41 user 9 critic

Come See the Paradise (1990)

R | | Drama, Romance, War | January 1991 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer
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.


Alan Parker


Alan Parker
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Quaid ... Jack McGurn
Tamlyn Tomita ... Lily Yuriko Kawamura / McGann
Sab Shimono ... Hiroshi Kawamura
Shizuko Hoshi Shizuko Hoshi ... Mrs. Kawamura
Stan Egi ... Charlie Kawamura
Ronald Yamamoto Ronald Yamamoto ... Harry Kawamura
Akemi Nishino Akemi Nishino ... Dulcie Kawamura
Naomi Nakano Naomi Nakano ... Joyce Kawamura
Brady Tsurutani Brady Tsurutani ... Frankie Kawamura
Elizabeth Gilliam Elizabeth Gilliam ... Younger Mini McGann
Shyree Mezick ... Middle Mini McGann
Caroline Junko King ... Older Mini McGann
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Augie Farrell
Colm Meaney ... Gerry McGurn
Becky Ann Baker ... Marge McGurn


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


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


Drama | Romance | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Publicity for this picture stated: "During the World War II over 110,000 Japanese Americans, mostly American citizens, were interned in concentration camps in the United States, unconstitutionally, without trial, [and] for no reason other than their racial ancestry". See more »


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


[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, now. I ...
See more »


Features Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939) See more »


Jack's Theatre Song
Music by Edward Karam (as Eddie Karam)
Words by Alan Parker
Sung by Dennis Quaid
See more »

User Reviews

I gave it a 7 but wish it could have been better
23 September 2007 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Movie about the Japanese internment camps during WWII. It starts in 1936 when angry union organizer Jack (Dennis Quaid) meets beautiful Japanese-American Lily (Tamlyn Tomita) and falls in love. They get married, have a child...and then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. All Japanese people, Americans or not, lost their homes, their businesses and were shipped out to internment camps to "protect" them. It shows how the camps affect Lilly, her family and Jack.

As far as I know this is the only commercial film to deal with one of the more horrifying chapters in American history. Too bad it just isn't that good. It was made on a big budget with a sweeping music score and good performances by all (Quaid was just fantastic) but the script just wasn't that good. If jumps all over the place and it's hard to get a handle on what's going on. The flashback structure used in the film is confusing and intrusive. It starts off by Lily telling the child about what happened. They show the story, you're getting all caught up in the characters and situations--and then you're back to Lily talking to her kid. It pulls you completely out of the film. Also, all the Japanese characters seem to meekly agree to go to the camps. Wasn't there any anger at all? Any fighting back? I question how truthful that was.

As for the internment camps this is definitely a bleak chapter in history. It wasn't even taught in schools until the 1980s! Doing this film (which came out in 1990) was pretty risky and the studio seemed to get scared. It was barely released and the ads concentrated on the love story NOT the internment one. It played in Boston for only two weeks with next to no advertisements at a tiny little theatre--I managed to catch it before it closed. This film lost a ton of money. Director-writer Alan Parker said the studio agreed with him later on--that they had "f***ed up" (his words not mine) on the release. Still--it just isn't that good. I never once felt emotionally involved with the characters or situations. It gets a 7 as a good attempt at a very difficult subject.

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English | Japanese

Release Date:

January 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bienvenue au paradis See more »


Box Office


$17,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,532, 25 December 1990

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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