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Paradise Road (1997)

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Fact-based recounting of a group of women who are imprisoned on the island of Sumatra by the Japanese during World War II and used music as a relief to their misery.



(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sister Wilhelminia (as Johanna Ter Steege)
David Chung ...
Penne Hackforth-Jones ...


The group of women from different countries and social levels are prisoners in a Japanese POW camp, where one of them, Adrienne, who is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, organizes a vocal band in spite of their guards resistance. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for prisoner of war brutality and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

11 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Estrada do Paraíso  »

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$62,518 (USA) (11 April 1997)


$1,921,471 (USA) (30 May 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


From her memory, in the actual P.O.W camp, Margaret Dryburgh wrote down and arranged the music for the vocal orchestra from works by the likes of such composers as Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin and Claude Debussy. See more »


An early night scene of the women swimming ashore (set in the week after 10 February 1942) shows the full moon. The moon was between last quarter and new moon that week. See more »


Topsy Merritt: You want me to give up food and soap and God knows what else, so I can starve and sing?
See more »


References Tenko (1981) See more »


Mad About the Boy
Written by Noël Coward
© Chappell Music Limited
By kind permission of Chappell Music Australia Pty Ltd
Performed by Julie Anthony
See more »

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User Reviews

Why isn't this film better known?
2 July 2003 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

I stumbled across this movie surfing TV channels late one night. I was drawn right into the plot, and thought it was an incredible story, incredibly well-told. It's a true story, which I previously did not know anything about, but should have. Both the story, itself, and the film, should be much, much better known. It is also one of Glenn Close's best performances. Her performance, and the film, itself, are absoultely gripping! If you like true-life stories that are extremely well-done, such as "We Were Soldiers," then this one is of a similar genre, but with the main characters being women.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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