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To End All Wars (2001)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  2 September 2001 (USA)
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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 »


(book), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maj. Ian Campbell
Dusty Miller
Sakae Kimura ...
Sgt. Ito
Lt. Col. Stuart McLean
Masayuki Yui ...
Capt. Noguchi
John Gregg ...
Camp Doctor Coates
Shû Nakajima ...
Nagatomo (as Shu Nakajima)
Sgt. Roger Primrose (as Greg Ellis)
Lt. Foxworth
James McCarthy ...
Wallace Hamilton
Winton Nicholson ...


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


In a jungle war of survival, they learned sacrifice. In a prison of brutal confinement, they found true freedom. See more »


Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Última das Guerras  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV) | (TV)

Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's dedication during the closing credits is to Captain Ernest 'Ernie' Gordon who is played by Ciarán McMenamin in the film. The dedication states that the film is made In Memory of Ernest Gordon, 31 May 1916 - 16 January 2002. See more »


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 »


Dr. Coates: [examining newly arrived POWs] Relish your health now, gentlemen: it's the last you'll see of it.
See more »


Written and Performed by Maire Brennan
See more »

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User Reviews

The powerful, true story of what REALLY happened on the River Kwai during WW2.
24 April 2002 | by (Walton, KY) – See 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.

42 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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