In "Sayonara," Brando stars as Maj. Lloyd Gruver; it is a tale of
an American stationed in Kobe, Japan, during the Korean War. At the
time, the military regulations forbade marriages between American
troops and Japanese women. Gruver initially supported the military's
regulations but eventually falls in love with a local showgirl, named
Hana-ogi. By the end of the movie, Gruver is in direct conflict with
the military's regulations as he proposes to his Japanese darling.
August of 1953 was a particularly warm summer month in Glendale.
The U.S., North Korea and China had just agreed to end the Korean
War. The American troops were gradually making their way home to
scenes far less jubilant than the ones their compatriots encountered
after World War II.
Maj. Lloyd Gruver and his bride, Hana-ogi, arrived at the Glendale
Greyhound station at 400 Cerritos Ave. Gruver's buddy, George, was
awaiting them at curbside. George had a healthy dose of envy for
Gruver's ability to serve his country. George had flat feet; the
military examiners had rejected him. But he was determined to pay his
dues by helping the Gruvers settle into their new home in Glendale.
George spotted Gruver carrying two pieces of large luggage. He
darted away from his 1952 white Oldsmobile Super 88 and greeted
Gruver in a manner reserved for Russian party officials from the
Caucasus. The two men embraced for a few seconds before George
smacked Gruver's cheeks with his trademark kisses. Years of service
overseas, and Gruver still had not gotten used to the idea of being
kissed by a male friend.
"Welcome home, Gruvers."
"Thank you for picking us up, George."
"My pleasure; that's the least I could do. Sorry about the
weather; it is unusually hot."
"Not too bad. Oh, George, this is my wife, Hana-ogi."
"Nice to meet you. You are even more beautiful than Gruver had
"Thank you, you are kind."
"Let me take those," George pleads as he bends forward and extends
his arms to take charge of the luggage.
"That's OK, George. I got it."
"Let me have them, if you don't want me to knock you around, right
here in front of your wife!"