Prisoners of the Sun (1990)

R   |    |  Drama, War

Prisoners of the Sun (1990) Poster

The island of Ambon in Indonesia, 1945. During the War, the number of Australian POWs on the island had dropped from 1100 to less than 300 due to abuses by their Japanese captors. Capt. ... See full summary »

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  • Russell Crowe and Bryan Brown in Prisoners of the Sun (1990)
  • Terry O'Quinn in Prisoners of the Sun (1990)
  • Russell Crowe in Prisoners of the Sun (1990)
  • Bryan Brown in Prisoners of the Sun (1990)
  • Russell Crowe in Prisoners of the Sun (1990)
  • Bryan Brown and Tetsu Watanabe in Prisoners of the Sun (1990)

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27 December 2010 | mjneu59
| shallow war crime melodrama
Bryan Brown portrays a military lawyer prosecuting the garrison of a Japanese POW camp where 800 Aussie soldiers were killed during World War Two. Of course the whole notion of a war crimes trial is totally ridiculous, but director Stephen Wallace ignores the built-in ambiguities of the post-war legal inquisition to offer, instead, a holy crusade against the enemies of freedom, with enough courtroom histrionics to make Perry Mason blush: emotional outbursts; surprise witnesses; flashback re-enactments and so forth. The script makes no attempt to understand the enemy: most of the Japanese are inscrutable monsters, led by George Takei, who gets star billing with a five-minute walk-on role, presumably to lure the unwary Trekkie into seeing the film. The other villains are (predictably) the American overlords, represented by Terry O'Quinn, wearing sinister Douglas Macarthur-style sunglasses and making ominous references to a New World Order. The film is based on a true story, but the subject of war crimes and punishment deserves a deeper, more substantial treatment than this handsome, high-minded piece of fluff.

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