa).
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Re: Farewell Rabaul (1954)

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:38 am

MaxRebo320 wrote:From what I understand, this Honda's only none-Toku offering to have English subs, and one of his only two to even be on DVD period (The other being Eagle of the Pacific). And even then, both still have an abundance of effects.


Night School (1956) and Come Marry Me (1966) both have DVD releases as well. But yeah this is the only non-sci fi/horror Honda film I've seen that has English subs out there.
Last edited by Mr_Goji_and_Watch on Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film, if you didn't touch upon those things," says Dougherty. "Otherwise you're just making a big dumb giant monster movie. There has to be a sprinkle of it, otherwise you're not being faithful to the original intent of the series. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan."

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Re: Farewell Rabaul (1954)

Postby KaijusHunter » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:20 am

This is a really overlooked film from Honda's filmography, but since English subtitles are now available, I hope it will get more recognition.

It's a shame that not much of his non-SF features are available on home video.
I was able to see ''Good Luck to These Two'', ''Inao: Story of an Iron Arm'' and ''A Man in Red'', and all three are interesting in their own way.
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Re: Farewell Rabaul (1954)

Postby G-Matt » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:49 pm

This is available with English subs?! Where, where?
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Re: Farewell Rabaul (1954)

Postby KaijusHunter » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:45 am

G-Matt wrote:This is available with English subs?! Where, where?

To make it short, online, on the usual places.
Since the rules prevent me from redirecting you to a way of watching the movie with subs, I suggest you PM me.
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Re: Farewell Rabaul (1954)

Postby MaxRebo320 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:21 pm

Thanks a ton KaijusHunter!
Last edited by MaxRebo320 on Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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