Realistic Reflection to Bridge Over The River Kwai
Jym Cherry | Wheaton, IL United States | 06/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To End All Wars covers much of the same ground as the classic The Bridge Over The River Kwai, not only in plotting but theme as well.
A group of British soldiers (in this case Scottish) lead by a headstrong Colonel are brought to a Japanese prisoner of war camp in the middle of Thailand and put to work on the labor force to build a railroad through the jungle to India. In the face of deprivations and the cruelty of the Japanese the prisoners find ways to maintain their dignity and humanity. I half expected to see Alec Guiness or William Holden in a far off shot of the next prison camp over. Though Kiefer Sutherland does seem to playing the William Holden part, the roguish American thrown in with the bewildering British while he offers commonsense existential wisdom to the British stoicism.
While this isn't a remake of Bridge Over The River Kwai the stories are remarkably similar, but that just maybe because the stories are set in the same proximity, time and of course the Japanese building the railroad. While Bridge is a fictional account To End All Wars is based on a true story by Ernest Gordon. This movie is much more realistic in its depiction of the cruelty and war crimes of the Japanese than Bridge was. It is also more realistic in the depiction of the living conditions, I believe going by the adage that if you tell the truth about war you have created an anti-war movie. The maintaining of dignity in this movie is much more complex undertaking than in Bridge, here Ernest starts teaching the prisoners, unbeknownst to the Japanese, of course. Although the lessons taught in the "jungle university" and the moral of the story maybe more informed by Ernest's post war career, 26 years as Chaplin of Cambridge than what may have actually been taught at the time.
The bonus extras include a directors commentary, a making of documentary, and the film trailer."
Faith and the End of Cruelty and War
Mike Robinson | 05/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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"
Horrific, yet compelling--CANNOT get this movie out of my he
K. Keay-Dickert | 09/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A true story! 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. It makes me angry to think that the Japanese have never apologized or attoned for the brutalities they inflicted upon SO MANY!! I am shocked to know they were never convicted of such attrocities and murders, yet the Nazis were; I don't understand it! Both empires were equally evil with no respect for anyone outside of their own. TRUE prejudice! I don't wish to forgive them their extreme viciousness throughout WWII, in and around the Pacific, to all manner of men -- women and children included (in China) yet that is the underlying theme to this movie -- forgiveness. I am overcome with emotions and tears each time I view this. I cannot get over this kind of forgiveness in the face of such injustice, evil, and wickedness. It is horryfying to think that men become SO brutal -- that they ENJOY the suffering of others -- it astounds me that they have no conscience left; they have become mere animals, NO . . . worse than animals -- animals don't maim and kill for sport -- they kill for sustenance; food. But equally compelling is the DIVINE grace and forgiveness of God -- the forgivness that Earnest (Ernie) shows his captors -- I am overawed at his ability to endure the torture while not being angry, but loving. I don't know that ANY MOVIE I have ever seen has even come close to capturing such a concept. BE PREPARED -- your life will be transformed by watching this movie. Who, of us, can complain about our lot in life after viewing this movie? And to think that Earnest Gordon became the Dean of Princeton's chapel -- how deserving he was of such an honor!! How many people in the ministry or priesthood could attest to such treatment and survival without bitterness -- ever humbled into submission. TV evangelist he was not! Too bad he never received more acclaim in his lifetime. Come cry with me and ponder . . . . . . . every time you see it."