52 user 31 critic

Paradise Road (1997)

2:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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 »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Parklands (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Rosie returns to her home city on the death of her father, a former policeman. His diaries hint at corruption, and she also receives hints and veiled threats which support her suspicions. ... See full summary »

Director: Kathryn Millard
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Tony Martin, Carmel Johnson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In mid-1800s England, Oscar is a young Anglican priest, a misfit and an outcast, but with the soul of an angel. As a boy, even though from a strict Pentecostal family, he felt God told him ... See full summary »

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Cate Blanchett, Ciarán Hinds
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The romantic myth is exposed for Guy when he is plagued by memories of an old girlfriend on his wedding day.

Director: Cherie Nowlan
Stars: Richard Roxburgh, Cate Blanchett, Frances O'Connor
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young Scottish woman joins the French Resistance during World War II to rescue her Royal Air Force boyfriend who is lost in France.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Cate Blanchett, James Fleet, Abigail Cruttenden
Police Rescue (1994)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A new recruit to Sydney's Police Rescue squad is accused of corruption.

Director: Michael Carson
Stars: Gary Sweet, Zoe Carides, Steve Bastoni
Little Fish (2005)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Set in the Little Saigon district outside of Sydney, a woman (Blanchett) trying to escape her past becomes embroiled in a drug deal.

Director: Rowan Woods
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving
Bordertown (TV Mini-Series 1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Story About Bianca, a girl living a tough life.

Stars: Ray Barrett, Cate Blanchett, Mitchell Butel
Kaboria (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Director: Khairy Beshara
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Hussien El Imam, Raghda
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Irish journalist writes a series of stories about drug dealers.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker
Heartland (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Heartland was an Australian television drama series that ran on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1994. It ran for thirteen episodes and starred Cate Blanchett and Ernie Dingo. The... See full summary »

Stars: Cate Blanchett, Ernie Dingo, Grahame Mundara Rich
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An emotionally-beaten man with his young daughter moves to his ancestral home in Newfoundland to reclaim his life.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench
Bangers (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Julie-Anne cooks dinner for her mom in a most interesting manner while having an enlightened conversation with Mr. Funny Bones.

Director: Andrew Upton
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Lynette Curran


Cast overview, first billed only:
... Adrienne Pargiter
... Dr. Verstak
... Margaret Drummond
... Susan Macarthy
... Rosemary Leighton-Jones
... Topsy Merritt
... Mrs. Dickson
... Sister Wilhelminia (as Johanna Ter Steege)
... Mrs. Roberts
... Mrs. Tippler
... The Snake
... Captain Tanaka
... The Interpreter
... Colonel Hirota
Penne Hackforth-Jones ... Mrs. Pike


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 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

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The camp in this movie is not a P.O.W. camp because the inmates are not prisoners of war. It is an internment camp, where civilians are kept for no other reason than being of the wrong nationality. This happened, for instance, to Japanese civilians in the U.S. See more »


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 »


Colonel Hirota: I could do no more.
See more »


References Three Came Home (1950) See more »


Funeral March
from "Second Piano Concerto"
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Credited but not used
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Reduced Shakespeare Company does Tenko
18 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

'Paradise Road' is not the first time the story of European and Australian prisoners of the Japanese during WW2 has been told - there is a famous old movie of Neville Shute's 'A Town Like Alice' and the BBC's wonderful tv series, 'Tenko', from the early 1980s. Nevertheless there is certainly scope for this film, which tells the story of a group of largely upper class women who have to come to terms with captivity and brutality as a 'defeated race' and somehow survive the war. The particular twist to this film is the fact-based story of the choir a group of women started in one camp. In other ways, however, the story is practically identical to 'Tenko', only crammed into around 2 hours instead of 30. This means that the effect is very much like watching one of those Reduced Shakespeare Company shows that do the Complete Works of Shakespeare in one performance. Virtually nothing happens in Paradise Road that doesn't happen in Tenko - fair enough, since it is fact based, but you feel like you're watching whole episodes crammed into a single line and you find yourself desperate for more character development - you never find out, for example, who Glenn Close's character really _is_. Despite this, the acting is top-hole and the script-writing is quite sparky, while production values are for the most part extremely high - this is a very good looking film. And therein lies a problem. While the violence is not sanitised, the starvation is. The women in this film appear to have suffered no more ill effects after 3 years of captivity and hard labour than a healthy sun tan and fetching urchin-style crop. The fight-in-the-shower scene shows us an array of perfect bodies with no sores, sunburn, bruises, skin diseases etc. (Again, Tenko did this much better.) When some of the women are meant to be dying of starvation towards the end the idea that these healthy women are meant to be suffering is so laughable as to be more like amateur dramatics than professional movie making. In failing to give a sense of the struggle to survive that the real women went through, this film diminishes their courage and does not do them justice.

This film is watchable, however, and tells stories that need to be told. Watch it by all means - but 'Tenko' is now out on video, so get that next!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 52 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed