Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Criterion Collection)

Java, 1942 - A clash of cultures, a test of the human spirit.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (Criterion
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Rating 4.5
48 ratings
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Item:  CRRN 1928D
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DVD Features:

  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Rated: R
  • Run Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 1983
  • Label: Criterion
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Note: Disc One: Original Theatrical Trailer
    • Disc Two: The Oshima Gang, a 1983 Making Of featurette
    • New Video Interviews with Producer Jeremy Thomas, Screenwriter Paul Mayersberg, Actor Tom Conti, and Actor-Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto
    • Hasten Slowly, an Hour-Long 1996 Documentary about Author Laurens Van Der Post, who autobiographical novel was the basis for the film
    • Plus: A booklet featuring an Essay by film writer Chuck Stephens and reprinted interviews with Director Nagisa Oshima and Actor Takeshi Kitano
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.78
  • Audio:
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English, Japanese
    • Subtitles - English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Performer: , , &
Directed by

Entertainment Reviews:

New York Times - 08/26/1983
"...Bowie's screen presence here is mercurial and arresting, and he seems to arrive at this effortlessly....Intriguing..."
Variety - 05/25/1983
"...A powerful, many-sided, realistic story....Certainly very meaningful intellectually..."
Uncut - 02/01/2005
"A culture-clash curiosity with grace and edge..."
Total Film - 11/01/2011
4 stars out of 5 -- "Tom Conti's rueful performance gives heart to an intelligent, moving study of humanity in an inhuman situation."
Uncut - 11/01/2011
4 stars out of 5 -- "Oshima prods at oppositional political systems, ethics and codes of conduct....Bowie is excellent..."

Product Description:

A taut psychological drama about clashing cultures and the human will to survive. A British Army officer in a Japanese P.O.W. camp wages a war of wills with his strict and often belligerent captors.

Plot Synopsis:

Transferred from a military prison in Batavia, a British major is sentenced to a Japanese prison camp on Java in 1942. There, he clashes psychologically, culturally and physically with the camp's commander who is, in truth, infatuated with him. Despite the harshness of life in the camp, the major, along with fellow prisoner, John Lawrence, gain an understanding and hard-won respect for the Japanese code of honor.

Plot Keywords:

Christmas | Prison / Prisoners | Psychodrama | Theatrical Release | World War II

Production Notes:

  • A Japanese-British co-production.
  • Filmed in Rarotonga, Cook Islands and New Zealand, in Panavision.
  • Copyright 1982 National Film Trustee Company.

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 4.5
Based on 48 ratings.
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Product Info:

  • Sales Rank: 102,358
  • UPC: 715515061919
  • Shipping Weight: 0.36/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 2 items