In this film which accurately depicts U.S. and Japan relations of the time, a staunchly anti-Japan American soldier (Aldo Ray) begins to change as he works with Japanese orphans. The real catalyst in his transformation, however, comes when he falls in love with a beautiful young translator.
THREE STRIPES IN THE SUN was based on THE GENTLE WOLFHOUND, a NEW YORKER article written by E. J. Kahn Jr. Set in postwar Japan, the film concerns the activities of three U.S.-occupation soldiers: Sergeant Hugh O'Reilly ( Aldo Ray), the Colonel (Phil Carey) and Corporal Neeby Muhlendorf (Dick York). Though he hates the Japanese with a passion, Sergeant O'Reilly softens as he gets to know the local citizenry. Soon, the hard-bitten sergeant is sneaking food provisions to Japanese children and donating his GI pay towards the building of an orphanage; he also falls in love with lovely interpreter Yuko (Mitsuko Kimura). Meanwhile, the Colonel handles his responsibilities with slick, military precision, while Corporal Muhlendorf spends his time looking for "action." Serving as technical advisor on THREE STRIPES IN THE SUN is Master Sergeant Hugh O'Reilly, the real-life model for the Aldo Ray character.
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