The Crossing (2000 TV Movie)
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For some reason or another commenting on this movie requires at least ten lines. As much as I enjoyed it, there was nothing about it that suggest a comment with ten lines or more. Seven or less was plenty.
Kudos to Jeff Daniels, who offered a completely believable performance as Washington. Daniels is proving to be quite adept at these kinds of historical movies ("Gettysburg" leaps to mind, and of course now "Gods and Generals.") A good, if lesser known, supporting cast also made valuable contributions to this picture.
In short, I wouldn't use this as a source material for an essay on the Battle of Trenton, but I would certainly recommend it as a very good movie.
This story of the Delaware crossing is fast-paced and, along with the action, offers an intriguing look into the military strategy, decision-making and sheer desperation that drove the Revolutionary Army to its first great victory.
The Crossing may be a TV movie, but it would be equally at home in theaters. Well done, highly recommended viewing.
I'd also like to mention the excellent work of Sebastian Roche, who gets my award as the most versatile actor with accents since Meryl Streep. Believe it or not, Roche's biography has him born in Paris, France. Yet in "The Crossing" he plays a Maine Yankee. In Merlin, he played Sir Gawain. In "Liberty", the documentary on the Revolution, he played the Marquis de Lafayette. Although his performance was thoroughly captivating and sometimes moving, I thought his French accent for Lafayette, a genuine hero after all, was so over the top that it verged on being offensive. I couldn't help but enjoy it, but wondered if I would take so kindly to it if I was French. If Roche is French, I sincerely commend him for playing the role with a true sense of humor. His work is so good that I hope he gets his breakout role.
P.S. If you want to see another great performance, check out Philip Seymour Hoffman as Captain Joseph Plumb Martin in "Liberty." He got plenty of kudos in "Magnolia" and did a good job in "Scent of a Woman." When I saw him getting raves in "Magnolia", I was not surprised and very pleased. Let me just add that in "Liberty," there are a lot of terrific performances that may never be acknowledged, but make that documentary one of the best, most-moving in terms of emotional impact that I have ever seen.
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
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.
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