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Paradise Road Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Based on the testimony of survivors, this historical drama recounts the WWII heroism of female prisoners of war. (Glenn Close) stars as Adrienne Partiger, a society doyenne who flees Singapore with other expatriate women, mostly the wives of servicemen, when Japanese forces invade in 1942. When their gunboat is sunk in an air attack, the survivors wash ashore on Japanese-held Sumatra. The women are interned in a grim POW camp where punishments for even minor infractions are extreme. With the help of a missionary (Pauline Collins), Partiger corrals the women, including a tough American (Julianna Margulies), an Australian nurse (Cate Blanchett) and a young wife (Jennifer Ehle) into a musical group. Since singing is not allowed, the a cappella chorus dubs itself "a vocal orchestra" and is tolerated -- if barely -- by their Japanese captors. Though living conditions are squalid, food is scarce, and a thin sliver of soap inspires a shower brawl, the music keeps spirits uplifted and a Jewish-German doctor (Frances McDormand) provides some medical aid. Writer-director Bruce Beresford interviewed real-life participants in similar POW musical groups. Some provided, from memory, sheet music of the pieces they performed, which were used in the film. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

  • Release date:April 11, 1997

Cast

Glenn Close
as Adrienne Pargiter
Pauline Collins
as Margaret Drummond
Cate Blanchett
as Susan McCarthy
Frances McDormand
as Dr. Verstak
Julianna Margulies
as Topsy Merritt
Elizabeth Spriggs
as Mrs. Roberts
Jennifer Ehle
as Rosemary Leighton-Jones
Tessa Humphries
as Celia Roberts
Susie Porter
as Oggi
Sab Shimono
as Colonel Hiroyo
Wendy Hughes
as Mrs. Dickson
James Donadio
Susie Porter
as Oggi
Wendy Hughes
as Mrs. Dickson
Tessa Humphries
as Celia Roberts
Sab Shimono
as Colonel Hiroyo

Crew

Bruce Beresford
Director
Sue Milliken
Producer
Gregory Coote
Producer
Martin Meader
Screen Story
Bruce Beresford
Screenwriter
Ross Edwards
Composer (Music Score)
Tim Wellburn
Editor
Herbert Pinter
Production Designer
Ian Gracie
Art Director
Andrew Yap
Executive Producer
Graham Burke
Executive Producer
Brian Edmonds
Set Designer
Terry Ryan
Costume Designer
Gary Wilkins
Sound/Sound Designer
Colin Fletcher
First Assistant Director
Patsy Pollock
Casting
Joseph Middleton
Casting
Alison Barrett
Casting
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