6.8/10
4,572
52 user 31 critic

Paradise Road (1997)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »

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1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Dickson
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Sister Wilhelminia (as Johanna Ter Steege)
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The Snake
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The Interpreter
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Penne Hackforth-Jones ...
Mrs. Pike
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

11 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Estrada do Paraíso  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$62,518, 13 April 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,921,471, 1 June 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$960,000, 9 November 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book, 'Bruce Beresford: Instincts of the Heart', author Peter Coleman says Beresford asked his uncle about World War II: "I asked him about the treatment of Japanese prisoners. He said: 'We used to shoot the lot of them.' 'But that's dreadful!' I said. 'You weren't there, you wouldn't know,' he answered ­ and he is a pleasant, educated, rational man. I was shocked, but it did give me an insight." See more »

Goofs

Given that each of the women wore a single dress, day in and day out, in a tropical climate for three years straight, the fabric of their clothing would have disintegrated long before that was finally depicted in the film. Also, there's no way that the nuns would have been able to keep the white elements of their habits white, especially given the scarcity of soap. See more »

Quotes

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

References Playing for Time (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Londonderry Air
Orchestral arrangment by David Stanhope
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User Reviews

 
Powerful
29 January 2001 | by See all my reviews

First class work here. The film follows a group of women captured in Asia by the Japanese, and interned as enemy aliens. It shows the inhuman brutality that the Japanese inflicted on anyone they considered to be of an inferior race. (i.e. not Japanese) (for that matter anyone not samurai) As a coping mechanism, and partially in defiance of their captors, the women form a vocal orchestra, playing the parts of classical music with only their voices. The music soothes the women, those in the orchestra, and those who aren't. The Japanese soldiers even come to enjoy the sound, and the atrocity rate drops a couple of notches.

Stand out performances abound here. In fact I can't really single out any of the cast. They were all good, including the Japanese actors. I had thought from the reviews that the music would be the largest part of the film, with just the backdrop of the prison camp, but it really wasn't. I recommend this film.


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