Five Scouts

This 1938 film by Tomotaka Tasaka (Airplane Drone) marked the birth of the war-movie genre in Japan. Five airmen set out on a reconnaissance mission over northern China; the worst is feared when only four of them return. The film was originally intended as propaganda pulp for Japan's invasion of China (1937), though Tasaka ultimately proved less concerned with military heroics than with the camaraderie of his characters and their shared sense of danger.

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