|Go for Broke!|
|Directed by||Robert Pirosh|
|Written by||Robert Pirosh|
|Produced by||Dore Schary|
|Starring|| Van Johnson |
|Cinematography||Paul C. Vogel|
|Edited by||James E. Newcom|
|Music by||Alberto Colombo|
Go for Broke! is a 1951 black-and-white war film directed by Robert Pirosh,produced by Dore Schary and starring Van Johnson and six veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The film co-stars Henry Nakamura, Warner Anderson, and Don Haggerty in its large cast.
The film dramatizes the real-life story of the 442nd, which was composed of Nisei (second-generation Americans born of Japanese parents) soldiers.
Fighting in the European theater during World War II, this unit became the most heavily decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the United States Army, as well as one of the units with the highest casualty rates.This film is a Hollywood rarity for its era in that it features Asian Americans in a positive light, highlighting the wartime efforts of Japanese Americans on behalf of their country even while that same country confined their families in camps.
As with his earlier film script for Battleground , in which Van Johnson also starred, writer-director Robert Piroshfocuses on the average squad member, mixing humor with pathos, while accurately detailing equipment and tactics used by American infantry in World War II. The contrast of reality versus public relations, the hardships of field life on the line, and the reality of high casualty rates are accurately portrayed with a minimum of heroics.
In 1979, the film entered the public domain in the United States because Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer failed to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.
In 1943 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the newly commissioned Lt. Michael Grayson (Johnson) reports for duty to train the 442nd, a unit established on the US mainland and composed of Nisei. His expectation was to return to the U.S. 36th Infantry Division, a Texas National Guard unit, which he had served as an enlisted soldier. He has to come to terms with a group of people that he sees as Japanese, the enemy, rather than Americans. Grayson runs his platoon rather insisting on strict observance of military regulations.
He learns that "Go for broke" is a pidgin phrase used in Hawaii meaning to gamble everything, to "shoot the works"—to risk "going broke" or bankruptcy.Grayson comes to learn the meaning of the frequently exclaimed Baka tare, which, loosely translates to mean "very stupid."
There is only one brief discussion of the internment camps from which most of the men have come, but throughout the film there are references to the camps. There are also a few brief references to the distinctions between the Nisei from Hawaii ("Buta-heads") [ citation needed ]and those from the mainland ("Kotonks"). While Buta-heads (the phrase later devolved to "Buddha-Heads") are a key part of the Hawaiian economy and Hawaiian society, Katonks were largely distrusted and disliked by their neighbors.
Arriving in Italy, the unit is joined by the 100th Battalion, a Nisei unit formed in Hawaii before the 442nd. The troops of the 100th are seasoned veterans and the new arrivals look to them for advice. On the march to the front lines, Grayson gets left behind when fraternizing with a signorina, but he is not found by the colonel because his platoon has covered for him during an inspection of their positions.
By the actions by the 442nd in Italy and France, Grayson finds reason to replace his bigotry with respect toward them. His transfer to the 36th, as a liaison—over his objections—comes through when the 442nd is attached to the 36th. As he has misjudged the Nisei, they have misjudged him.The Nisei learn that he has defended them against bigotry, even getting into a fistfight with an old friend from the 36th had insulted them.
The 36th is surrounded by the German army and the "Buddha-heads'" rescue "them". On their return home, they are the awarded the distinction of the eighth Presidential Unit Citation.
The film includes archive footage of General Mark Clark and President Harry Truman presenting the unit citation.
According to MGM records, the film made $2,531,000 in the US and Canadaand $806,000 overseas, resulting in a profit of $761,000.
The screenplay by Robert Pirosh was nominated for an Academy Award in 1951.
During the early years of World War II, Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes in the West Coast because military leaders and public opinion combined to fan unproven fears of sabotage. As the war progressed, many of the young Nisei, Japanese immigrants' children who were born with American citizenship, volunteered or were drafted to serve in the United States military. Japanese Americans served in all the branches of the United States Armed Forces, including the United States Merchant Marine. An estimated 33,000 Japanese Americans served in the U.S. military during World War II, of which 20,000 joined the Army. Approximately 800 were killed in action.
The 442nd Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Army. The regiment is best known as the most decorated in U. S. military history and as a fighting unit composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry (Nisei) who fought in World War II. Beginning in 1944, the regiment fought primarily in the European Theatre, in particular Italy, southern France, and Germany. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) was organized on March 23, 1943, in response to the War Department's call for volunteers to form the segregated Japanese American army combat unit. More than 12,000 Nisei volunteers answered the call. Ultimately 2,686 from Hawaii and 1,500 from U.S. incarceration camps assembled at Camp Shelby, Mississippi in April 1943 for a year of infantry training. Many of the soldiers from the continental U.S. had families in internment camps while they fought abroad. The unit's motto was "Go for Broke".
The 100th Infantry Battalion is the only infantry unit in the United States Army Reserve. In World War II, the then-primarily Nisei battalion was composed largely of former members of the Hawaii Army National Guard. The 100th saw heavy combat during World War II, starting in September 1943 and continuing after being attached as a battalion of the Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team in June 1944. The unit was unofficially nicknamed the Purple Heart Battalion, with the motto "Remember Pearl Harbor".
Mike Masaru Masaoka was a Japanese-American lobbyist, author, and spokesman. He worked with the Japanese American Citizens League for over 30 years. He was a key player in encouraging cooperation of the JACL with Japanese American internment during World War II, but also fought for rights of Japanese-Americans during and after the war.
The Go for Broke Monument in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California, commemorates Japanese Americans who served in the United States Army during World War II. It was created by Los Angeles architect Roger M. Yanagita whose winning design was selected over 138 other submissions from around the world.
Robert Pirosh was an American motion picture and television screenwriter and director.
Only the Brave is a 2006 independent film about the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated World War II fighting unit primarily made up of "Nisei" Japanese Americans, which for its size and length of service became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. The film, produced and directed by Lane Nishikawa is a fictionalized account of the rescue of the Lost Battalion.
Mikio Hasemoto was a soldier in United States Army. He is best known as a recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II during actions in Cerasuolo, Italy.
Shizuya Hayashi was a soldier in the 100th Infantry Battalion of the United States Army. He received the Medal of Honor for actions in Cerasuolo, Italy during World War II.
Shinyei Nakamine was a United States Army soldier. He is best known for receiving the Medal of Honor because of his actions in World War II.
Kazuo Otani was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.
Yukio Okutsu was a United States Army soldier. He is best known for receiving the Medal of Honor because of his actions in World War II.
William Kenzo Nakamura was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.
The Military Intelligence Service was a World War II U.S. military unit consisting of two branches, the Japanese American unit and the German-Austrian unit based at Camp Ritchie, best known as the "Ritchie Boys". The unit described here was primarily composed of Nisei who were trained as linguists. Graduates of the MIS language school (MISLS) were attached to other military units to provide translation, interpretation, and interrogation services.
Japanese American history is the history of Japanese Americans or the history of ethnic Japanese in the United States. People from Japan began immigrating to the U.S. in significant numbers following the political, cultural, and social changes stemming from the 1868 Meiji Restoration. Large-scale Japanese immigration started with immigration to Hawaii during the first year of the Meiji period in 1868.
The Varsity Victory Volunteers was a civilian sapper unit composed of Japanese-Americans from Hawaii. The VVV was a major stepping stone in the creation of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which would end up becoming the most decorated regiment in United States armed forces history.
Susumu Ito was an American cell biologist and soldier born in Stockton, California. He was a Nisei, a second-generation Japanese American.
Lane Nakano was a former American combat soldier turned actor.
Brigadier General Kendall "Wooch" Jordan Fielder was an influential World War II officer in the United States Army, who served in Hawaii at the time United States' entry into World War II, and testified before Congress in favor of statehood.
[another theory is] that it derives from 'buta head,' 'buta' meaning 'pig' in Japanese, connoting stubbornness.
So when the islanders and the mainlanders first met in Camp Shelby, their very different cultures and expectations were bound to clash. The Hawaiians, products of the plantation system, enjoyed a sense of group solidarity -- even, as the largest minority group in the islands, a sense of ethnic superiority. The mainlanders, by contrast, were used to life as a tiny and -- after the 'relocation' -- legally oppressed minority.