• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:August 24, 2022

Three Came Home


Mark Keuning and Claudette Colbert. Photo: 20th Century Fox

When the Japanese invade North Borneo in 1941, an American couple (Claudette Colbert, Patric Knowles) is separated; Agnes is sent to a prison camp in the jungle. The true story of author Agnes Newton Keith’s struggle during World War II became an influential book because of its unique female perspective. This screen adaptation succeeds fairly well in doing it justice; filmed on location in what is now Malaysia, it has a touch of realism, to the extent it was possible to show the grim details of the suffering in the camp. Solid work from Colbert (who even broke her back during filming) and Sessue Hayakawa as the sophisticated colonel.

1950-U.S. 106 min. B/W. Produced and written by Nunnally Johnson. Directed by Jean Negulesco. Book: Agnes Newton Keith. Cinematography: Milton Krasner, William H. Daniels. Cast: Claudette Colbert (Agnes Newton Keith), Patric Knowles (Harry Keith), Florence Desmond (Betty Sommers), Sessue Hayakawa (Michio Suga), Sylvia Andrew, Phyllis Morris.

Trivia: Olivia de Havilland was considered for the lead role. 

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