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The Crossing is a stirring dramatization of General George Washington's surprise attack on the British Army's German mercenaries and the Battle of Trenton. Based on the book by Howard Fast, The Crossing brings to life Washington's historic passage across the Delaware on Christmas night, 1776 and the lopsided fight that followed.
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
- Jeff Daniels biography/filmography
- Roger Rees biography/filmography
- Historical quotes
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Crossing" is an excellent film. I mean that it excels in many respects, but not all. When I first heard that Jeff Daniels, of "Dumb and Dumber" infamy, was to play Washington, I slapped my forehead and groaned for history. Hollywood, once again, I thought, would fabricate history--replete with [standard] characters, stooges, faithful sidekicks and villainous bad guys (ala "The Patriot")--rather than make an honest attempt at what we know as the facts.
I was wrong. Howard Fast wrote the novel and the screenplay. He is the same fellow who gave us "April Morning" and "Citizen Tom Paine", among other fiction classics of America's early Revolutionary history. Fast became a socialist, but always revered the spirit and determination of the Founders, which, perhaps, is why he became a socialist. I do not agree with his later political leanings, but I share his respect for the revolutionaries who made America and know we would share a hatred of the tyranny they opposed.
Is this film flawed? It certainly is to the extent noted [....] The screenplay is not accurate in many particulars (Fast was not fastidious in this regard). However, it captures as few films have the spirit of the Revolution, the desperation of the times and the greatness of Washington. Daniels did a superb job, with the strong script, of showing why Washington was the leader he was.
This is an entertaining and informative film for adults, but I think its chief value is as an excellent introduction to America's first hero and the long odds against which the people who made America labored. Their success was a miracle.
If you are looking for a good film to excite your kids about America and her beginnings, pull out a map, show them the Delaware River and "Washington's Crossing" just north of Philadelphia and watch "The Crossing" with them.
The accuracy is surprising, considering that it was adapted from a novel written by an author who generally knows better than to let history get in the way of a good story. In this case, the bending of the facts, mostly in characterization of some of Washington's generals, was relatively restrained, and supplied conflict that was real, if not always attributed to the correct historical person. Thus, the literary license does not get much in the way of history. Many of the small details are correct to an exceptional degree. All the characters, whether historically accurate or not, are well portrayed as people of the time. There is enormous subtlety here.
This is a magnificent expression of the American situation at the time and place.
Which is truer, history or poetry?
The correct answer is: "Yes."
This film is both. Don't miss it.