Blood Oath (film)

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Blood Oath
Blood Oath Australian DVD cover
Directed by Stephen Wallace
Produced by Charles Waterstreet
Denis Whitburn
Written by Denis Whitburn
Brian A. Williams
Starring Bryan Brown
George Takei
Terry O'Quinn
Music by David McHugh
Cinematography Russell Boyd
Edited by Nicholas Beauman
Distributed by Roadshow Entertainment
Release dates Australia 26 July 1990
United States 26 July 1990
United Kingdom 15 March 1991
Running time 108 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget A$10 million[1]
Box office A$707,194 (Australia)

Blood Oath is a 1990 Australian feature film, known in some countries as Prisoners of the Sun. The film is based on the real-life trial of Japanese soldiers for war crimes committed against Allied prisoners of war on the island of Ambon, in the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), such as the Laha massacre of 1942.

It was directed by Stephen Wallace and co-written by Denis Whitburn and Brian A. Williams. The cast included Bryan Brown, George Takei, Terry O'Quinn, John Bach, John Clarke, Deborah Kara Unger, John Polson, Nicholas Eadie, David Argue and Ray Barrett.

The film was the first film debut for both Russell Crowe and Jason Donovan, in minor roles. It was nominated for several AFI Awards in 1990, including "Best Film". It won the AFI Awards for "Best Achievement in Sound" and "Best Achievement in Costume Design".



The film was the idea of Brian Williams, who was the son of Captain John Williams, who had prosecuted Japanese officers in charge of the POW camp at Ambon during the war. He was impressed with the TV series The Last Bastion and approached Denis Whitburn, who had written it with David Williamson, and they wrote the script and produced together. Bryan Brown and Stephen Wallace then came on board the project (although at one point Geoff Murphy was also considered as director).[1]

The movie was shot at the Village-Warner Film Studio on the Gold Coast.[1]

Box office[edit]

Blood Oath grossed $707,194 at the box office in Australia.[2] Stephen Wallace has said he thought the film would have been better had the writers been more accurate as the truth was more interesting.[3]

The writers announced plans to follow up Blood Oath with a $20 million film about the Cowra breakout, Giants at Dawn, but this was not made.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p47-48
  2. ^ Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office
  3. ^ "Interview with Stephen Wallace", Signis, 21 November 1998 accessed 21 November 2012
  4. ^ Kevin Sadlier, "JAPANESE BACK COWRA POW BREAKOUT FILM", Sun Herald, 31 March 1991 p7

External links[edit]