The Last War (1961 film)

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The Last War
Last War.jpg
Directed by Shūe Matsubayashi
Produced by
Screenplay by
Music by Ikuma Dan[1]
Cinematography Rokuro Nishigaki[1]
Distributed by Toho
Release date
  • October 8, 1961 (1961-10-08) (Japan)
Running time
109 minutes[1]
Country Japan

The Last War (世界大戦争 Sekai Daisensō?, lit. "Great World War") is a 1961 Japanese film directed by Shūe Matsubayashi. Released by Toho, it was their second highest-grossing film of the year.


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.



The Last War was released in Japan on October 8, 1961 where it was distributed by Toho.[1] The film was Toho's second highest-grossing film of 1961, and the 9th highest grossing Japanese film in 1961.[1]

Similar films[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Galbraith IV 2008, p. 186.


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