A Majority of One (1961)

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A Majority of One (1961)

Post by Flack »

A Majority of One opens with a group of old racist Jewish women talking about how "they" are beginning to move into Brooklyn. Bertha Jacoby doesn't like "them," and she really doesn't like "the Japanese" after losing her son in WW2. Jacoby is mortified to learn that her daughter and son-in-law (Alice and Jerry Black) are not only about to make a business deal with the Japanese, but that they plan to relocate there for a year -- and "mama" Jacoby is invited.

On the cruise ship to Japan, the three meet the man they will be dealing with in Japan -- Koichi Asano. At first Bertha can't get over her racism and is rude to Mr. Asano, but eventually they -- she a widow, he a widower -- become friends. When they begin to get a little too close, Jerry and Alice convince Mama Jacoby to break off the friendship. Asano leaves spurned, which ultimately wrecks the planned business negotiations.

Eventually Bertha Jacoby and Mr. Asano reconnect. Their friendship flourishes, and the word "marriage" is thrown around. Alice and Jerry flip out as if the two of them said they plan to start a baby eating cult. Alice complains that such an intermarriage is "unsuitable," while Jerry keeps complaining that you can't go around "keeping company with a Japanese!"

A Majority of One is harmless enough considering when it was made, but my favorite thing about the movie is that the old Japanese man, Mr. Koichi Asano, is played by Sir Alec Guinness. The entire movie is Alec Guinness doing a bad Asian accent. "I ruv you," he says in one emotional scene. In another, he laments how difficult it is to say rorrypop... er, lollypop.

At 2 1/2 hours, this movie based on a play moves at a slow pace, but the story is fun enough and if nothing else you get to ear Obi Wan Kenobi doing a terrible Japanese accent for most of that time.

"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne