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To End All Wars (2001)

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A true story about four Allied POWs who endure harsh treatment from their Japanese captors during World War II while being forced to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle. Ultimately ... See full summary »

Writers:

Ernest Gordon (book), Brian Godawa (screenplay)
Reviews
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ciarán McMenamin ... Capt. Ernest 'Ernie' Gordon
Robert Carlyle ... Maj. Ian Campbell
Kiefer Sutherland ... Lt. Jim 'Yankee' Reardon
Mark Strong ... Dusty Miller
Yûgo Sasô ... Takashi Nagase
Sakae Kimura ... Sgt. Ito
James Cosmo ... Lt. Col. Stuart McLean
Masayuki Yui ... Capt. Noguchi
John Gregg John Gregg ... Camp Doctor Coates
Shû Nakajima Shû Nakajima ... Nagatomo (as Shu Nakajima)
Greg Ellis ... Sgt. Roger Primrose
Pip Torrens ... Lt. Foxworth
James McCarthy James McCarthy ... Norman
Brendan Cowell ... Wallace Hamilton
Winton Nicholson Winton Nicholson ... Duncan
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Storyline

A true story about four Allied POWs who endure harsh treatment from their Japanese captors during World War II while being forced to build a railroad through the Burmese jungle. Ultimately they find true freedom by forgiving their enemies. Based on the true story of Ernest Gordon. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In war, you have to survive See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for war-related violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

2 September 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Última das Guerras See more »

Filming Locations:

Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening prologue states: "The following account is based on actual events during World War II, when 61,000 Allied POWs were forced to build the Thailand-Burma Railway." See more »

Goofs

When the colonel has just been shot, Keifer Sutherland talks about not being kamikazes if they want to escape the camp. At that time in the war, the term kamikaze would not have been known to Allied soldiers. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Coates: [to a freshly-beaten Gordon] Ah. Looks like you didn't bow. Always bow before a guard, Korean or Jap. And *never* look 'em in the eyes when they pass you: that's pure defiance. Always look away. Rules of Bushido.
Lt. Jim Reardon: Bushido?
Dr. Coates: Yeah. Their kind of chivalry. Respect and obligation. If you don't respect them, they feel obligated to beat you. Nothing personal.
Ernest Gordon: Well, it sure as bloody hell feels personal.
Dr. Coates: Yeah, well, it works both ways. They do the same to their own.
Lt. Jim Reardon: Now there's a comfort.
See more »

Soundtracks

MO MHIANN (HEALING HEART)
Written and Performed by Maire Brennan
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User Reviews

The powerful, true story of what REALLY happened on the River Kwai during WW2.
24 April 2002 | by mcnultySee all my reviews

THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE KWAI, the story of British POW's forced to build the Japanese jungle railroad, was my favorite book when it came out in 1962. Thus I was a bit apprehensive at what filmmakers would do to it when I heard about TO END ALL WARS, the title itself being changed. The film is different in many ways from the book, but is so powerful that the addition (apparently for dramatic excitement) of fictional characters bent on staging an escape can be forgiven. Agnostic Ernest Gordon's story of his being nursed back from the brink of death by Christian friends, thereby starting him on the road to faith--and incredibly, understanding and then forgiveness of the harsh brutality of his Japanese captors--raises this film far above any other WW2 films that I have seen (except perhaps the under-rated THE THIN RED LINE, like TO END...also filled with philosophical questions and ruminations). Although the brutality of the Japanese bushito system is shown in all its horrific brutality, some of the Japanese, especially the young man who serves as interpreter, are depicted as having touch of humanity. The film's central thesis seems to depict the affects of clinging to anger and vengeance versus seeking to be able to forgive and reconcile. The latter is shown at the end of the film when, similar to the scene in SCHINDLER'S LIST, the real Capt. Ernest Gordon and Japanese interpreter Nagase, now old men, meet and shake hands in Thailand at a memorial to those who died building the railroad. The creativity of the men, forming a Jungle University where Plato and Shakespeare are taught, is celebrated, calling to mind the inspiring film of women POW's, PARADISE ROAD.

When this thought-inspiring film finally is released to theaters or video, don't miss it. It can serve as an antidote to the dozens of mindless, vengeance-based flicks cluttering up the screens of our cinemaplexes.


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