"Any of your friends in Tokyo have trouble committing hara-kiri, those boys will be glad to help them out."
Description: Humphrey Bogart as Richard Lomas Leland offers a little advice to a traitor in the motion picture Across the Pacific (1942).
"Shrouded in the mystery of oriental ways. Mysterious. Sinister. The evil little men from Japan. Conniving! Plotting! Scheming! Bark on a diabolical mission of destruction. So come along across the pacific on a desperate and dangerous journey. It will leave you breathless and amazed. The unbelievably exciting adventures of a soldier of fortune, and a fascinating story of intrigue, murder, romance and oriental treachery." - Movie Trailer
Richard Leland is an American citizen who boards the Genoa Maru, a small Japanese freighter headed toward Asia in the year 1941. He hopes to use his background in the military to fight for Chiang Kai-shek against the invading Japanese forces.
But why travel so far to fight? Well, Leland was a Captain in the U.S. Coast Artillery but was court martialed for stealing. He's tried to join the Canadian Army but was blacklisted, and so he travels to China from Halifax via New York City to Panama to fight for anyone willing to pay him for his services.
Fellow passengers on board are Dr. Lorenz (Sydney Greenstreet), a plump, sociology professor whose sympathies lie with the Japanese; Alberta Marlow (Mary Astor), the daughter of Dan Morton (Monte Blue) the owner of the Bountiful Plantation in Panama; and Second-generation Japanese-American Joe Totsuiko (Victor Sen Yung) who supports Lorenz.
|Alberta Marlow:||[Talking about Japanese people] You are always so calm. You never show anything.|
|Capt. Higoto:||We are told not to. It is our way of rife. We must not show too much sadness or too much joy. If you praise what we have, we say it is nothing. If you admire our sons, we must say they are unworthy.|
As they arrive at the Panama Canal, their ship is detained and Leland, Lorenz and Marlow disembark and wait for another ship to continue their journey. Marlow takes up residence at her father's plantation where Leland assists Lorenz by obtaining valuable information about U.S. military movements and facilitiess. Leland is well-paid for his efforts.
“This is the happiest moment of my life. Is there anything I can do to make you sicker?” - Alberta Marlow [to Richard Leland whose had too much to drink]
Rick soon discovers that Lorenz is using the plantation as a base of operations for a secret mission that will destroy the Panama Canal. Both Morton (who dies from a gunshot) and her daughter are unwilling hostages in the entire affair.
Leland, who turns out to be an undercover agent working for intelligence officer Colonel Hart (Paul Stanton), tries to phone the local military of the plot but is hit in the head. When he awakes he manages to wrestle a gun from Joe Totsuiko and machine guns down the plane set to drop torpedo bombs on the Panama Canal Locks. He then takes Dr. Lorenz into custody.
As they exist the plantation, US airplanes fly overhead. Looking up, Leland informs Lorenz, "Any of your friends in Tokyo have trouble committing hari-kiri, those boys would be glad to help them out." Leland then takes his treasonous prisoner to an appointment with Army Intelligence.
Note: Humphrey Bogart as Rick Leland used the phrase "When you're slapped, you're gonna take it and like it" in the film. However, he previously used the same line in the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon, when he played private detective Sam Spade wherein he raps a hoodlum named Joe Cairo (Peter Lorre) in the mouth, and says, "When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it."