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Come See the Paradise (1990)

R | | Drama, Romance, War | January 1991 (USA)
The passionate romance between an Irish-American man and a Japanese-American woman is threatened when the Pearl Harbor attacks happen and the woman is forced into a prison camp because of her ethnicity.

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Hiroshi Kawamura
Shizuko Hoshi ...
Mrs. Kawamura
...
Ronald Yamamoto ...
Harry Kawamura
Akemi Nishino ...
Naomi Nakano ...
Joyce Kawamura
Brady Tsurutani ...
Frankie Kawamura
Elizabeth Gilliam ...
Younger Mini McGann
...
Middle Mini McGann
...
...
Augie Farrell
...
Gerry McGurn
...
Marge McGurn
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Storyline

Portraying one of the shadier details of American history, this is the story of Jack McGurn, who comes to Los Angeles in 1936. He gets a job at a movie theatre in Little Tokyo and falls in love with the boss's daughter, Lily Kawamura. When her father finds out, he is fired and forbidden ever to see her again. But together they escape to Seattle. When the war breaks out, the authorities decide that the Japanese immigrants must live in camps like war prisoners. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1942, over 100,000 Americans were interned in prison camps.....In America. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bienvenue au paradis  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$847,306
See more on IMDbPro »

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie ranks at the No. #1 spot on the top 10 list of most Oscar-bait movies ever made according to research by UCLA sociologists Gabriel Rossman and Oliver Schilke. According to website 'Wikipedia', this movie is "the most deliberate example of Oscar bait in their study of 3,000 films released since 1985. The identification is based on various elements calculated to be likely to draw Oscar nominations, including the previous nominations of [Alan] Parker, the film's setting in Hollywood (including Quaid's projectionist character), and its depiction of a tragic historical event against the background of war and racism. It was only released in a few cities during the last week of that year to make it eligible for the awards. However, it was not nominated for any Oscars and failed at the box office". See more »

Goofs

During the destroying Japanese businesses scene, one of the broken windows is made from safety glass. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Older Mini McGann: Why are we so early?
Lily Yuriko Kawamura: It's good to be early.
Older Mini McGann: Do you ever worry that you won't recognize him, Mama?
Lily Yuriko Kawamura: You recognize me, don't you?
Older Mini McGann: Well, he might have grown a beard or a moustache or something. And I was so little. I only think I remember him. Do you think he'll remember me?
Lily Yuriko Kawamura: Well, he has all your photographs and all the letters you wrote him, and he has all your school reports
Older Mini McGann: You sent him my school reports?
Lily Yuriko Kawamura: Of course I did. I wanted to let him know how well you were doing. Come on, ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Villains: So Bad, They're Good (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Ohtone Shigure
Music by Nobuyuki Takeoka
Lyrics by Yuji Kubota
Arranged by Sadakichi Okuyama
Performed by Hisao Itô
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User Reviews

 
One of Alan Parker's most beautiful films
23 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Come See The Paradise" is a forgotten gem of a film that takes place during one of the United States' darkest and most shameful times. At the onset of World War II, Japanese-Americans were put into internment camps This injustice lasted for several years. Alan Parker's fictional film takes place before, during and after this time. It tells the story of Jack McGurn (Dennis Quaid), an Irish-American labor organizer who falls in love with Lily Kawamura (Tamlyn Tomita), a young girl who lives with her large family in San Fransisco. Lily's father (Sab Shimono) does not agree with the romance, which forces Jack and Lily to elope in Seattle. Jack gets into some trouble with the law while picketing, and Lily, angry that Jack has not changed his ways since the birth of their daughter, Mini, takes the child back to her family's house. Soon after, Pearl Harbor is bombed, the Kawamuras are shuttled off to various camps (except Mr. Kawamura who is believed to be a traitor), and Jack is forced into the army.

Like many films, "Come See The Paradise" is about the strength of love. The fact that it uses this period as a backdrop sets it apart from the rest. The chemistry between Quaid and Tomita is amazing. Just watch them together when they meet for the first time and they kiss. It's simply stunning. Quaid has rarely been this good, and Tomita is obviously relishing having a lead role. In most of her films she's listed as "(somebody's) wife". Films like this and "The Joy Luck Club" prove that she is one of the most talented and under-used actresses.

Some have complained that this film uses an "American" character to tell the story of a "Japanese" family. As if any non-Japanese audience members would not be able to understand, or relate to, the Japanese family. The Quaid character is called "un-American" because of his labor rights stance. The family is called "un-American" simply because they are of Japanese descent. Even though the children were born in the United States. So what exactly does it mean to be "un-American"?

Side note: this movie has not been released on DVD. I anxiously await that day.


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