Paradise Road (1997) - full transcript

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.

* Mad about the boy *

* I know it's stupid *

* To be mad about the boy *

* I'm so ashamed of it *

* But must admit
the sleepless nights *

* I've had about the boy *

* Walking down the street *

Excuse me. Excuse me.

So where are you from?


A country girl.

I knew it.


They're always shy.

You blushed when
I asked you to dance.

I did not.
It's just hot.

Have you a boyfriend?


Oh, no, no,
I had one,

but he's in Egypt
or somewhere.

Egypt? Well, forget him.

He's probably chasing
some dusky maiden...

'round the pyramids
by now.

Know what they call
this dance?

No idea.

The Crush.

Do they?

Well, I'm not
really complaining.

You're so beautiful,

So are you.

You can't say that,
can you?

Men aren't--
I am not beautiful.

Yes, you are.

* I'm feeling quite insane
and young again *

* And all because
I'm mad about the boy *

We've got everyone
Churchill can spare.

Thousands of bloody

the place dry.

And all to fight
tiny little...

Japanese chaps
wearing spectacles.

They're all
cross-eyed, you know.

Can't aim
their damn guns.

At night, they
can't see at all.

Do they all have
white sticks and guide dogs?

Phyllis, it's true.

Cyril, remember that
Japanese gardener we had?

He had glasses
as thick as--

The bottom
of a gin bottle?


Man: It's certainly a fact
their weapons are useless.

My Godfather! All they can
make are tin toys...

and cameras that don't work.

If you don't mind me
saying so--
even if you do--

I don't think
I've ever heard...

such a total load
of poppycock.

They've conquered
most of Asia.

And those "little
Japanese chaps--"

You heard of a place
called Pearl Harbor?

My dear, Topsy,

Pearl Harbor
was a surprise.

A sneak attack.

We're all ready
and waiting for them.

I hope you're right.

[ Indistinct,
Talking Under Music ]


Ooh, that one come
on a bit strong, eh?

Sort of. He's nice.

I just don't reckon he's
got too much upstairs.

Come on, Oggi.

It's what they got

that really counts.

* A little magic
that would finally *


* This dream that pains me
and enchains me *

* But I can't because
I'm mad about the boy *

How's that son of yours,

Where is he?

Robbie, what was that?

Just target practice,
I expect, my dear.

Target practice,
at night?


Celia, run upstairs and
get my wrap, will you, dear?

You're wearing it,

Oh, so I am!

I was just confused.

* And enchains me,
but I can't *

* Because I'm mad
about the boy *

* Mad about the boy *

Pardon me, please.

* I'm mad about the boy *

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

I'm sorry to disturb this
evening's entertainment,

but I have some rather
unhappy news.

The Japanese have now
crossed the Jahore Strait...

and have broken through
our lines.

And their guns
have the city in range.

As you can hear.

But, Colonel, only today,

the Straits Times reported...

that the Japanese
were being driven back.

I'm afraid, sir, the only true
thing you read in the newspapers
is the cricket scores.

Now, don't worry.

This hotel will be
perfectly safe.


As I'm sure the Japanese
high command...

will want to stay here...

and avail themselves
of the facilities.

The city will fall
within a few days.

All European women
and children...

are to leave immediately.

He can't mean us.
They're going to need us.

All soldiers to return
to their units.

Good luck.

Well, now we know.

They can see, which we
were told they couldn't.

And they can fight,

which we were told
they couldn't.

And they're here,

which we were told
they would never be.

Stop it, sir!

It's just up there.

Are you all right?

Come on, girlies.
Just leap down.

That's it.

Nurse: Thanks.

Take cover!

this isn't quite...

what I had
planned for us.

Oh, really?

I should have sent
you home months ago.

Well, at least Charlie
will be surprised.

I wouldn't have seen him
until your next leave.

Woman: Good evening.

Nice night for the
collapse of an empire.

Come on, now.

Before you know it,
we'll be back in Portsmouth....

sailing. You are a great
outdoor girl, Rosemary.

That's one thing
I love about you.

And indoors? I thought
you liked me indoors.


Oh, yes.

What rubbish!

Are you aware
that my husband...

is the head
of Singapore--

He could be the King
of Bongo Bongo,

but you can
still only take...

one suitcase
on board. That's it.

Oh, Celia,
come along quickly.

Gangway stowed!

Mrs. Roberts:
Take care, Robbie.

Bye, Daddy.
Ropes away!

Take it to the end
of the wharf, Chee Wan,

and push it off.
Yes, sir.

Damned if I'll have
some bloody Japanese officer

driving it about.

Lifejackets on.

Do them up,
nice and tight.

Just ask us
if you don't know how.

I'm glad to help you,

Woman: Thank you.

Lifejackets on, please.

Just let me know if you
need any help, miss.

So, what's going to happen
to the men, do you think?

Woman: With us out
of the way,

they're probably
already tucked up...

with their Malayan

It seems so ridiculous,

shoving us out
at the last minute.

It seems now
they should have...

shoved us out
months ago.

Oh, in all fairness,

we could have gone.

I think we chose
to stay.

Thanks. You're
all Australians.

That's right.

We've been in Singapore
for 2 months.

Now that they must
really need nurses,

you're leaving.


Oh, no, it's true.

It's ridiculous.

I was a secretary
at Army H.Q.

I saw the reports on what
the Japs did to the nurses...

in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Seaman: Lifejackets on,

Do them up,
nice and tight.

Oh, oh, don't go!


He can wait.

He'll still be there.

Seaman: Lifejackets on,

Give them back!

I haven't
taken them.


It's really quite simple,
Mummy. Look!

Like this.

Boy: Just
give them back!

Here, let me do it.

Oh, thank you.

Oh, Mrs.--

Topsy Merritt.

Of course, the American.

Your husband runs
the pineapple canning factory.

That's right.

Give them back!

I don't got them!

Perhaps the boys could
be restrained a little.

I know...

the conditions
are somewhat unusual,

but this is my cabin.

Your cabin?

It's my cabin.

I understood that Marty
arranged this cabin for me.

My husband
is an engineer...

coastal traders.

Mine is the head
of the P.W.D.

Mine's in pineapples.

Look, girls, we're just
going to have to get along.

It's only 5 weeks.

Oh, God!

Oh, very good.

Seaman: Keep your
lifejacket on, please.

Oh, thank you.

Excuse me, ladies.

Uh, how much longer...

do we have to wear
these lifejackets?

A few minutes now, lass.

Once we're 11 hours
out of Singapore,

we're out of range
of Jap fighters.

But the goddess Hera,
the wicked stepmother,

was so jealous
of Hercules...

that one night
she crept into his room...

and put 2 deadly snakes
in his cradle.

But he was--

What's that?

Hard to starboard!


Seaman: Abandon ship!

Turn sideways, Mummy.

Don't reckon
she's got a sideways.

Are we sinking?

Yes, that's right,

We're going to jump
into the water,

and it's going
to be lovely.


Take cover!

Get down!


Come on, children.

No, thank you, dear.
I'll stay here.

The ship is sinking,
Mrs. Roberts.

Hello, Mrs. Roberts.
Remember me?


We met at
the cricket club?

Oh, oh, of course, dear.
How are you?

Some other time, maybe.


Just take my hand,
Mrs. Roberts.

We'll jump together.

Of course.

Woman: Get in the raft!

Get a place in the boat!

Could be worse,
I suppose.

Do you think so?

Well, the water
could be cold.

That's true.

Must be Sumatra.


It's amazing how everyone's
just disappeared.

It's like one of those
girls' adventure annuals...

my mother gave me
every Christmas.

It's an adventure I could
certainly do without.

They always had
happy endings.

Oh! Now I'm cold.

If you spend a penny,
it'll warm you up.


We used to swim
in the North Sea...

in our school hols.

It was freezing.

We always did it.


It's working.

I'm starving.

Yeah, me, too.

Rosemary Leighton-Jones.

My husband is
Dennis Leighton-Jones.

Royal Malayan Volunteers.

How do you do?

Susan Macarthy.

Australian Army
Nursing Corps.

Adrienne Pargiter,
wife of tea planter.

How do you do?


You are English ladies.


Ah, yes.

I was for some years
in Singapore.

I was a, uh, newspaper

May I ask what you ladies
are doing here in Sumatra?

Our ship was sunk.

By your planes.

We swam to shore.

What can I say?

Except that
attacking the enemy...

is a characteristic
of war.

The Prince Albert was full
of women and children,

not soldiers.

A matter of regret.

More than that,

there's a Geneva

laying down
the rules of war.

Japan has signed
no Geneva convention.

If a war has begun,
it can only mean...

the time for rules
has ended.

The aim is to win.

Good luck.

Up until you reminded him
of the Geneva convention,

I thought we were going
to be invited to dine.


Susan! Susan!

How-- How did you
get here?

Jap navy boat
picked us up.

What were they like?

Oh, gentlemen
compared with this lot.

English Empire
Number 10.

Nippon Ichiban,
Number 1.


I am Colonel Hirota.

And uh, I am in command
of this--of this place.

Days of British
and Dutch peoples...

exploitation of Oriental
people all finish.

Now they exploit
Oriental people.

You Europeans had great
"proudry" and arrogance.

Think Oriental people

Situation now
100% reversed.

I'd like to know...

how long you expect us
to remain...

in these perfectly--

Woman: Take it all
to the kitchen, please.

Please, bring everything
to the kitchen.

Not so bad, really.

Woman: Uhh!

At least
it's food.

I went to an English
boarding school.

I meant by those standards.

It's funny. In the kitchen,
there seemed so much.

What do you mean?

Well... How do we know they're
dividing it up fairly...

those Dutch?

Oh, come off it.

They don't speak English.

Well, I think the food
that you saw...

had to be divided up
among over 400 people.

That's correct.
It doesn't go far.

I don't know that the Dutch
are noted for their cooking.

No, not like
the English people.

All I can say is,
I hope this is over...

very, very soon.

When our boys get here,
it'll be just a few weeks.

Your boys? What
about our boys?

Frankly, I don't
care which boys do it,

just as long as
we're going home.

She's right. Any
boys will do me.

Thought they might.

I've heard they're sending
all the noncombatants home.

What do you think
about that, now?

Where did you
hear that?

Oh, just around
and about.

We're all noncombatants,
Mrs. O'Riordan.

No. I mean like me.
See, I'm Irish.

We're neutral.

2 Portuguese ladies.

And you...
well, you're...

I have
a German passport.

on their side, aren't you?

So you think.

Already I have escaped
2 madmen in Europe.

Now I'm catched by
the oriental version.

from Singapore.

I don't think
we've met.

I don't think.

The English don't
invite Jewish refugees...

to the cricket club.

My husband and me,

we are doctors
in Asian hospital.

Oh, you're
a doctor.

That is what I say.
You like perhaps...

I send to Leipzig
for the certificate?

Oh, no. I--

they're sure
to let you go.

No. Japanese men
don't like lady.

Call Japanese lady
zashiki bita.

Means "old pig
in back of house."

Sounds strangely

I--I was in China when
the Japanese invaded,

and I think the people
they despised most...

were Europeans, then
prisoners, then women.

that's us.

All three.


You see man before?

Well, no.
Only here.

So, you know, some
little Oriental men...

big like this.

And some big
European men...

like this.

You never can tell.




And I thought
being a secretary...

was a rotten job.

What if they do win
the bloody war?

They'll have us
doing this forever.

They're not
going to win.

We'll win.

The British
don't lose wars.

Yeah? I reckon if I'd
paid attention in school,

I could think of a few.

They tell me
you are a model.

Oh, yes, it's true.

I think that
you're very beautiful.


You have been
to Paris?

Many times.


wonderful clothes and...

the lovely people.

The elegance.

In Singapore,
did you model?

Oh, no. I was visiting
my husband there.


I'm modeling next season
for Hartnell's in London.

London! Ohhh...

Well, I hope I am.


You know, you could do
some work, Mrs. Tippler.

In this heat?

We're all supposed to work
if we're not sick.

You're just lazy.




I'm completely...


Well, I'm sorry.

There's simply no other
word for it.

I'm buggered.

You know, this place
sure ain't Alcatraz.

We could be
under that fence...

and into that jungle...

before you could
say "boo."

Well, don't forget
to write, Topsy.

You would die in that
jungle. It's full of snakes.

Boa constrictors.


Yeah, well, after 3
months in this place...

it doesn't
sound so bad.

The locals
will betray you.

The Japanese have got
them all terrified.

That's right. Some
of the men escaped,

and they brought
them back.

They cut off their noses
and their ears,

and they hung them
upside down, so they did.

How awful.
All the loose change...

must've fallen
out of their pockets.

They'd have
hated that.

But it's true!

Yeah, well,
you've convinced me.

This place
ain't so lousy.

Room service
is a bit slow.


What men,
Mrs. O'Riordan?

That guard.

You know, the one that
looks like the actor.

Mr. Moto.
in all those...

detective films.
Peter Lorre.

Mr. Moto. Yes,
Mrs. O'Riordan,

but what men?

I was telling you.
That guard was saying...

there's a camp full of men
over the hill...

just a few miles away.

Now, they're Dutchmen,
I think.

But he says there are
some from Singapore.

Oh, Hudson
insisted on growing...

masses and masses
of red carnations.

Woman: Ooh, lovely.

Hey, Dr. Mizushima.

Get me some quinine,
eh? And some bandages...

and morphine
und a stethoscope.

Even some aspirin
is good.

Just Mercurochrome.

Mercurochrome. I know.

I-- You Japanese think
it cures everything.

Then you give me
some cigarettes, eh?

I'm a German, your ally.

I'm not one of these
British colonialists.

Uhh. Only Japanese?

Taste like cow dung.

How she is?

Oh, Doctor...

can't get her
to eat anything.

I think it's just...

uhh... too much
for her, really.

For a lot of them.

They don't adjust,
they die, my dear.

How many gone since we come
to this wonderful place?

Oh, 4.

Not so bad.
Be worse by Christmas...

with the bad food
and no medicine.

Christmas?! The war
will be over by Christmas.

Don't you bet your fuddler
on that one, my darling.

What's a fuddler?

I think I can guess.

Oh, fuddler.

Do you think
she's really a doctor?

do you mean?

Well, who'd know? She
certainly got herself...

out of working
in the field--


...and cleaning out
the lavatory.

Buck up, Phyllis.
It's Christmas.

Where's the champagne?
The plum pudding

Oh, it's lovely,

Perhaps now might be a time
to deal with that dog.

He'd make
a nice stew.

It's only a little dog.
It don't eat much.

Yes, but he does eat what we
could give to the children.

But how will Mrs. Roberts
cope without him?

She's right, Edna.
It'd be the end of her.

I think...

this must be
the servants' quarters.

Tell Chen Li...

only to come
when we call.

Mommy, that's
not Chen Li.

That's Wing.


Malaria bad.
So sorry. Yes.

We can't get
any quinine?

I think she's
been stealing...

the sugar again, dear.

You have to watch
these Chinese, Robbie.

I get quinine.

[ Shouting
In Japanese ]

[ Shouting
In Japanese ]

[ Shouting
In Japanese ]

Not so young no more.


Oh. Thank you.

Did they see you?

I think maybe no.


They catch them?

Can't tell.

Here you are,
Mommy. Take this.

That black market could
get us all into trouble.

They warned us. They'll
cut our rations gain.

She's right.

Here, Mommy.
This can help.

Wait! Wait!

[ Man Shouts
In Japanese ]

What is it?

no more gin.

It's sake.
Japan drink.

Very strong.

You no like?

Mmm. I wouldn't
say that.

Look who's here.


What's that? Sounds
like a Chinese dish.

Would be better. It's
Japan's secret police.



Ohhh! Oh! Oh!








"How silent
is this place.

"The brilliant sunshine
filters through the trees.

"The leaves are rustled
by a gentle breeze.

"A wild and open space,

"by shrubs, pink-tipped,

is o'ergrown.

"A hush enfolds me,

"deep as I have known,

"unbroken, safe,
by distant insects drone.

"A jungle clearing.

"A track...

through which
we bear our load to Him."

It is our Paradise Road.

How silent is this place.

How sacred
is this place.

[ Women
Speaking Dutch ]

One would think
they would've learned...

a few words
of English by now.

They understand a lot
more than they let on.

Oh. Wait
a minute.

I want my soap.
Where's that soap?



Soap. Soap.

Ah. Ah.
What else?


Don't give me that.
I was here. Right there!

I had to write
an I.O.U....

for £5 for that soap,
and I want it now!

Ladies! Ladies!

Calm down!
What is this?

So you think
they took your soap?

I don't think so.

You don't think so?

Well, I bloody well
think so.

Maybe we should
just have a look...

in their ugly bloody dresses
or their silly wooden shoes.


See soap.




You were humming
the Elgar Concerto.

[ Hums Notes
From Concerto ]

Do you know I went to
the very first performance.

Felix Salmond.
Leeds, 1920.

That was almost
my last concert.

The church sent me to China
a few months later.

But... I mean, you're
not a musician,

are you,
Miss Drummond?

Your poem. I assumed
you taught English.

Oh, I taught a bit
of everything in China.

But... I did study music
at Durham.

Miss Drummond...

would you care to take
a turn with me...

in the gardens
before lights out?

I'd be delighted,
Mrs. Pargiter.

Oh. I'm so sorry. I've
interrupted your prayers.

Oh, perhaps,
it's just as well.

I was about to ask God...

to smite Captain Tanaka
and the Snake...

with a severe case
of dysentery.

I studied music
at the Royal Academy...

under Sir Henry Wood.

What did you play,
the violin or the viola?

The violin.
How did you know?

Just a guess.
You were humming...

the Symphonie Concertante
the other night,

and that has leads
for both instruments.


I came out to Singapore
with my father,

and I met my husband William,
who's an absolute darling,

but music was fairly low
on the list of priorities...

for Singapore society.

Very low, judging
by the stories I've read...

by Mr. Somerset Maugham.

Oh, well...
if you've read him,

you think we do nothing
but drink G & Ts...

and murder one another
and indulge in ceaseless--

Wife swapping?

What will they
think of next?

Do you know,
Miss Drummond,

I feel I owe you
an apology.


My-- My snobbery.

We never mixed with
missionaries in Singapore.

We were taught
to look down on them.

Oh, what a tedious lot,
most of us,

and very self-righteous.

You're not serious.

Not really. Well...
maybe just a bit.

Oh, dear.

Back we go,

or the head prefect
will be after us.

Do you know,
Mrs. Pargiter,

I've just had
a wonderful idea.

An orchestra?
You're crazy.

Do you expect the Japanese
would give us instruments?

Not at all,

I thought I'd made
that clear.

We don't need

I don't think so, Adrienne.
After what happened,

no one's in the mood
for a sing-along.

But that's
just the point.

I don't think
it's such a bad idea.

Do you read music,
Mrs. O'Riordan?

Read it? Didn't know
you could read it.

But I can sing it
all right.

I was in the choir
at school.

I think it's
a harebrained idea, Adrienne.

We hardly have
the strength to talk.

You want my advice, you'll
forget the whole thing.

You think the Japs
will agree?

Not on your Nellie.

They have forbidden
any meetings...

or religious services.

We can't even have
classes for the children.

You must have perfect
recall, Miss Drummond.

I envy you.

They say Mozart
could play any piece...

after hearing it
only once.

But I'm cheating. I know
Dvorák back to front.

It's probably
full of mistakes.

I don't think so.

It's rather

isn't it?

You'll have your work
cut out for you...

when you conduct it.

I'm not conducting it.
You are.


Well, you trained
at the Royal Academy.

Yes, but I was a violinist,
and that was years ago.

Miss Pargiter,
you read music.

And Sir Thomas Beecham
isn't available.


After tea,
we will go--

Use "shall."
"Shall" is more refined.

...shall go to
the member's stand...

and vatch the--

And watch.

And watch the gentlemen
play the cricket.


What are we
gonna sing?

I love
Rudy Vallee.

It won't be
Rudy Vallee.

Mrs. Roberts,
what about you?

Oh, my dear,
I was a stalwart...

of the Cathedral
Choir of Singapore,

and my husband Robbie

You have a lovely
voice, Mummy.

Well, perhaps
I should consider it.

I'll put you down.

Tan, Millie, you've
heard about our choir.

You'll join us,
won't you?

What kind of people will
be in this group, dear?


What's wrong?
I simply asked...

what kind of people
would be in this group.

People like us, Mommy.
Prisoners of the Japanese.

But that's
irrelevant, dear.

One has
a certain position.

I mean, one can tolerate
the Dutch, some of them, but--

Mummy, I--

What is it, Celia?

Try to finish
your sentences.

Do you remember Wing?

Well, of course I do.

Horrible business.


But who knows what
kind of contraband...

she was trading in?

I mean, probably
some Oriental--

Quinine, Mommy. She'd gone
to get quinine for you.

You know what
Colonel Hirota said...

about writing anything.

They find that,

they could execute
the whole bloody lot of us.

Perhaps we're
all being put...

in a precarious
position, Adrienne.

I happen to think...

it's worth risking.


The Japanese will only find out
if somebody says something.

And what's that
supposed to mean?

Somebody tells them
every time one of us...

rolls over in bed.

You've always got
plenty of cigarettes.

Do you think that--

I've never heard
anything so insulting.

Well, someone told them
it was Wing...

trading outside the fence
that night.

Well, it certainly
wasn't me!

What about
that Jew doctor?

about that one?

Always making eyes
at that bloody guard.

Susan, Mrs. Tippler,
that's enough.

S'truth! You were always...

the shyest little thing
at nursing school.

Maybe nobody there
ever got my goat.

Well, then.

Who's first?

Um...Mrs. O'Riordan?

If you would.

* Ah *

[ Hums Scale
Slightly Off

Thank you.


Mrs. Cronje.

Mrs. Cronje,
would you, please?

* Ah *

[ Hums Scale
Confidently ]

Quick. Hide it.


Oh, God.

Eh, I reckon...

she's gonna be all
right, Mrs. Roberts.

She might have...

a bit
of a funny bark.

Thank you, dear.
Thank you so much.

Oh, thank you.

Oh, Tillie,

come and have
some water, dear.

[ Continues,
Indistinct ]

You okay?


No, not so okay,
but I breathe,

so it's
not so bad.

I think you might have
a touch of malaria.

I might be able
to get some...quinine.

I'll get
some whiskey.

Cures everything.

So, after the war,

you go to medical
school, yes?


Yes, you. Why not?

You know, my father'll want
me back at the station.

He never even wanted me
to go into nursing.

Station. He is
a railway master?

No. I was--it's
a sheep station.

It's like a farm.

You do what you
want, darling...

not what
your father want.

He get plenty of those
big Australian men...

to work on the station.

So. The Japanese
end the ladies' choir...

before it even begin.

Oh, not at all. And
it's a vocal orchestra,

not a choir.

But you can't possibly
go on with it,

not if they won't let
everybody meet.

It's only the large group that
attracted the Snake's attention.

You don't give
a damn about us...

the whole camp.

I beg
your pardon?

Isn't all this just
so you can lord it...

over the rest of us,
boss everyone around?

The whole thing
might be a bit...

grandiose, Adrienne.
I mean,

how many
women conductors...

are there, anyway?

None that I know of.


Well, then this is
probably a first;

to be proud of.

No. Excuse me, Mrs. Roberts,
you were late.

Oh, I don't
think so, dear.

Yes, Mrs. Roberts.
You must watch me.

I was
watching you.

Perhaps everyone else
was early.

No, Mrs. Roberts.
Once again, everyone.

* Ah *



[ Shouting
In Japanese ]



boring man.

[ Shouting
In Japanese ]

Aah! Oh!


Is there something we can do
for you, Sergeant Tomayashi?


"Conner... Griffin... Munn."

Well, it isn't just
our orchestra women, is it?


I can't see what it means.

Do they have
something in common?

Some of the Dutch girls
are on here, too.

Well, repatriations?

You're there,

And Susan
and Topsy.

I know. God, what else
could they do to us?

It says the main gate
after tenko.

We'd better not go.
We just won't go!

Just say you have
another engagement.

Mistake. They'll do
something awful...

if we don't go.

I know
what this is.


This is all
the younger girls--

all the more
attractive ones.

Am I on there?


This is Japanese
Officer's Club.

This is Japanese
officer men.

Most were educated
and refined.

Some speak English...

like Englishmen
from Oxford.

What rubbish.

Japanese officer
look for volunteer...

to work in club.

Volunteer have
plenty of food...

and satin sheet.

And we're
the acceptable volunteers?

That is correct

is what I call it.

I'd rather kiss a leper
from Leopoldville...

before I let any
of that lot touch me.

Well, we don't
have to stay.

They're not forcing us.


Our own satin sheets?

Ladies who stay
in beautiful house...

will please to walk
in direction indicated.

No. You can't be serious.

Too right I am.

You know bloody well...

we've got
Buckley's chance...

of getting
through the war...

in that camp.

You think
I want to end up...

in some
shallow grave...

in Sumatra?

The war's going to
be finished soon.

You said that
over a year ago.



Hot water. Ahem.

Is there hot water
in this club?

Plenty hot water.

Plenty soap.


It's been so long.


Topsy, don't be absurd.

Japanese officers
gonna be any worse...

than most of the
creeps we've all known?


What about Marty?

Well, what
he don't know--

Then what about
the vocal orchestra?

I'll be an alto short
if you go.

Are you asking me
to give up food and soap...

and God knows what else,
so I can starve and sing?!


I suppose I am.



A good Catholic sister
like you.

I just can't believe
you're not more--


I'm not their judge.

If they want to survive,
maybe they will this way.

The will to survive
is very strong,

stronger than anything.

I just can't believe
what you're saying.

Very well, Phyllis.

I've just lost four sopranos
in that lot.

You're going to
have to join us now.

I'm not interested
in your bloody choir.

Well, you could stop
lying around and whinging...

and jolly well
get interested.


What about you two?

Oh, no, not me. I--


Look, to be honest,

I don't like the kind
of music you're doing.

It's got no tune.

You really don't know...

what you're
talking about.



All right, now, altos,
it's two notes.

* Mmm *

* Mmm *

* Mmm *

All right?


* Mmm *

* Mmm * Yep.

How many
do you have today?

Two. I found them
both just staring up...

like this.

Just wait till
Mrs. Van der Weyden dies.

She's so big
with beri-beri,
it will take 10 women...

just to carry her
out of the hut.

Yeah. We'll have to
jump on her...

to get her
in the coffin.

Dr. Verstak?

Yes. Over here.

So, how it goes,
the English ladies' choir?

I can't tell.

Lots of starting
and stopping, it seems.

Not much singing.

You sound
very disapproving.

Oh, but I'm not.

It will keep
the ladies busy,

and that is good,

but the noise
they will make !

It is not for someone...

who's heard the great
choirs of Leipzig...

and Vienna.

What are you doing?

You're pulling out
their gold fillings.

Quite right, my dear.

They are of no further use
to their owners.

You should not
be so squeamish...

with all that you
have seen.

I think this
takes the cake.

So this is how...

you get your whiskey
and cigarettes.

That is so,

and the small amount
of medicine that we have.

How do you think
we get that,

the Japanese
give it to us?

I trade with the guards.


Amazing how strong.

Anyway, it's best
you know all this...

in case something
happen to me.

What do you mean?

I should carry on
doing this?

Only if you want some
of the ladies in the camp...

to stay alive. Ah!

So what do you sing?

Oh, um...

it's all stuff
I've never heard.

Oh, uh, some...




They sing Dvorák?

Yes, that's it.

You don't know Dvorák?

What? They don't teach you
anything in Australia?

Only about sheep?


Aah! Uhh!

I have perhaps
seen you before.

I think not.

I think so.

The insolent lady
to whom I gave a ride.

Japanese soldiers
never attack women.

You refused to bow to him.

He struck you on the face,
quite rightly,

then you struck him.

No. He was drunk.
I could smell the sake.

He grabbed me
from behind--



[ Speaking
Japanese ]

[ Speaking
Japanese ]

Colonel Hirota say
incident with the lady...

most regrettable,

but is death for
strike Japanese soldier.

Lady have
very bad manners.

Manners very important
to Japanese people.

[ Speaking
Japanese ]

That is all.

You're starving and beating
woman and children.

You steal our Red Cross
parcels for yourselves.

You don't give us any
medicine for the sick,

not even the quinine for the
bloody malaria everyone's got.

You make us work like slaves.

You don't even let us
write to our families,

and you have the cheek
to sit there...

and lecture us on good manners!

Tomorrow, lady
will be executed.

Please, please!

You tell Colonel Hirota
that I saw what happened.

The Colonel knows
that I'm a nun,

and nuns never tell lies.

The lady
only raises her hands...

to protect herself.

Like this, and then
she hit him by accident,

and he fell back
into the latrine.

Colonel Hirota
say he regret,

but the incident all dealt
with by Captain Tanaka.

Captain Tanaka
with Kempei-Tai.

So Captain Tanaka is
in charge of this camp?

I understood it was you,
Colonel Hirota.

Two broken ribs
is not so bad.

Better than...

[ Imitates
Knife Cutting ]


You will not be able
to move around...

for maybe a week,
maybe two.

That's impossible.

Everything's arranged
for Saturday.

It's our anniversary.


We've been here
two years.


what an anniversary.

Well, you do
as you like.

I'm only the doctor.

I told a lie,

but God
will forgive me.

I think He will even
congratulate me.

I have
some medicine.






I love whiskey.

I'm a nun, not a saint.

And you,
are you a saint?

No, no. That would
make me fall over.

Oh, I've never drunk
whiskey before.

Let us hope
that you do worse things...

in your life,
darling. Prost.

Bottoms up.

Faith, you can do
very little with it...

and nothing without it.


Yes, Japanese whiskey,
not scotch.

Still, we can't
have everything.

You got some


All the rage
in Palembang.



Look at these!

Oh, gee, it's been a long time
since I kissed a man.

There's nothing nicer.

Only one thing.

Heh heh heh!Heh heh!

You look lovely,

Some man will be
very lucky one day.

Not if we stay here.

Then we meet no one.

We shall not
meet anyone.


But we won't
stay here.

One day we shall
all go home.


There's gonna be trouble.

Japs won't
take this lying down.

Come on.

I'm fallin' down
like an old house.

Would you look at me legs?

They look like
that little wooden man.



That's the fellow.

Uh-oh. Winner...

of the 1944 Dale Carnegie
Charm School Award,

Tokyo division.


No go!



You like?

[ Man Speaking
Chinese ]

It's for you
from Chinese man.

"My darling, I hope
this finds you well.

"I'm in the camp
at Talang-Batu.

"I'm escaping with
some of the Aussies.

"See you in Sydney.
Hotel Australia.

All my love."

Bugger the emperor.

Bugger the emperor.


Fancy having a flag
with a poached egg on it.

Colonel Hirota proud
to report further victory...

of Japanese armed forces.

American imperialists...

removed from many
Pacific Island,

and Australia
bombed many times.

Australian government...

want to make peace
with Japan.

That'll be the day.

Churchill and Roosevelt,

number 10.

Emperor Hirohito,
Son of Heaven...

number one.



Come here.

Oh, no.

Woman: At least
it's not me.

You spoke.

What did you say?

I said, "Warm, isn't it,
for this time of year?"

[ Speaking
Japanese ]


When you say
to Captain Tanaka...

that all wars end,

you tell him that perhaps
the invincible Japanese army...

will lose this one.

Who knows?

And if they do,

his treatment
of this young woman...

will not result
in the Allies...

building any shrines
to him.

Maybe they even hang him.


I do not think
you are in a position...

to threaten
Captain Tanaka.

Not a threat.

Advice only.

I'm his ally.

You tell him.

I think it's impossible.

Oh, I can
understand this,

but, you try...



Lift her up.

Oh, my dear...

that's one to tell
your grandchildren.

Oh, I knew
he was bluffing.

Yeah, show-off.

It's just humming,
that's all.

Anybody could do that.

Miss Drummond.




I loved it.

Woman: Brava!

Do you know,
Miss Drummond,

I just realized I don't
know your Christian name.

It's Daisy.

I've always hated it.

I wish to be called

Well, then,
Margaret it is.

Why not?

A gift...

from Colonel Hirota.


Oh, thank you.

Oh, this will go a long way
among 300 of us.

Colonel Hirota say
you will please to sing...

one Japanese folk song.

Tell him no.


but this is very
difficult to say.

Tell him my appreciation
of the Japanese culture...

is at a low ebb.

I think I make
some other reason.

As you wish.

You don't hate them,
do you?

Why not?

I've tried,
but I just can't...

bring myself
to hate people.

The worse
they behave,

the sorrier
I feel for them.

Are you comfortable,
Mrs. O'Riordan?

I'm all right.

No go!

Boys no go!
Too big.

Go men's camp.


Mom, please!

It'll be all right!

Don't let anybody
push you around.


So, Mr. Tomio...

where are we going now?

what's happening?

I don't know.

I think you do know.

No, I don't.

Tell us something,
Mr. Tomio.

Be a man.

General MacArthur
back in Philippines.

Chase Japanese soldier
all over place.

Try it.


I always wanted
to be an engineer,

but my father wanted me
to be a nun.

Don't worry.
I love God,

even though I sometimes
wonder what he's doing.



If my guys
are coming,

why don't
the Japs just go...

and leave us

I don't think they've
ever done anything...

that made much sense.

It's the satin sheet brigade.

I knew I should've
joined that bunch.

I think maybe
we all should've.

Up there is the mountains
of Loebok Lingau.

My father would
take us there...

in the summer.

In the jungle,
there are many tigers.

At night we close
all the windows and doors,

or they come in the house.

I lie there
and I hear them...

walk up and down
the verandah.

Pom, pom.

So heavy they are.

I can hear them breathing...

through the other side
of the shutter.

One morning,
I opened the door...

and a big tiger is sleeping
on the front stoop.



I spent my summers...

at my family's home
in Dorset.

No tigers.

Just rain.

Soft days,
we called them.

That's where
I met Dennis.

We were 17,

and he was my
school friend's brother.

I thought he was
the best-looking boy...

I'd ever seen,

but it took him so long
to kiss me,

I thought it was
never going to happen.

And then it did?

Oh, yes!

Ha ha ha!

We were in
my father's study.

I nearly fainted.

We were so young,

they didn't want us
to see each other,

so we pretended
we weren't in love.

So you keep
seeing each other?

Oh, yes.

We didn't
fool anybody.

I realized love
is like a flame.

It burns and is
visible to all.


Be careful.

Are you all right?

Is Susan here?


If I ever get
out of this,

I'll never say a word
against New Jersey.

You'll never
get out of this.

None of us
will ever leave Sumatra.

Come on.
A little towards me.

That's it.




Kill it.
We'll eat it.


Don't give up now.

Dennis vouldn't want that.


Rosemary, remember,
we are going to Lord's...

to watch the gentlemens
play cricket.

Then we have some tea.

Snake's not so bad.

The grasshopper's

Wonder what
Bing Crosby's up to now.

Bing Crosby?

I miss him.
That's all.

Beaut he is,
Bing Crosby.

We must get the orchestra
started again.

We've got to have
a rehearsal.


Yes, of course,

Show the Japanese
we're still alive.

Still got
some spirit left.

That bloody choir.

Totally exhausted

They won't be able
to find enough people now...

for a barbershop quartet.

Oh, shut up, Harriet.

Shut up?

You were bullied
into joining by Adrienne.

That's true.

Best thing that
ever happened to me.

Here you are, Mummy.

Mummy, you have
to eat something.

No, dear.

I really
don't mind dying.


I learned a great deal
in the camp.

I did nothing, you know,
in Singapore.

Mummy, you're not
going to die.

Yes, dear...

I am.

I'm really sorry
that I won't see...

your dear father again.

I have so much to tell him.

So much.



The beautiful
English girl.

Paradise Road.


perhaps tonight.

Sometimes God reaches down...

and pulls the wings
off his butterflies.


She doesn't want
to live anymore.

Perhaps now she realizes
the world is not a place...

where lovers are reunited
and good always wins.

She saw her husband
at the railway yard.

The great love affair.

I can't say I'd pine away
after any of my husbands.

If I fall in love,

then I hope
it is like that.

Good luck, my dear.

"Father, in captivity...

"we would lift
our prayer to Thee.

"Keep us ever in Thy love.

"Grant that daily
we may prove...

"those who place
their trust in Thee,

more than conquerors
may be."

"Give us patience
to endure.

"Keep our hearts
serene and pure.

"Grant us courage,

greater faith, humility."

"Readiness to own Thy will,

be we free
or captive still."


All: Amen.


What are you doing?

The French eat snails,
don't they?

Yes, but I think those
ones will make you sick.

I'm here, Margaret.

You can't die now.

Not now.

She's asking
for something.

"The Lord is my Shepherd.

"I shall not want.

"He maketh me to lie down
in green pastures.

"He leadeth me
beside the still waters.

"He restoreth my soul.

"He leadeth me in the paths
of righteousness...

"for His name's sake.

"Yea, though I walk
through the valley...

"of the shadow of death,

"I will fear no evil,

"for Thou art with me.

"Thy rod and Thy staff,
they comfort me.

"Thou preparest
a table before me...

"in the presence
of mine enemies.

"Thou anointest
my head with oil.

"My cup runneth over.

"Surely goodness and mercy
will follow me...

"all the days of my life,

"and I will dwell...

in the House
of the Lord forever."

That's what I wanted.


The war...

is over.

Who won?

Once more...

we can be friend.

I have done my best for you.

I know...

not enough.

But I could do no more.

Woman: We weren't number 10.

Oh, Tillie!

Does this mean...

it's back to picking up
groceries, laundry,

and all that? My God!

For you, my dear.

For me, it is
luxury hotels...

and limousine cars.

Dr. Verstak.

Yes, Macarthy.

Are you really
a doctor?

Yes and no.

My husband
is a medical doctor.

I'm Doctor
of Philosophy.

I hurt no one.
Maybe I help.

Is wanting
to survive so bad?


Dear Susan.


we made it.

Yes, we did.

Some of us.

I can't believe it!

[ Vocal Orchestra Performs
Londonderry Air ]