7.4/10
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40 user 13 critic

Three Came Home (1950)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 20 February 1950 (USA)
During Word War II, American author Agnes Newton Keith is imprisoned by the Japanese in various POW camps in North Borneo and Sarawak.

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), Agnes Newton Keith (book)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Claudette Colbert ... Agnes Newton Keith
Patric Knowles ... Harry Keith
Florence Desmond ... Betty Sommers
Sessue Hayakawa ... Colonel Suga
Sylvia Andrew Sylvia Andrew ... Henrietta
Mark Keuning Mark Keuning ... George Keith
Phyllis Morris Phyllis Morris ... Sister Rose
Howard Chuman Howard Chuman ... Lieutenant Nekata
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Storyline

The true story of Agnes Newton Keith's imprisonment in several Japanese prisoner-of-war camps from 1941 to the end of WWII. Separated from her husband and with a young son to care for she has many difficulties to face. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of one woman's confinement in a WW II Japanese prison camp

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

20 February 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Captives à Bornéo See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,900,000, 31 December 1950
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Japanese silent film star Sessue Hayakawa plays the partially-sympathetic character of the cruel Japanese camp commandant Colonel Suga in this movie. It was not common at the time of this movie to see a sympathetic portrayal of an American enemy in a movie about the Second World War. See more »

Goofs

Colonel Suga says he attended the University of Washington for four years and Agnes reveals that she attended Berkeley. Suga goes on to say that Cal "murdered" Washington's football team. However, Tatsugi Suga arrived at Washington in 1924 and during the next four seasons California never defeated Washington. Only one football game would fit Suga's description: a 33-0 loss in 1933. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Agnes Newton Keith: Six-degrees north of the Equator, in the heart of the East Indies, lies Sandakan, the tiny capital of British North Borneo. In Sandakan in 1941, there were 15 thousand Asiatics, 79 Europeans, and 1 American. I was the American. My name is Agnes Keith. I was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. My husband is Harry Keith, a colonial official of British North Borneo. Borneo became my home when Harry and I were married. And it was in ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paradise Road (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a Long, Long Trail
(uncredited)
Music by Zo Elliott
Lyrics by Stoddard King
Sung by the women in the camp
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An intense and haunting movie set in Borneo about of the horrors of war
13 January 2011 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

During WWII a family stationed in Borneo is captured by the Japanese and struggle to survive in brutal POW camp in the Far East. This is a true story, exterior scenes were photographed wherever possible in Borneo in the exact locales associated with the event as related by Mrs Keith (Claudette Colbert) , an American married to a British administrator (Patrick Knowles). The happenings throw the whole family into a hard concentration camp . Their confinement is recounted in unsparing and harrowing detail , as the British-American family find themselves interned for the long duration . As orders from Nipponese Army Administration are strict as ¨ All Europeans will evacuated swiftly to prison camps , be ready when the truck calls , each prisoner will be permitted one suitcase . Men and women will be imprisoned separately ¨ . ¨To avoid punishments and beatings , the ladies should presume themselves to endeavor , with passive behavior not negative¨. Meanwhile, Mrs Keith suffering a surreal and brutal experience ; however , she attempts to lift the spirits of his son and the brutalized women. When Mrs Keith is cruelly attacked , she denounces the deeds , then she is obligated to sign the following : ¨I swear the events are the truth . I was not attacked by a Japanese soldier, I was not attacked by anyone. I made the charge because I was hungry over punished last week ¨.

Interesting and strong drama based on an autobiographical book by Agnes Newton-Keith , being perfectly adapted by Nunnally Johnson . No weakest in the cast and few in the movie , which presents the women's Japanese captors as human and inhuman at the same time with clashing cultures included . Clearly there's much longer plot in this, but director Jean Negulesco concentrates on the passionate acting of Colbert . It's a taut psychological drama about physical and emotional survival focusing on the tensions between Claudette Colbert , soldiers and camp commander well played by Sessue Hayakawa as cultured officer. Crammed with emotive moments , the picture has a string of committed performances from Colbert , Knowles , Desmond and Hayakawa . Familiar ground is trod in this prisoner-of-war saga , but the thought-provoking story and magnificent acting help sustain interest. This superior though overlooked drama , is also laudable for a fairly portrayal of the enemy captors and being masterfully directed by Jean Negulesco. Rating : Above average , worthwhile watching .

Other film about women on concentration camps mistreated by Japanese military during WWII are the following : ¨Women on valor¨(1986) by Buzz Kulik with Susan Sarandon , Kristy McNichol and Alberta Watson set in Philippines and ¨Paradise road¨(1997) by Bruce Beresford with Glenn Close , Julianna Margulies and Frances McDormand , set in Singapur.


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