Anatahan (1953) – By Jason S. Lockard


Kino Lober is known for release hard to find movies in the most amazing quality! Well there latest release is the widely disregarded final film of Josef Von Sternberg entitled Anatahan. Now for the first time this film finds its way to blu-ray.

The film is inspired by actual events. It follows the lives of a dozen Japenese sailors who are stranded on a remote island in the Pacific during the final days of World War II. The men retain the military rule in their new home, that is until the discover a young woman on the island. Soon the island paradise becomes a hotbed for desire, hatred and even violence. Will all these people learn to live together or will jealousy spell the end of paradise? You’ll have to watch the film to find out!

The film was shot in Japan on constructed sets that look just like an island paradise. All the actors in the film spoke no English so that it would bring a more realistic feel to the film. Even though the film in Japanese Josef Von Sternberg provides a narration being a guide for the viewer through the film!

The film has been beautifully restored. The picture is crisp and clean and the audio of crystal clear. Not only do you the 1953 theatrical version of the film but you also get the 1958 uncensored version which was director Von Sternberg’s preferred version.

Than the special features 3 minutes of unused footage, Visual essay by Tag Gallager, Interview with Nicholas von Sternberg, U.S. Navy footage of the actual survivors of Anatahan, immediately after their surrender. Original theatrical trailer as well as the re-released trailer and a comparison of the 1953 and 1958 versions of the film.

Some films are for entertainment purposes and some films are a part of history! This is a film that documents an important piece of history. It can help us learn from past mistakes. And as someone once said those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it!

So if you love military movies, historical accounts or just good human dramas. I recommend Anatahan on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. Head over to and pick up a copy for yourself today!

Moral Rating: mild violence and brief nudity
Audience: adults
Genre: historical drama
Length: 91 minutes
Blu-Ray Release: 2017
Blu-Ray Rating: A