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To End All Wars (2001)

Robert Carlyle , Kiefer Sutherland , David L. Cunningham  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

Price: $43.40 & FREE Shipping. Details
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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 (121 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00021R7BM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,703 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

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

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redemption, Forgiveness, Brutality 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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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
By Bekah
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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52 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance or Forgiveness? 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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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most powerful films ever. April 18, 2004
Format:DVD
This is a film that everyone should view. Why it has never aired in the U.S. is beyond me. It's one of the most powerful films every, & is one of the best WWII films ever made, in addition to being an excellent history lesson.
Do yourself a favor & watch this excellent film. For the weak of heart, it has some moments that will make you squirm. PLEASE . . . watch the film anyway. You will understand why you should watch it, when you see how this film teaches the power of forgiveness.
To give it only five stars is such an understatement.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faith and the End of Cruelty and War 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This review is from: To End All Wars (DVD)
This movie is very different in that it depicts survival of horrible circumstances, in this case as prisoners of war, through inner, spiritual strength, and how this can change... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Kathryn M. Meronek
5.0 out of 5 stars To End All Wars Fantastic!
If you had ten stars I'd give them to this movie. The story transitions from the horrors of WWII to the grace and forgiveness of God's love. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barbara A. Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars To end all Wars
It was a beautiful story of what difference a man filled with love for God and man could make in a horrible situation.
Published 1 month ago by Eva Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Story
“To End All Wars” helped to remove a 45-year regret of Ernest Gordon that “Bridge on the River Kwai” had so distorted the truth of his story “Through the Valley of the Kwai.” Dr. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R.H. Van Fossen, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like WW2
If you like WW2 movies this is a must see. Based on a true story. First saw this in Australia several years before it was released in the US. Read more
Published 2 months ago by smithby2
3.0 out of 5 stars One version of a known story.
I could write a long review... But bottom line they got way way to caught up on "philosophy" of being pacifists. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Justiful
4.0 out of 5 stars great movie
A great movie with younger actors of Hollywood . Kiefer Sutherland is excellent in this movie. I believe this is one to watch over and over again.
Published 5 months ago by Joseph F.
5.0 out of 5 stars a great film about a true story of suffering and redemption.
The acting in this film is exceptional. That being said the negative reviews are from those who read the book , and didn't like the fact that they condensed the book into this... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Michael Dobey
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Gospel Presentation!
This movie is not for young viewers or those who do not want a lot of gore. However, if you can get past the foul language and the brutality (true to the war aspect) there is a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Emily James
3.0 out of 5 stars Just O.K.. Have seen much better
This is a long movie and is very hard to get into at first. Attempts to tell a story about the building of a railroad by the Japs into India so that they could attack and supply... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chowguy
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