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To End All Wars


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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Carlyle, Kiefer Sutherland, Ciarán McMenamin, Mark Strong, Yugo Saso
  • Directors: David L. Cunningham
  • Writers: Brian Godawa, Ernest Gordon
  • Producers: David L. Cunningham, Edwin L. Marshall, Enock N. Freire, Greg Newman, Jack Hafer
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 15, 2004
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00021R7BM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,865 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "To End All Wars" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes documentary

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Kiefer Sutherland and Robert Carlyle star in this explosive war film based on an amazing true story. Captured by the Japanese, a group of courageous soldiers are forced to build the infamous "Railway of Death" between Thailand and Burma during the height

Amazon.com

A Japanese P.O.W. camp during World War II becomes the battleground for the souls as well as the lives of its Scottish and British prisoners. Based on a true story, To End All Wars centers around Ernest Gordon (Ciaran McMenamin), a young soldier who wants to teach philosophy. When Gordon recovers from seeming death by illness, the other prisoners agree to become Grodon's pupils, studying Plato, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Gordon's superior officer, Ian Campbell (Robert Carlyle, Trainspotting, The Full Monty), scoffs at the increasingly pacificist bent of Gordon's teachings. Jim Reardon (Kiefer Sutherland, 24, Freeway), a lone American running a black market, is equally skeptical. But under the relentless brutality of the camp, the only way for the soldiers to survive is to find what gives their lives meaning. The strong performances of To End All Wars makes this moral conflict as vivid as any gun battle. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

They had their good points and their bad.
John A Lee III
Very few stories are told so well of the life of a man, his war buddies, and the horrific conditions of a Japanese prison camp.
K. Keay-Dickert
That this film is based on a true story makes it all the more powerful.
fighting rabbit

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Bekah on August 22, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If I had never read the book (which happens to be FACT, it is written by Ernest Gordon himself), I would have thought this was a fine movie, and liked it.

but the movie has so successfully watered down the christianity of the book....the movie retained about 20% of the "religion".

While this may work fine for many other stories (I understand many audiences resent "religion" on screen).....this almost killed it. Because that was the whole point.

In the movie, the brutalized men become human again after reciting Shakespeare&Plato.... For Heaven's sake, it was the Gospels that they were actually reading!!!

I suppose it now will touch English Teachers deeply....but it no longer corresponds to reality...

ALso....two nonfactual messages were slipped into the movie that made it more palatable to Politically Correct people, but was very offensive, insulting the memory of dead men.
First: the movie spreads the lie (originating from the grossly inaccurate film "Bridge over the river kwai") that the POW's gleefully helped the Jap's construction projects....projects that would help the Japs imperialist conquests of mass rape and civilian torture. (Do you know what the Japs did to the Chineses and Koreans? Its as evil top notch...ripped open pregnant women for sport, etc.)
BUt in REALITY, Ernest GOrdon devoted a page of the book to DEBUNKING the whole lie. He clearly wrote that the men worked under watchful eyes of guards and whips, at point of bayonet, and whenever they could, SABOTAGED or shoddily built things on PURPOSE.

Second: at the end of the film, the POW's stare at the liberating Allied soldiers as if they were some aliens from Mars.
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful By John A Lee III on May 16, 2005
Format: DVD
I had never heard of this film. I picked it up because it looked to be an interesting war movie. On closer inspection, I became suspicious and suspected an apology and justification for Japanese war crimes. Just moments into it, I flipped the otehr way and thought it would be an acurate (as to the horrors of the Japanese treatment of prisoners) but shallow, depicting all Japanese as monsters and all allies as saints. Neither suspicion was well founded.

The brutality and horror of the Japanese treatment of POWs is graphically protrayed here. Some survivors who have seen it have horrified me by indicating that the movie pulled some of its punches and the reality was even worse. The thought that that could be true is utterly terrifying but does not detract from this film's ability to realistically protray that brutality. The film also protrays some virtues on some Japanese. The ugly facts are present but so too are some acts of humanity.

Neither were all the allied parts played as some sort of supermen. They had their good points and their bad. On balance, they WERE the good guys. That does not stop them from having the same assortment of humanity, with all its goods and ills, that any large gathering could be expected to have.

The story of the movie is fairly simple. Prisoners from the 93rd Regiment, the Argylle and Sutherland Highlanders, are forced to labor on a military railway by their Japanese captors. With them is a single American officer. The movie depicts the story of their mistreatment and their efforts to survive the horrors. Part of their approach in maintaining a degree of civilization amidst the barbarity is to run a "school". The school teaches such subjects as philosophy, music, drama, ethics and even Christian doctrine.
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53 of 65 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on June 19, 2004
Format: DVD
This movie offers a strong message of characters that choose vengeance or forgiveness. Choosing vengeance and pursuing hatred destroys by the end of the movie the men who embrace them. Choosing forgiveness and displaying mercy rewards the men who exercise them.
"To End All Wars" is definitely a violent, gory, blood-and-guts war movie, but is very well done. The theme is definitely Christian in nature. It's a good film for Christian men who may be trying to understand the nature of Christ's unconditional love and substitutional death. It's definitely not a chick flick, but a great film for older male teens and men.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mike Robinson on May 4, 2010
Format: DVD
Movies that present lofty and transcendental truths are seldom devoid of cliché and sloganeering, not so with "To End All Wars." The words: powerful, life-changing, and inspiring are not hyperbolic in describing this faith-based true story. "To End" is akin to the iconic "The Bridge Over The River Kwai" in subject matter, theme, and the era of its occurrence (WW II).

Soldiers from the UK are imprisoned in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp in Thailand and are pushed to build a railroad line (Burma-Siam). The men are in the midst of dispossession and Japanese brutality as they seek to survive with self-respect and unflinching humanity. Kiefer Sutherland (should have earned an Oscar nomination) excels as an American who challenges the British mode of holding a stiff upper lip as one should just do your duty.

"To End All Wars" tells the true story of the POW Ernest Gordon. This movie is accurate to history in its presentation of the unlawful viciousness and the atrocities of the Japanese and with bad language earns its R rating (but the story requires therein).

This is not just an anti-war flick that exposes Japan's war cruelties, but is a story which depicts the truth that redemption, forgiveness, and human dignity can be maintained and displayed even in the midst of repression, revenge, war, despair, and suffering.

Buy this DVD, you will want to watch it every year on Memorial Day or Veteran's Day; stirring, deeply touching, and faith fortifying.
There Are Moral Absolutes: How to Be Absolutely Sure That Christianity Alone Supplies
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