The Last War (1961 film)

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The Last War
Last War.jpg
Directed by Shūe Matsubayashi
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Sanezumi Fujimoto
Written by Takeshi Kimura
Toshio Yasumi
Starring Frankie Sakai
Akira Takarada
Yuriko Hoshi
Nobuko Otowa
Yumi Shirakawa
Music by Ikuma Dan
Cinematography Rokuro Nishigaki
Edited by Koichi Iwashita
Distributed by Toho (Japan)
Medallion Pictures (USA)
Release dates
August 10, 1961 (Japan)
January 8, 1967 (U.S.)
Running time
110 min.
79 min. (USA)
Country Japan
Language Japanese

The Last War, known in Japan as Sekai Daisensō (世界大戦争 lit. "Great World War"?), is a tokusatsu film produced and released by Toho Studios in 1961. Its special effects were created by Eiji Tsuburaya who is also known for working on Godzilla and Ultraman.

Toshio Yasumi's script for the film was reused for Prophecies of Nostradamus, which also included re-edits of the film's special effects, in addition to its family melodrama center.

The film is not to be confused with the 1960 Toei film The Final War, which told the story of a nuclear accident over North Korea that starts war with Japan caught as an innocent victim.


Japanese merchantman Takano arrives back home with his crew after a long cruise and has a flashback.

Several months before, he returns to Japan to propose to his girlfriend, Saeko Tamura, and ask for her father's blessing. Her own family continues to live life in relative peace and quiet. Despite reservations, the couple get married and spend one night in Yokohama before Takano ships out.

Meanwhile, tensions between the Federation and the Alliance (fictional stand-ins for the US and NATO against the USSR/Warsaw Pact, respectively) build up, especially after an intelligence-gathering vessel is captured. A new Korean War breaks out across the 38th parallel, but is quickly stopped. Although Japan calls on both sides to seek peace, government officials think that the country could be ripe for Alliance retaliation in light of its open support for the Federation. Dogfights between Federation and Alliance fighters over the Arctic (with both sides using nuclear-tipped air-to-air missiles) are just the beginning of a renewed conflict. The Alliance tips the scales by launching ICBMs on Japan and the West, with several cities totally destroyed. The Federation responds with their own nuclear strikes

As Takano's ship arrives at the remains of a decimated Tokyo, a children's song plays in the background.


Similar films[edit]


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