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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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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

The Agnes Newton Keith memoir 'Three Came Home' on which this film is based, entered best-seller book status in 1947 when it was first published. This movie was made and released about three years afterwards. See more »

Goofs

The Ford Prefect shown in one of the opening scenes is a postwar model. 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

They'll Be Coming up the River
(uncredited)
to the melody of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain"
Traditional
Sung by the women in the camp
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User Reviews

 
Well acted and remarkably temperate
4 March 2005 | by privatewillisSee all my reviews

Good performances and scripting enhance this tale of hardship and endurance set in a Japanese internment camp in Borneo during World War II. Miss Colbert's performance in particular is always convincing and often riveting. Also noteworthy is Sessue Hayakawa's sensitive portrayal of the outwardly stern but inwardly humane Col. Suga.

Considering that this film was released only five years after the end of World War II, when anti-Japanese feeling was still very much present in the U.S., it's surprising that the horrors of life in Japanese captivity aren't played up more. Several instances of casual and calculated brutality are shown, but there is little here to compare with the shocking (and realistic) scenes in the much more recent film "Paradise Road." And the range of characterizations among the Japanese should be a welcome surprise to those who dismiss wartime and postwar American attitudes as uniformly jingoistic and racist. Yes, some of the Japanese are wantonly cruel, but others are obviously sympathetic to the prisoners, and as noted above, Col. Suga emerges not only as a reasonable commander but also as a noble man who can resist the temptation to take out his own grief and anger on the prisoners. Sadly, there were few men like Col. Suga in the real Borneo camps.

One unfortunate oversight: the action of the film covers almost four years of imprisonment and deprivation, but the prisoners appear just about as well-fed and energetic at the end as when they arrived.


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