7.3/10
11,684
72 user 71 critic

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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ON DISC
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Capt. Yonoi (as Ryûichi Sakamoto)
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Sgt. Gengo Hara (as Takeshi)
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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
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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:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 September 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Furyo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has been compared alongside David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). Both pictures take place during World War II and are set in Japanese POW camps in Asia, one in Thailand/Burma and one in Java, Indonesia. 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?
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Hooray for Holyrood (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lord's My Shepherd
(uncredited)
Tune "Crimond", written by 'Jessie Seymour Irvine'
Sung by the prisoners
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User Reviews

 
Had to swallow a lump or two
17 July 2004 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

I remembered watching this movie when I was younger and it affecting me a lot. Well, I re-watched it recently and it has lost none of it's power.

The acting in the movie is adequate without ever being great (the notable exception being Tom Conti who is fantastic in his role as the misunderstood titular character).

However, the movie moves beyond the acting and once you are embroiled in the atmosphere and realism you become oblivious to any acting shortcomings.

The movie must be one of the most accurate depictions of human nature in a war. It has a diverse range of characters yet none of them becomes a caricature. It certainly doesn't sink into the good vs evil mindset that many war movies do.

The violence is graphic and shocking despite lacking the visceral realism of Spielberg's later war movies.

The ending of the movie still affects me, even after repeated viewings. I still have to a lump or two to stop from crying even now.

Overall, recommended for anyone with an interest in a non-stereotypical movie about war. Not for the faint of heart though.


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