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Three Came Home

90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Claudette Colbert, Patric Knowles, Sessue Hayakawa. The Japanese force a courageous female American author and her British husband into a prison camp during WWII. Based on actual experiences of Agnes Newton. 1950/b&w/106 min/NR/fullscreen.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Claudette Colbert, Patric Knowles, Florence Desmond, Sessue Hayakawa, Sylvia Andrew
  • Directors: Jean Negulesco
  • Writers: Nunnally Johnson, Agnes Newton Keith
  • Producers: Nunnally Johnson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 16, 2002
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006AUGN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,693 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Three Came Home" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Erik Rupp VINE VOICE on February 8, 2004
Format: DVD
I had never even heard of Three Came Home until I ran across it in a catalog. The description sounded interesting enough to get me to buy it, and I'm glad I did. Three Came Home is a riveting and moving film that grabs the viewer and never lets go. Focusing on what happened to many civilians in the Pacific the film covers a 4 year period from 1941 to 1945, and it shows what kind of hardships and trials many people had to endure in prison camps during the war, primarily focusing on womens camps. Claudette Colbert gives a fantastic performance, and Sessue Hayakawa is outstanding as the Colonel in charge of the prison camps. The script is intelligent and filled with great dialogue, and the acting is first rate throughout. The Alpha DVD is quite good - the print is VERY clean for a "bargain" (public domain) copy, and you should have no concerns as to the quality of this DVD. Highly recommended.
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127 of 132 people found the following review helpful By F. Gentile on May 28, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
One of the best World War Two era dramas ever. The fact that I had never heard of this movie is a testament to it's being under-rated. It's usually not shown in retrospectives of war movies, not enough testosterone displayed, I presume, which is a shame, as it is a powerful take on the "human" side of war, and the effects on the individual. Claudette Colbert, whose only starring role I was familiar with was in "It Happened One Night", is wonderfully touching and noble in this true- story based drama of an author forcefully seperated from her husband and placed, with her little boy, in a Japanese prison camp. As anyone who reads my reviews knows, I like strong womens roles, the good ones of which are few and far between. This is one of the best. Her portrayal is one of pathos, bravery, and perseverence in the face of overwhelming, spirit- breaking odds. This film also offers a rare for that time somewhat sympathetic view of the Japanese, in the role of Sessue Hayakawas' Japanese officer who, over time, developes a true respect for Colberts character that transcends gender and war time prejudices, and, shows the human loss on both sides. This film says just as much about the tragedy of war, maybe more so, than any battle scenes. I am not generally a fan of many war movies, how many battle scenes can you watch??, but I was totally drawn in when I happened upon this film by accident on the History Channel. I was so impressed by it that I bought the video, after trying to track it down for some time. A wonderfully moving drama, yes, it is a "tear-jerker", but much more than that, it is also ultimatley uplifting. A classic movie, very radical for it's time, it's a must have for any film buff, or anyone who wants to see what true movie making WAS.
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By James L. on September 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Claudette Colbert gives a very strong performance as real life writer Agnes Keith, an American woman living on Borneo with her British husband and son during WWII. When the Japanese invade, she and her son are separated from her husband, Patric Knowles, and all are imprisoned in camps. A Japanese colonel, very well played by Sessue Hayakawa, takes an interest in Colbert since he has read her book, and they have a platonic relationship that is one of the most interesting features of the movie. He has been educated in America, and he reveals more about himself than a typical Japanese soldier would. Three Came Home illustrates the poor conditions of prison camps during WWII and the effect of the war on those who weren't soldiers but had to fight to survive. It's a dramatic story, well acted, and worth viewing.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dave on April 13, 2005
Format: DVD
"Three Came Home" is the true story of Agnes Newton Keith's experiences during World War Two. Based on her autobiography, this moving yet surprisingly brutal (especially for 1950) war film has somehow remained largely forgotten over the years. With top-notch performances, especially from Claudette Colbert and Sessue Hayakawa, this a definite must for any fan of classic movies.

Claudette Colbert stars as Agnes Keith, a writer who lives in British North Borneo in 1940-41 with her husband (Patric Knowles) and little boy. They are part of a small community of British civilians (Colbert is the only American among them) living in the region, and life is good for them, until they hear of the Dec. 7, 1941 surprise attack by Japanese forces on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. It's then only a matter of weeks until the Japanese troops land in Borneo. When they do land, Mrs. Keith and all the other civilians are quickly rounded up and "introduced" to their new "masters". On May 12, 1942, Agnes and her husband are seperated as they're sent to different prison camps. She has her young son with her, and they struggle to survive in their new harsh environment.

However, Agnes meets the prison camp commander, Col. Suga (Sessue Hayakawa), who's amazingly a fan of hers because of her famous novels, and slowly they become friends. But that friendship doesn't prevent her from being assaulted one night by a camp guard or from taking a brutal beating during a relentless interrogation by a different officer. But Col. Suga does his best to keep Agnes and her son safe, even after his own family is wiped out by the atomic bomb at Hiroshima.
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