An experiment in an American High School where students learn how easy it is to be seduced by the same social forces which led to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Based on a true story.

Director:

(as Alex Grasshoff)

Writers:

(teleplay), (short story)
Reviews
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Lori Lethin ...
Lauree
...
David
Johnny Doran ...
Robert
Pasha Gray ...
Amy
Wesley Pfenning ...
Christy Ross (as Wesley Ann Pfenning)
Marc Copage ...
Eric
Robert DeLapp
Matthew Dunn
Frank Lloyd
Danny Marmolejo
...
Peter
Teri Ralston ...
Mrs. Saunders
...
Andrea
Larry Keith ...
Mr. Saunders
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Storyline

To explain to his students the atmosphere in the 1930's Nazi-Germany, history teacher Burt Ross initiates a daring experiment. He declares himself leader of a new movement, called 'The Wave'. Inspired, he proclaims ideas about Power, Discipline and Superiority. His students are strikingly willing to follow him. Soon the entire school is under the spell of 'The Wave'. Anyone who refuses to be a part of the Movement, faces threats or worse. Ross himself gets carried away by his own experiment. Or has it turned into something more than an experiment? A climax is unavoidable, resulting in a hard lesson for both Ross and his students... Written by Diederik B.A. Rep

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Onda  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the real experience of a high school class in Palo Alto, California in April 1969. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Saunders: Honey, just remember that the popular thing is not always the right thing.
Laurie: Mom, you don't understand.
Mr. Saunders: I am sure that Laurie's history teacher knows exactly what he's doing. Besides, as long as the other parents aren't raising any objections, why should we make a fuss?
Mrs. Saunders: Because it is dangerous to allow a teacher to manipulate students like that. We've always taught Laurie to think for herself.
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Connections

Edited into ABC Afterschool Specials: The Wave (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Frightening study in psychology
12 November 1999 | by (Eatontown, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

Based on a real incident at an American high school in 1967, this short TV movie shows the horror of mob psychology and group pressure. The high school teacher gives his students a lesson in the history of Nazi Germany, not by having them read a chapter in a book but by turning them into Nazis -- without their even being aware that it is happening.

The film should be part of every school's curriculum. The tendency toward in-groups and gangs is strong amongst teens, and the tragic consequences can be seen periodically in the news headlines. This film is a warning of the potential that lurks within us all.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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