7.1/10
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168 user 21 critic

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 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the film's closing epilogue, after World War 2, Captain Ernest Gordon became Dean of the Chapel at Princeton University for twenty-six years (becoming the Reverend Ernest Gordon) whilst former Japanese Imperial Translator Takashi Nagase became a Buddhist monk. Moreover, fifty-five years after World War II, Gordon and former Nagase met at the Death Railway Cementery in Thailand, which is depicted in-part at the end of this film. See more »

Goofs

The Japanese vehicles are shown as left-hand drive vehicles. Japan has always driven on the left and, unless they acquired captured US (LHD) vehicles, they would have driven right-hand drive vehicles. During the Second World War both Burma and Thailand drove on the left. Thailand still does but Burma changed in 1970. See more »

Quotes

Ernest Gordon: Lt. Jim Reardon, Merchant Marine, one of the few Americans in the area, attached himself to the Argyles during the Allied surrender. We called him "Yanker," because he was an American - and a bit of a wanker.
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Soundtracks

FIND THE PLACE
Music by John Cameron
Words by John Cameron and 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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