Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1983]

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Special Features

  • The Oshima Gang, a 1983 Making-0f Featurette
  • New Video Interviews with Producer Jeremy Thomas, Screenwriter Paul Mayersberg, Actor Tom Conti, and Actor-Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Hasten Slowly, an hour-long 1996 Documentary about Author Laurens van der Post, whose Autobiographical novel was the basis for the film
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • New and Improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: a Booklet featuring an essay by film writer Chuck Stephens and reprinted Interviews with Director Nagisa Oshima and Actor Takeshi Kitano


Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence was the first English-language project of Japanese director Nagisa Oshima (Death by Hanging, In the Realm of the Senses). In tune with his previous filmic essays on racism and brutality, Merry Christmas concentrates on a war of wills between rebellious POW David Bowie and camp commandant Ryuichi Sakomoto. Assuming that his other prisoners' unwillingness to protest their cruel treatment is a sign of weakness, Sakomoto is most impressed by Bowie's enigmatic defiance. While Bowie and Sakomoto seem to be operating on a high spiritual and intellectual plane, bilingual prisoner Tom Conti (the "Mr. Lawrence" of the title) engages in a more standard adversarial relationship with sadistic sergeant Takeshi Kitano. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • David Bowie
    David Bowie - Celliers
  • Tom Conti
    Tom Conti - Col. John Lawrence
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto
    Ryuichi Sakamoto - Yonoi
  • Jack Thompson
    Jack Thompson - Hicksley
  • Image coming soon
    Johnny Okura - Kanemoto
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