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The Crossing
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Crossing (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A good historical drama

Author: XRANDY (RANDYANDJANELL@JOBE.NET) from Korea
21 December 2001

An interesting and fairly accurate portrayal of the events that led to the Reveloutionary Army's crossing of the Deleware River and subsequent victory at Trenton. Daniels does a good job, but his middle-brow demeanour lacks the artistocratic nature of Washington.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

George Washington crosses river Delaware to battle Hessian soldiers in Trenton

7/10
Author: ma-cortes
8 August 2012

1776, less than six months after the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Army is under the command of General George Washington (Jeff Daniels) , and his officers as Gen. Hugh Mercer (Roger Rees) and Col. John Glover (Sebastian Roché) . Then the army flees into Pennsylvania by seizing the only boats available .The army must cross the Delaware , the frontier between Pennsylvania and New Jersey , to a seemingly relentless battle at a small location , Trenton , being held only by a limited force of Hessian mercenaries.

This epic Telefilm has emotion , thrills, spectacular battles and based on historical deeds . Interesting plot about the dramatization of George Washington's perilous gamble of crossing the Delaware River and attacking the British forces at Trenton , based on a novel written by Howard Fast (Spartacus) who also written the teleplay .Good performance by main starring , Jeff Daniels , and memorable support cast plenty of known TV faces and mostly Canadian actors , such as Sebastian Roché , Roger Rees , Karl Pruner and Nigel Bennet . Evocative and glamorous cinematography by Rene Oshasi . Sensitive and appropriate musical score by Gary Chang . The motion picture was compellingly directed by Robert Harmon , a prestigious filmmaker of series and TV episodes and some movies as the successful The hitcher.

The picture was well based on historical deeds , adding more details , these are the following : In August 1776, British General William Howe launched a massive naval and land campaign designed to seize New York. The Continental Army under Washington engaged the enemy for the first time as an army of the newly independent United States at the Battle of Long Island, the largest battle of the entire war. The Americans were heavily outnumbered, many men deserted, and Washington was badly beaten. Subsequently, Washington was forced to retreat across the East River at night. Washington retreated north from the city to avoid encirclement, enabling Howe to take the offensive and capture Fort Washington on November 16 with high Continental casualties. Washington then retreated across New Jersey; the future of the Continental Army was in doubt due to expiring enlistments and the string of losses.On the night of December 25, 1776, Washington staged a comeback with a surprise attack on a Hessian outpost in western New Jersey. He led his army across the Delaware River to capture nearly 1,000 Hessians in Trenton, New Jersey. The Battle of Trenton was over in less than an hour. American losses were 2 killed and 5 wounded. One of the wounded was Lieutenant James Monroe, the future Fifth President of the United States. Lieutenant Monroe was also reputed to be the man standing next to George Washington and holding the American flag in Emanuel Leutze's famous painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware". Also, it was widely believed that the Hessians were intoxicated as a result of their Christmas celebrations. That has been proved by historians to not be the case . Washington followed up his victory at Trenton with another over British regulars at Princeton in early January. The British retreated back to New York City and its environs, which they held until the peace treaty of 1783. Washington's victories wrecked the British carrot-and-stick strategy of showing overwhelming force then offering generous terms. The Americans would not negotiate for anything short of independence

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I was very impressed

Author: TexasRedge from Kingsport, Tennessee
2 May 2003

I was very impressed --- A & E has the best movie studio on television (bar none) --- i would've paid to see this film if it would've shown at the theatre ... having said that ... i will also say that i give this film a 9 our 10 star, I recommend it --- itcty Bitchy God Damn

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good historical movie

10/10
Author: Rich (rdjunack) from Connecticut
23 May 2000

This movie was a generally good movie about the Continental Army's early years in the American Revolution, and how close America actually came to staying a British colony for God knows how much longer. The movie shows General Washington's daring attack on the Hessian garrison at Trenton, which was the first American victory of the war and one that was vital to maintaining the fragile Continental Army and our young democracy's future. The crossing, the battle, and the unseasonable cold are all shown really well and I liked putting myself in the unenviable position of General Washington who could either do nothing, and lose his entire army and disappear into obscurity(or wind up on the gallows), or attempt something daring and emerge a hero(or a foolhardy general). As it was, George's attack at Trenton went down in history as a great American victory when one was desperately needed at the time. Although the war would last almost 8 years more after this attack, Trenton proved to the British that they weren't dealing with armed rabble who were raising a fuss over a few cents in taxes.

General Washington's meetings with the generals and Colonel Mercer were also very insightful into how close the American Army was to collapse in the early years of the fight. Soldiers volunteer slips were coming to an end, Generals were fighting each other, and the infamous General Winter was coming in to help things... No attack could have been more ill-advised, but Washington's succeeded and this movie portrays everything leading up to it wonderfully

8 out of 10.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The amazingly talented Jeff Daniels

9/10
Author: WENN*9366
18 March 2000

Jeff Daniels' acting really holds you spellbound in this movie. Who else can play George Washington, Lawrence Chamberlain (in "Gettysburg"), and still be funny in "Dumb and Dumber"? In the making of "The Crossing" which was shown afterwards, they interviewed him about playing the part of Washington, and I was really impressed with how much research he had done for the movie.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A fine example of accurate history brought to light

8/10
Author: mOVIemAN56
2 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Crossing is one film I've been looking forward to viewing. History has always appealed to me and thought it would be a good view. Jeff Daniels holds the lead of the film and hoped he would deliver a good film. And boy does he ever deliver.

Jeff Daniels is Gen. George Washington and delivers the most believable portrayal I've seen. He is portrays Washington as exactly how he would have been: tired, disheartened, but still with a glimmer of hope. His words are delivered in the voice a general way and just seems to capture the man perfectly.

The supporting cast is excellent. Sebastian Roche is perfect in the portrayal of Col. Glover. He is bored, rebellious, and one of the smartest men in Washington's army. Roche is able to deliver every line he says with the emotion (or in some cases the annoyance) needed to give the film a little more humor.

The film covers from the week before the crossing of the Delaware to the Battle of Trenton. The battle scenes, though few, are filmed as they should be in any film. Graphic, intense, and heart-pounding. The battles show the brilliance of his plans and how un-prepared the Hessians were. By far the best part of the film is the way the filmmakers are able to emphasize the importance of the battle and how if they lost it was the war the lose also.

The Crossing. Starring: Jeff Daniels, Sebastian Roche, Roger Rees, and Steven McCarthy.

4 out of 5 Stars

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nice

10/10
Author: softballmom2812 from Kentucky
30 January 2004

I thought this movie was awesome. The acting was great and it was historically accurate. My students were very absorbed in this movie. I saw the movie a total of 5 times in 4 days and I was absorbed all 5 times. GREAT JOB!!!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Let Us Cross the River.....

7/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
12 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

These historical tales are generally informative and interesting, at least lately. The 50s had a way of turning things this way and that until, like a solved Rubik's cube, everyone watching the film felt satisfied because it turned out the way we wanted it to. Usually that meant, "We win." If we lost, it had to be a sneak attack or a gallant last stand against overwhelming odds. This TV movie is better than those humdrum fantasies. General George Washington is faced with one problem after another and the movie doesn't spare us the details.

I don't know about the dialog. There's quite a bit of vulgarity, for one thing. It's not objectionable but it's surprising in a made-for-television movie. For another thing, Washington's men speak in carefully articulated phrases, sometimes flowery. Well, that's the way they WROTE, of course -- those who could write at all. But I suspect there was a more considerable gap between the written and the spoken word than there is today. The natural, unnatural rhythm of speech -- full of hesitations, gulps, crutch words, editing, mistakes, retractions -- doesn't really show up in the literature of the time, fictional or otherwise. It took somebody like Steven Crane to put street talk down on paper in novels like "Maggie" and "The Red Badge of Courage." The gap still exists, of course. In his State of the Union Address the president never talks the way he talks to his wife or his dog. And some of Washington's pronouncement sounds like pomposity. "Gentlemen, if God is willing, we will have our way with the enemy. I bid you a heartfelt Godspeed -- and break a leg." Although, who knows? There were no recording studios at the time.

There are also moments when something Washington says sounds like narcissism. "We have fought many time and been defeated. I will not be defeated again." Surely, he means "We." A promise that "I" will do something is reserved for General MacArthur, not General Washington. (Kids, MacArthur retreated from the Phillipines saying, "I shall return." He said it for three years, then he returned.)

It's the story of Washington's crossing the Delaware with the ragtag remnants of his army and defeating the Hessians at Trenton. The Hessians make better villains than the British because they were mercenaries from another country, unlike the "government contractors" we use today. Another reason is that they were from what is now Germany, though it wasn't then, and we've fought Germany more recently than we've fought Britain.

I'm convinced the crossing we see is more realistic than it is in that famous painting by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze that hangs in the Metropolitan Museum. It's revolting. Washington stands up near the bow of the boat as everybody else is working like hell to get the vessel across a river choked with chunks of ice. Only ONE MAN in that painting is actually rowing. And an enormous American flag unfolds in the breeze, as if the boat were charging ahead at sixty miles an hour. In this movie, Washington makes a mistake and misjudges the amount of time it will take to get his troops across the Delaware, despite warnings from his subordinate, Colonel Glover, who leads a contingent of Gloucester fishermen.

I said the movie was informative and it is. I didn't know, for instance, that Glover was in complete command of the loading and unloading of the stolen boats, and in command of the crossing itself while on the river. Glover, by the way, is played by Sebastian Roché, whose face was familiar to me. It took me a while to realize he'd played a hedonistic rock star named "C Square" in an episode of "Law & Order." The guy was born in Paris and speaks four languages. I also didn't realize that Alexander Hamilton and James Monroe were with Washington at Trenton. There's more honest brutality than you might expect. Six unsuspecting Hessians are caught after a Christmas celebration, hung over and half asleep at dawn, and Washington's men chop them to pieces with sabers.

It's comforting, though, to see that in such a changing and disappointing universe, some things remain ever the same. The officers ride horses while the enlisted men walk, as I did.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Gets it right (mostly)

9/10
Author: douglas lally from United States
2 December 2013

I first saw The Crossing in 2001, shortly after it was made, and loved it. Although I couldn't help thinking there were some inaccuracies to it, or certain things that were simply imagined. I had a chance to watch it again just recently and my opinions remain largely unchanged. For a made for TV film the production value is tremendous with a skilled cast and compelling direction. The film drives home the brutal reality of the war in the winter of 1776; Washington's army is depleted, down to perhaps 6,000 or so. He has virtually no support or leadership from Congress, dwindling supplies, and after a string of stinging defeats has been pushed across the river in absconded boats to Pennsylvania escaping the relentless British pursuit. In short, the American army is on the brink of collapse and with it goes any hope for Independence. The Crossing dutifully articulates the desperate struggle for GW and his army, the brutal winter in particular, which can be argued was their bigger enemy. Washington's gamble to divide his forces and attack the 1200 strong Hessian mercenaries camped at Trenton on Christmas Day 1776 is a remarkable feat of military/logistic heroism and human endurance. The film really does capture the misery those men must have suffered, freezing, sick, wet, just to get to the Hessians, and then fight them. Visually a great film with a nice pace and flow to it, and moments of real tension. I was actually surprised at the level of violence portrayed in the battle scenes but that's the way it was mostly fought; hand to hand. There are elements in the film that some have questioned as inaccurate or fabricated. Jeff Daniels characterization of GW infers a man with a short temper, rigorously demanding, and with utter contempt for his enemies; this persona is incongruent with what we know of Washington's character as somber, conservative, respectful, brilliant yet somewhat colorless man. GW was a professional soldier for most of his life but I thought Daniel's conceptualization of him rendered him as something of a hot headed rustic amateur. I also took issue with the portrayal of Horatio Gates as a seething fifth columnist. Gates, a former British officer who sought greater personal fortunes in the colonial army, was a poor battlefield commander but a brilliant quartermaster and administrator. Nevertheless, he held GW in low regard and felt himself better suited to lead the army. His contempt for Washington isn't in question. It's the confrontational, combative, nature of his exchanges with GW who naturally dismisses Gates for his insubordinate attitude. This too is in conflict with what we know of Gates. An opportunist, yes, but not a traitor and certainly not inclined to personally attack Washington as he does in the film. There are other historical facts simply left out such as the Hessian's foreknowledge of an imminent American attack, the fact that the army was actually split into three armies, and that the crossing was actually one of three crossings, not a singular event. However, all told a wonderful film with an engaging cast and few dull moments. Very well done.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A nail-biting historical drama

10/10
Author: Bevin Chu from Taiwan
19 May 2012

Amazingly well written, produced, directed, and acted dramatization of the historic events depicted in the famous oil painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware," by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.

How often can one honestly refer to a costume drama as a "nail biter" or "cliff hanger?" Yet "The Crossing" is just that. The tension is nearly unbearable at times. The film skillfully communicates the anxiety that Washington and his officers must have felt as the hours slipped by and the fate of a nation literally hung in the balance.

Perhaps most amazing of all, this film, a must see for every patriotic American, was written by Howard Fast, a card carrying member of the Communist Party of the USA. How's that for irony?

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