Secret Agent of Japan

Secret Agent of Japan
Directed by Irving Pichel
Written by John Larkin
Starring Preston Foster
Lynn Bari
Cinematography Lucien N. Andriot
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox
Release dates
  • March 21, 1942 (1942-03-21) (New York City)[1]
  • April 3, 1942 (1942-04-03) (USA)
Running time
72 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Secret Agent of Japan (1942) is the first American anti-Japanese war film produced by a major studio after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The film stars Preston Foster as a nightclub owner in Shanghai who becomes involved in espionage revolving around preparations for the infamous sneak attack.


Critical reception

The film drew mixed reviews from critics. Theodore Strauss of New York Times panned the film, calling it "a very mild hate-brew" and "third-rate drama", and stating, "Nowadays, we doubt whether anybody, even Hirohito, will be much excited".[2] Variety wrote that "the picture doesn't achieve more than moderately entertaining proportions for the adult ... Foster and Miss Bari show off excellently, though some of the supporting parts are pretty awful."[3] Film Daily called it "a rousing melodrama" but found the twists and turns of the plot confusing.[4] Harrison's Reports wrote: "An engrossing espionage melodrama that is timely. The story value is good, and competent direction and excellent performances help maintain the interest throughout."[5]


  1. "March 21, 1942". The Second World War - A Day By Day Account. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  2. T.S. (March 23, 1942). "Secret Agent of Japan (1942)". New York Times.
  3. "Film Reviews". Variety. New York: Variety, Inc. March 11, 1942. p. 8.
  4. "Reviews of the New Films". Film Daily. New York: Wid's Films and Film Folk, Inc.: 4 March 16, 1942.
  5. "'Secret Agent of Japan' with Preston Foster and Lynn Bari". Harrison's Reports: 44. March 14, 1942.
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