Samurai (August 24, 1945)
Released on August 24, 1945: A Japanese boy adopted by missionaries from California grows up to become a Samurai warrior and help Japan dominate the world as they plan to attack California.
Produced by Ben Mindenburg
Directed by Raymond Cannon
Written by Raymond Cannon
The Actors: Paul Fung (Doctor Ken Morry), Luke Chan (priest), David Chow (Japanese Secret Service), Barbara Woodell (Mrs. Morry), Fred C. Bond (Mr. Morry), Larry Moore (Frank Morry), Ronald Siu (Doctor Ken Morry as a boy), Beal Wong (engineer), Joseph Kim (engineer), Sung Li (General Sugiama), Frances Chan (Chinese girl prisoner), Mary Ellen Butler (girl prisoner)
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The Mind of Ben Mindenburg
This movie was paid for and produced by Benjamin Mindenburg, born in Germany in 1902. There is no record of him ever being married, in fact other than this movie and one other movie made in 1942 that also featured the Japanese as the enemy of China, there is little known about this fellow or what made him become obsessed with Japanese warriors. In the 1930 U.S. Census he is listed as 28 years old and single and living in a rooming house in Los Angeles. In 1942 he paid for and directed a movie detailing the atrocities of the Japanese who at war with China, and had recently bombed Pearl Harbor and declared war on the U.S. . . . . If there are ‘B’ movies that are not as professionally filmed and not as slick or polished as ‘A’ movies, Ben’s two films might be considered ‘D’ or ‘E’ movies, but they are still an interesting and fascinating peek into the mindset of a young German-American during World War II.
This movie was released in August of 1945, and it was probably filmed and edited only weeks before. On August 24, 1945, when this movie hit theater . . . . or maybe theaters . . . . Who knows? . . . Anyway . . . . World War II was almost over. Germany had surrendered on May 8, 1945, but war with Japan was still raging in the Pacific and there was no sign that Japan was in the mood to end hostilities On July 26, 1945 the U.S. sent Japan a letter asking them to surrender or face ‘prompt and utter destruction’ . . . . . That letter went unanswered as the battles continued. On August 6, when this movie was probably being prepared for release, the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and when the Japanese ignored another plea for peace on August 7, another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9 . . . And this movie was still being hurriedly prepared for release. On August 15 the Japanese Government agreed to surrender, and nine days later this movie was released. It was a stroke of bad timing for a fellow who wanted to warn America about the devious plans of the Japanese Samurai of the Black Dragon Society and their scheme to conquer California and install the main character of this story as the new Governor of California. . . . . But if you are really bored, and want to peek into the mind of a German-American fellow who was convinced that the Black Dragon Society of Samurai were going to rule the world, . . . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
ad for Ben's first movie
Barbara Woodell, Fred C. Bond and Paul Fung
Barbara Woodell and Fred C. Bond
Frances Chan and Sung Li
Larry Moore, Fred C. Bond and Barbara Woodell
Larry Moore and Fred C. Bond
Mary Ellen Butler and Paul Fung
Paul Fung and Luke Chan