Monday, April 27, 2009

Apparently, His Mustache Really Did Eat His Beard

Guys, you guys. Have you ever had a question that was kind of pesky, but you didn't know how to find the answer? I've long had that problem with WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY? I love that movie, and I even wrote about it (albeit not particularly well) in my fanzine. I intend to write about it again on this blog, and hopefully do a better job than my 1996 effort. But one thing that always bothered me about the film was that I could never learn the names of the two actors who played Shephard Wong's chief henchmen. These weren't small roles, but rather significant ones. I mean, I could match names to several bit players, and not these guys? It was aggravating.

For the record, the main Japanese cast as I knew it was this :

Tatsuya Mihashi - Phil Moskowitz
Mie Hama - Teri Yaki
Akiko Wakabayashi - Suki Yaki
Susumu Kurobe - Wing Fat
Tadao Nakamaru - Shephard Wong
Makoto Sato - Phil's partner
Kumi Mizuno - "presidents" girl
Tetsu Nakamura - Grand High Macca of Raspur
Hideyo Amamoto/Eisei Amamoto - cobra man
Sachio Sakai - Wing Fat henchman

Recently, I stumbled on the website for Variety Japan, and discovered that they have probably the BEST cast listings for most Japanese films. Way better than jmdb, that's for sure. It occurred to me that I could look up the original Japanese movie that comprises most of TIGER LILY, and take it from there. So I did.

And lo, an answer was found. The guy referred to as "yellow smock" is played by SHOJI OKI.

And the bearded Wong henchman? AKIYOSHI KASUGA, now SHUNJI KASUGA.

This is something that has been bothering me for at least 15 years. I can't believe I found the answer! I also discovered that TIGER LILY definitely incorporates footage from another Toho spy flick, as neither Makoto Sato nor Kumi Mizuno appear in the fabled KEY OF KEYS. Those scenes are from A BARREL OF GUNPOWDER, as can be proven by viewing its poster here. That last link is interesting, as it's a write-up about those "International Secret Police" movies.

So now I know - Shoji Oki and Akiyoshi (Shunji) Kasuga. It's a good feeling to finally have solve one of my lingering mysteries. If only all of life's questions could be answered so neatly!

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