Three Came Home


DirectorJean Negulesco
Year1950
StarringClaudette Colbert
Patrick Knowles
Florence Desmond



A privileged planter family finds itself under Japanese occupation during World War 2. The film is based on the true story of Agnes Keith, an American author, who lived with her family in Borneo. The film is a surprisingly deep portrayal of the relationship of Agnes and the Japanese captors. Being somewhat famous, the camp commandent was somewhat sympathetic to her plight. In real life, he asked her to record her story of the prison camp hoping that she would tell the story of the humanity of the Japanese. Unfortunately, the guards were not as sympathetic as he had assumed. She hid the true story from the commandent, burying her notes under her prison hut.

In true Hollywood style, the prisoners look pretty well-coiffed considering their ordeal. However it does show clearly the emotional strains and sacrifices of the prisoners. it also shows that the Japanese as more than just one dimensional characters. Whilst it does show the brutality of the guards, it also shows that they have worries and concerns of their own. There is a very moving scene when the commandant relays that this own family has been killed in Hiroshima.

This is an intelligent film. It is well acted and it has a well developed plot line. It is very emotional particularly at the end, I recommend a box of tissues on standby.



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