Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983)

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
7.3/10 by 59 users

In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline, honour and glory. In his view, the allied prisoners are cowards when they chose to surrender instead of commiting suicide. One of the prisoners, interpreter John Lawrence, tries to explain the japanese way of thinking, but is considered a traitor.

Original Title:戦場のメリークリスマス
Release Date:May 28, 1983
MPAA Rating:R
Genres:Drama, History
Production Company:National Film Trustee Company
Production Countries:New Zealand, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia
Director:Nagisa Ōshima
Writers:, ,
Casts:, , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:japan, samurai, world war ii, prisoner of war camp, soldier
  • Had to swallow a lump or two
    July 17, 2004
    I remembered watching this movie when I was younger and it affecting me a lot. Well, I re-watched it recently and it has lost none of it's power.
    The acting in the movie is adequate without ever being great (the notable exception being Tom Conti who is fantastic in his role as the misunderstood titular character).
    However, the movie moves beyond the acting and once you are embroiled in the atmosphere and realism you become oblivious to any acting shortcomings.
    The movie must be one of the most accurate depictions of human nature in a war. It has a diverse range of characters yet none of them becomes a caricature. It certainly doesn't sink into the good vs evil mindset that many war movies do.
    The violence is graphic and shocking despite lacking the visceral realism of Spielberg's later war movies.
    The ending of the movie still affects me, even after repeated viewings. I still have to a lump or two to stop from crying even now.
    Overall, recommended for anyone with an interest in a non-stereotypical movie about war. Not for the faint of heart though.