MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 59 this week

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

 -  Drama | War  -  2 September 1983 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,335 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 52 critic

In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a Japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline, honor and glory. In his view, the allied prisoners are ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 28 Feb 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 21 Jun 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young man has an affair with an older woman. He is very jealous of her husband and decides that they should kill him. One night, after the husband had plenty of sake to drink and was in ... See full summary »

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Takahiro Tamura
Gohatto (1999)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set during Japan's Shogun era, this film looks at life in a samurai compound where young warriors are trained in swordfighting. A number of interpersonal conflicts are brewing in the ... See full summary »

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Ryûhei Matsuda, Shinji Takeda
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the U.S.-Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

During the U.S.-Viet Nam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
Birdy (1984)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After two friends return home from the Vietnam War one becomes mentally unstable and obsesses with becoming a bird.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins
Come and See (1985)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet Army and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov
Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Lauciavicius
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the Vietnam War disrupts and impacts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A semiautobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War 2. For a young boy, this time in history was more... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sebastian Rice-Edwards
The Hill (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A account of underground resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel
Europa (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Just after WW2, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Jean-Marc Barr, Udo Kier
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sgt. Gengo Hara (as Takeshi)
...
Johnny Okura ...
Kanemoto (as Johnny Ohkura)
...
De Jong
James Malcolm ...
Celliers' Brother
Chris Broun ...
Celliers aged 12
Yûya Uchida ...
Commandant of Military Prison
Ryûnosuke Kaneda ...
President of the Court
Takashi Naitô ...
Lt. Iwata
Tamio Ishikura ...
Prosecutor
Rokko Toura ...
Interpreter
Kan Mikami ...
Lt. Ito
Edit

Storyline

In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a Japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline, honor and glory. In his view, the allied prisoners are cowards when they chose to surrender instead of committing suicide. One of the prisoners, interpreter John Lawrence, tries to explain the Japanese way of thinking, but is considered a traitor. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

japanese | prisoner | british | pow | soldier | See more »

Taglines:

Java, 1942 - A clash of cultures, a test of the human spirit.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 September 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Furyo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,627,497 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Colonel John Lawrence character (played by Tom Conti) shares the same surname as T.E. Lawrence (played by Peter O'Toole) in another British war film Lawrence of Arabia (1962). In both films, the surname Lawrence appears in both movies' titles. However, it is the character of Jack Celliers (David Bowie) in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) that is similar to T.E. Lawrence according to Nick Nobel of the Austin Film Society. Both characters have blonde hair, are thin, have a slight lisp and are conflicted about war and other men. Moreover, both these pictures are notable in that they both have all male casts featuring no women. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene in the prison cell, the cross belt of Lt Col Lawrence's Sam Browne is fitted back to front. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sgt. Gengo Hara: [in Japanese] Wake up, Lawrence.
Colonel Lawrence: [in Japanese] What is it? Why so early, Sergeant Hara?
Sgt. Gengo Hara: [in Japanese] Hurry up!
Group Capt. Hicksley: What does he want?
Colonel Lawrence: [in English] I'll find out?
Sgt. Gengo Hara: [in Japanese] What?
Group Capt. Hicksley: You don't have to take orders from this man, you know, Lawrence.
Colonel Lawrence: Well, I'm the liaison officer, so I'm liaising.
Sgt. Gengo Hara: [in Japanese] What did he say?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fear and Trembling (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Forbidden Colours
Composed and Performed by Ryûichi Sakamoto
Sung by David Sylvian
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the finest war films ever made.
31 October 2003 | by (Nova Scotia) – See all my reviews

I first saw this on IFC one night and was enthralled by it. Apparently there are two versions of the film, one with english subtitles and one without. I saw the version without the subtitles. See the film like this put you in the position of the prisoners, not understanding what is being said around you, and having to rely on translators, who in a prison camp were few. The film starts off with Japanese icon Takeshi Kitano walking into a hut and waking up Col. Lawrence (played by Tom Conti). Lawrence's superior protests this and Sgt. Hara (Kitano) yells something to him in Japanese. While walking out of the hut The superior (don't recall his name but he was played by Jack Thompson) orders another soldier to follow him, Hara protests and uses the scabbard of his sword and hits him in the eye, Hara walks out and Thompson yells "B**tards!" (or something similar).

We then see Lawrence following Hara and then Ryuichi Sakamoto's beautiful, eerie music starts off the opening credits. I won't dive any deeper into the plot, as one should witness it for themselves. The film shows us how the prisoners and the guards are not all that different, they both view themselves as being right, when at one point in the film some one says no one is right in war. The film also shows us the physical and the mental abuse the prisoners had to live with day in and day out.

Besides dealing with the war it also shows how man deals with events from the past as far as ones childhood, But in this film it actually works, not like in countless others, and you do feel attached to the characters.

A lot has been said about David Bowie's performance as Major. Jack Celliers, who despite the title of the film is the lead character and does an excellent job portraying a burnt out commando with a past he is afraid to face.

Shortly after seeing the unsubbed version, I saw the subbed version. Which is good in its own right, but I feel the film doesn't have the same impact if you know what is going to happen at every corner, now about half of the film is in Japanese for those with patience it pays off. By not knowing whats going on it puts you in the position of the prisoners themselves.

The film is a beautiful, tragic look at the atrocities man commits to himself. I encourage film and WW II buffs looking for something different to give it a chance. Another unseen by many gem directed by Nagisa Oshima. ****/****


52 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What did Yonoi see in Jack? r5a
Gayness... agitpop
'Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence!´ gubar
Celliers: British or Australian? Desert-Djinn
The Score!!! VariedMovieCollector
This film Msubills
Discuss Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?