5.0/10
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7 user 1 critic

Girls of the White Orchid (1983)

In Los Angeles, the naive and lonely burger waitress and aspirant singer Carol Heath finds an advertisement in the newspaper with a job opportunity in Tokyo. She has a meeting with the ... See full summary »

Director:

Jonathan Kaplan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Carol Heath
Thomas Byrd Thomas Byrd ... Don Potter
Mako ... Mori
Carolyn Seymour ... Madame Mori
Richard Narita ... Shiro
Soon-Tek Oh ... Hatanaka
Ann Jillian ... Marilyn
Yvonne McCord Yvonne McCord ... Susanne
Philip Charles MacKenzie ... Cavanaugh
Leslie Wing ... Lisa
John Hancock ... Sergeant Kelly
Lionel Decker Lionel Decker ... Travis
Eda Reiss Merin Eda Reiss Merin ... Mrs. Powers
Isabell O'Connor Isabell O'Connor ... Esther (as Isabell Monk)
Keone Young ... Akira
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, the naive and lonely burger waitress and aspirant singer Carol Heath finds an advertisement in the newspaper with a job opportunity in Tokyo. She has a meeting with the agents, the American Cavanaugh and the Japanese Shiro ; she signs the contract in English and Japanese and travels to Japan to work at the White Orchid night-club. She shares a hotel room with a dancer and sooner she discovers the scheme of prostitution in the club that belongs to Yakuza. Alone, without money and her passport, she is protected by Shiro, but pressed by the managers Madame Mori and her husband Hatanaka to be receptive to client's proposals. Meanwhile her former boyfriend returns to LA and seeks her out. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Stardom is her dream. And her nightmare.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Ride to Osaka See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hill/Mandelker Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

Cable TV and video versions feature additional sex/nudity non present in theatrical release. See more »

Soundtracks

Finding My Own Way
Written by Brad Fiedel
Performed by Jennifer Jason Leigh
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User Reviews

For Jennifer Jason Leigh die-hards only
26 September 2000 | by Dan_HarklessSee all my reviews

I bought this DVD not expecting a whole lot given its price tag of $6.99, and it was neither better nor worse than I expected. Only bought it because Jennifer Jason Leigh, who stars, is one of my favorite actresses. BTW, you might be confused looking at the DVD's front cover (which IMDb reproduces), because it shows a picture of co-star Ann Jillian with a caption of "Jennifer Jason Leigh". Dunno if the schlock DVD producers didn't know the difference or if they just thought the photo of Jillian all dolled up like a prostitute would be more eye-grabbing.

The film itself is about as good as you'd expect a U.S. TV "movie of the week" from 1983 to be. Interestingly, there's some nudity (the breasts of Jennifer Jason Leigh and a couple of other actresses make an appearance), so I wonder if it was produced for a pay-TV channel.

I was surprised to find out after watching the film that it's based on a true story (I don't think they mention this in the credits anywhere). You'd never think this given the unrealistic nature of many of the events in the film.

Other than the stilted dialogue, lack of imagination, bog-standard camera setups, and whatnot, an annoying factor is the cross-racial casting. True, the average American can't tell at a glance from where in Asia someone comes from, but Asians can tell, and Asiaphiles can tell. Much worse than the non-Japanese-looking actors, however, is the absolutely horrible pronunciation of Japanese dialogue. Oddly, none of the Japanese dialogue is subtitled, which wouldn't have been too terrible for me, as I speak Japanese, but the language is so butchered by the non-Japanese-natives that I couldn't comprehend much of it. In one scene an American actress seems to use nonsense syllables when she's supposed to be speaking Japanese (perhaps she couldn't remember her line or they didn't get it translated for her in time or something).

To sum up, fans of Jennifer Jason Leigh (or T2 score-writer Brad Fiedel) may want to watch this out of curiosity, but others need not bother. Personally, I had to watch Leigh's wonderful performance in "The Hudsucker Proxy" afterwards to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.


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