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Thread: THE WALKING MAJOR - 1970 (Frankie's Japanese Movie)

  1. #1

    THE WALKING MAJOR - 1970 (Frankie's Japanese Movie)

    One-Sheet (28​1⁄2 x 38-inch) Movie Poster

    The Walking Major
    (Aru heishi no kake)

    Production Company: Ishihara International
    Distributor: Shochiku
    Director: Keith Larsen (as Keith Eric Burt)
    Co-Directors: Koji Senno, Nobuaki Shirai
    Story: James Miki
    Screenplay: Vincent Fotre, Kengo Inomata

    Dale Robertson ... Clark J. Allen
    Dina Merrill ... Kelly Allen
    Frank Sinatra Jr. ... Jimmy Dixon
    Yjir Ishihara ... Hiroshi Kitabayashi
    Michiyo Aratama ... Mother Yamada

    Frankie's Music in the Movie:
    "Re-enlistment Blues"

    Filmed entirely on location in Japan
    Theatrical Release in Japan: June 6, 1970
    Golden Globes: Nominated for Best English-Language Foreign Film (1970)

    Home Video Releases:
    2013 DVD: Pony Canyon PCBP-52989 (JAN/ISBN: 4988013327566)
    (Region 2, Aspect Ratio: 16:9, Audio Track: Stereo)
    2013 Blu-ray: Pony Canyon PCXP-50133 (JAN/ISBN: 4988013327467)
    (Region Free, Aspect Ratio: 16:9, Audio Track: Stereo)
    2017 Download/Rental: Amazon Japan Prime Video

    The January 24, 1970 issue of Billboard reported:

    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard
    Frank Sinatra Jr. closed at the Frontier Hotel to head for Japan where he will co-star in the film, "The Walking Major." After six weeks of shooting the film, he will return to the Circle "F" Lounge March 12. Vic Damone and the Joe Parnello-led orchestra will fill the gap in the Circle "F."

    Source: YouTube

    Robert J. Lentz's book Korean War Filmography: 91 English Language Features Through 2000 contains the following description and insights into the movie which was based on a real life story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert J. Lentz
    On December 14, 1960, Captain Clark J. Allen (Dale Robertson) and Specialist Jimmy Dickson [Dixon] (Frank Sinatra Jr.) leave the U.S. Army base at Camp Zama, near Tokyo, and begin walking to Beppu, some eight hundred miles away. Allen leaves behind his wife (Dina Merrill) and two children, but is willing to make the walk to collect $6,500 in pledges to be used to begin building a new orphanage in Beppu.

    Source: YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert J. Lentz
    Sleeping only three to five hours per night, Allen and Dickson (who barely know each other) average almost sixty miles a day. Dickson questions Allen about his motives for the walk, but the older man is reticent and does not reveal his thoughts.

    Source: YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert J. Lentz
    The Walking Major is a faithful recreation of the life of Captain John Arnn. It was Arnn who, in December of 1960 and at the age of 37, walked with Jimmie Dexter, a 19-year-old specialist, from Camp Zama to Beppu. ... Because of Arnn's efforts, the orphanage was finally completed in 1964, and christened the Dormitory of the White Chrysanthemum. ...

    A showing of the film accompanies the orphanage's annual fundraising drive and reminds its audiences of the difference that one person can make in the lives of other people.

    Source: YouTube

    In The Walking Major, Frankie sings "Re-enlistment Blues." Written by James Jones, Fred Karger and Robert Wells, the song was featured seventeen years earlier at various points in From Here To Eternity, including a performance by Merle Travis who also recorded it for a Capitol Records single in 1953. Frankie's version has been available only on the movie soundtrack, released on DVD (Region 2) and Blu-ray (Region Free) in Japan.

    Source: YouTube


  2. Andrew! You are a research genius and I'm always grateful for your dedication. Thank you!

  3. #3
    Dale Robertson: One of the great TV Western stars...Agent Jim Hardy in "Tales of Wells Fargo"....only used his gun if he had no other choice. Then the star of "Iron Horse" and then the last host of "Death Valley Days" following the passing of his friend Robert Taylor. Taylor became the host after his friend Ronald Reagan left the show to become Governor of California.