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The Wave

Bruce Davison , Lori Lethin , Alexander Grasshoff  |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

Price: $24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Wave + The Wave (Die Welle)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Davison, Lori Lethin
  • Directors: Alexander Grasshoff
  • Writers: Ron Jones
  • Format: NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio:
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00132XZNI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,065 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The Wave: The classroom experiment that went too far


The Wave is based on a true incident that occured in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, 1969.

The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students.

Before long "The Wave," with its rules of "strength through discipline, community, and action, " sweeps from the classroom throughout the entire school. As most of the students join the movement, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize the frightening momentum of "The Wave" and realize they must stop it before it's too late.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Educational Tool November 24, 2008
Verified Purchase
Every year teaching WWII to my 8th graders, I face the same question that Mr. Ross has to answer... the guiding question for the film. How could Hitler's followers be swept up in the Nazi movement so quickly and so completely? And how could they just stand by and allow millions of people, their friends and neighbors, be murdered in the Holocaust and then say later that they didn't know?

It puts into real life, present(ish)-day terms the dangers of the mob mentality. In teaching about the rise of leaders like Hitler, Mussolini and even Stalin and Mao, I find myself frequently referencing The Wave to help new information click for my kids. Whenever they can't quite wrap their heads around why people would follow a dictator like that, I just remind them of Mr. Ross' class, and their faces instantly show a new flicker of understanding. At about 45 minutes, it's also the perfect length. They pack a lot into a small package and use flashes of meaningful imagery to make the message more quick and intense.

Truthfully, I didn't expect my students to get as much out of this film as they did. In fact, months later, they still mention the film in their own examples while answering questions in class. They even ask me sometimes if we can watch it again! The Wave will definitely be staying in my professional repertoire as a valuable tool for teaching middle and high school world history.

The cons: The acting is mediocre and over-the-top (It was originally intended to be an After-School Special, after all), but even my most discriminating 8th grade audiences very quickly saw past that and became wrapped up in the story. Also, the film quality is fairly poor. It reminded me of watching tv in the 80's on my grandparent's old rabbit-eared, turn-knob cabinet tv.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but with Flaws November 22, 2008
I was so excited to see that "The Wave" was on DVD that I purchased it for use in my High School Government classes. The kids enjoyed it (even though the clothes and hair styles seriously dated it). The big negative is that you can't jump to a particular scene. Once you start viewing it, you're pretty much committed to see it all the way through.

In addition to that, it would have been nice if the producers could have cleaned it up a bit. It looks like they just transferred it directly from tape to disc.

But aside from all that, it was scary to see how easily a class (or, as was being demonstrated, a country) of individuals could so willingly become drones slavishly committed to a charasmatic (and, in the case of Germany, psychotic) leader. No matter how old the movie is, the painful lesson remains.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality DVD January 14, 2009
Please be advised that my first copy of this DVD would not work. Amazon was kind enough to ship me a replacement at no cost, however, it too, would not play! I had my friends try both DVDs on their players and neither would play for them either. There is obviously a problem with the way the DVDs were mass-produced. Fortunately, for me I still have the original film I taped onto VHS when it first aired in the early 1980's, however, I had so hoped to own a professionally produced copy on DVD. If you are able to obtain a watchable copy of this program, it is well worth the watch! Bruce Davison gives an outstanding performance (as he always does in all his performances) in this movie based on actual events. I give this movie five stars, but the DVD product no stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Wave on CD June 6, 2009
By R. Katz
I purchased this CD to accompany the book for my English class. I was very disappointed to see that it was nothing more than a recorded version from a made for TV movie (including dead air spaces where advertisements would be inserted). One would think that in today's world with modern technology, a cleaner version would have been available. Shame on Amazon for charging $22.49 for it! As for the content, the video followed the book very closely. A few details were added to the CD while some minor ones from the book were omitted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Wave March 28, 2009
Would have like to see a little more than just an obvious copy. Was hoping for a slightly more professional product. It would have been nice for the menu to include scene selection. Audio quality wasn't the best; too quiet in some spots and blasting in others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The wave April 19, 2009
I returned the first copy that I recieved. The quality of the film was not very good. I did recieve a new copy quickly and with no hassles. The quality is still not great (it is grainy) but I am sure my students will still enjoy the movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the wave December 24, 2008
Excellent story,
Every American family needs to watch this film and discuss it with their children.
A must see movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Get the book May 13, 2008
Really, anyone interested in the subject should just get the novel by Todd Strasser because this movie was poorly done. The acting was bad and quite a lot important information was skipped.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I think it's a good and educational movie
Remembered it from years ago. I think it's a good and educational movie. The reproduction quality needs to be improved, though.
Published 3 months ago by Celina Stertz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I use the book as one of several resources for an English skills class. The kids like both even tough they are somewhat critical of the quality of the TV to DVD transfer.
Published 4 months ago by Opera Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you want to understand how the Germans were drawn in by Hitler?
This movie, while very dated, is the true story of a teacher who tried to teach Hitler by developing an object lesson for his students that works so well that he creates a serious... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Renée
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the best of its kind
Amazing quality. This is so well written and comprehensive that I enjoyed its thought-provoking impact. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Demosthenes Rex
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story.
Saw this on an "After School Special" presentation many years ago. Been looking for it a long time. Bruce Davidson is outstanding in it. Highly recommend video.
Published 9 months ago by P.M.B
5.0 out of 5 stars something to think about
I showed this movie to my history class. We are studing the Holocaust, and several of the students couldn't understand
how the German people could embrass Hitler and the Nazi... Read more
Published 12 months ago by rose kurczab
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wave - The Original American Version
Although not cheap to buy I must say that I was delighted to be able to own what I consider to be the "original" version of The Wave. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Murray Sanders
5.0 out of 5 stars My wife is a school teacher
My wife is a school teacher. They use this as part of the history/social studies curriculum. very popular with the students.
Published 19 months ago by John N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great education tool
I show this movie to my 9th grade World History class every year. I had been using Google videos but the quality is pretty bad. For this price, owning the dvd was well worth it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Brandy
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Teaching Tool
No other like it for showing the seductive powers of propaganda and brainwashing
in a modern society. A newer version would be appreciated.
Published 19 months ago by CB Hoffmann
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