MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,034 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 8,769 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 49 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...

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: February

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in February.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 19 Mar 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 30 Dec 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 11 Jan 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 16 Dec 2013
 
a list of 28 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... 

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 | 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
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Based on a true story set in pre-war Japan, a man and one of his servants begin a torrid affair. Their desire becomes a sexual obsession so strong that to intensify their ardor, they ... See full summary »

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda, Aoi Nakajima
Max mon amour (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A French wife takes a zoo chimp named Max to be her lover.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Anthony Higgins, Victoria Abril
Just a Gigolo (1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

After World War I, a war hero returns to Berlin to find that there's no place for him--he has no skills other than what he learned in the army, and can only find menial, low-paying jobs. He decides to become a gigolo to lonely rich women.

Director: David Hemmings
Stars: David Bowie, Sydne Rome, Kim Novak
Sci-Fi | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts a high technology company to get the billions of dollars he needs to build a return ... See full summary »

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

This movie documents the Apollo missions perhaps the most definitively of any movie under two hours. Al Reinert watched all the footage shot during the missions--over 6,000,000 feet of it, ... See full summary »

Director: Al Reinert
Stars: Jim Lovell, Kenneth Mattingly, Russell Schweickart
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After Atsushi commits murder, he is blackmailed into keeping a suitcase full of embezzled money. What follows is a descent into depression and regret.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Katsuo Nakamura, Mariko Kaga, Yumiko Nogawa
The Hit (1984)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ex-gangster Willie Parker has betrayed his former "colleagues" and now lives in Spain where he thinks he can hide from their vengeance. But one day, ten years later, two hitmen (Braddock ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Freddie Stuart, Ralph Brown, A.J. Clarke
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A group of young British soldiers billeted in Singapore of the year 1950 dreaming about winning the love of the daughter of the Regimental Sergeant Major.

Director: John Dexter
Stars: Lynn Redgrave, Hywel Bennett, Nigel Davenport
Bad Timing (1980)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The setting is Vienna. A young American woman is brought to a hospital after overdosing on pills, apparently in a suicide attempt. A police detective suspects foul play on the part of her ... See full summary »

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Hiromi Kurita, Shôji Ishibashi, Lily
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sgt. Gengo Hara (as Takeshi)
...
Johnny Ohkura ...
Kanemoto
...
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
Rokkô 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

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

Laurens Van der Post, the author of this film's source novel "The Seed and The Sower", once said of this filmed adaptation of his novel: "This is a great and deeply moving film. The only war film I have ever seen that does not exploit the surface drama and horrifics of war, but penetrates into the origins and meaning of war in the human spirit. Moreover, it is honest and brave, and looks with the same unevasive and unblinking eyes into the character of Japanese and Europeans alike." 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 »


Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
Written by Augustus Montague Toplady
Sung by the prisoners
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

almost unbearably moving
7 February 2001 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Based on Laurens van der Post's "The Seed and the Sower", "Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence" is an involving, almost unbearably moving and incredibly humane film. While Bowie toplines, the real star is Tom Conti as the eponymous British Officer trying to reconcile his respect for Japanese culture and innate humanity with the barbarity of the POW camp. Bowie has often been criticised for his acting, yet aside from a rather laughable flashback sequence where he impersonates a schoolboy, he is convincing as a mysterious and spirited "soldier's soldier" who has a beguiling effect on the young officer commanding the camp, played by Ryuichi Sakamoto, who quotes Shakespeare and issues brutal orders in almost the same breath.

Sakamoto, who is also a pioneer of electronic music with the Yellow Magic Orchestra, also wrote the soundtrack, including the famous "Forbidden Colours" theme (you probably know this even if you don't know where it's from) which conjures up the atmosphere of regret, lost love and repressed heartbreak in which we see the strange, unrequited love of Sakamoto's character for Bowie's. This film is about this impossible unrequited love and about the struggle of human values in wartime. As Lawrence (Conti) says to a Japanese Officer facing execution after the war; he is now the victim of "men who are sure they are right", just as in the camp the Japanese were sure they were right. The last scene between the decent, humane Lawrence and this officer, who was by turns hearty and brutal in the camp, is one of the most heartbreaking ever committed to celluloid.


32 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?