A relatively unheard of title, ‘5000km to Glory‘ or ‘Safari 5000’ as it was alternatively titled, was a movie depicting the fictional events surrounding a Japanese team entered into the East African Safari rally with the legendary Datsun 1600-SSS, a car that would go on to win the event for real in 1970. The film was directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara and starred Yûjirô Ishihara, Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshirô Mifune in the tile roles.

Despite ‘5000km to Glory’ being Japan’s highest grossing film of 1969, it remained almost impossible for most people to actually to view for decades after its release, as it was apparently never released onto VHS (although I have seen a Betamax copy for sale once… for 250 euros!). But finally, after it being screened for the first time in years on Japan’s NHK BS-hi TV channel in 2012, it would seem that it was made available on DVD and Blu-ray in Japan last year. Sure, this means it’s Japanese market and therefor hard to get hold of and lacking subtitles… but it’s a start!

I first learned of this film whilst in Norway about 14 years ago, where the film had been screened at its release back in 1969. Apparently, the National Film Archive in Oslo still has a rare original copy of it. Internet research at that time revealed little, and even in the years since, whilst I have found plenty of movie posters and stills from the film, any actual footage has eluded always me. Until now…

OK so it’s only the opening credits but just this glimpse make me want to track down a copy more than ever…

It would appear that there is a bit of memorabilia around for this film, the most common of which seem to be movie posters which, with a little searching online, you can find for sale by numerous movie poster traders. With a relatively wide-scale international release, there were quite a variety of posters made for it, some of which you can see below…

The DVD is listed on Amazon.co.jp  but I don’t know if I can buy from there. I have found a copy listed via Amazon.co.uk but it’s nearly £55! One way or another I must have a copy!

UPDATE! I have managed to order a copy direct from Amazon.co.jp! Still not a cheap DVD but close to half the price of Amazon.co.uk.

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