To End All Wars

Last updated
To End All Wars
To End All Wars 2001 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David L. Cunningham
Written by Brian Godawa
Ernest Gordon
Produced byJack Hafer
David L. Cunningham
Cinematography Greg Gardiner
Edited by Tim Silano
Music by John Cameron
Moya Brennan
Distributed byGMT Pictures
Release dates
  • September 2001 (2001-09)(Telluride) [1]
  • December 6, 2002 (2002-12-06)(United States) [2]
Running time
125 minutes

To End All Wars is a 2001 war film starring Robert Carlyle, Kiefer Sutherland and Sakae Kimura and was directed by David L. Cunningham. The film is based on Through the Valley of the Kwai , an autobiography of Scottish captain Ernest Gordon.



The film is set in a Japanese prisoner of war labour camp where the inmates are building the Burma Railway during the last three and a half years of World War II. [3] Captain Ernest Gordon was a company commander with the 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who fought in several battles in the Malayan Campaign and the Battle of Singapore before being captured and made a prisoner of war by the Japanese.



It was filmed primarily on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, with some excerpt shots of Thailand. The film was rated R in the U.S. for war violence and brutality, and for some language. The film was produced by Jack Hafer and David Cunningham. [4]

The screenplay is based on the autobiography of Ernest Gordon and recounts the experiences of faith and hope of the interned men. [5] The autobiography was originally published under the name Through the Valley of the Kwai , [6] then later as Miracle on the River Kwai (not to be confused with the separate novel The Bridge over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle). Gordon's book was finally re-issued with the title To End All Wars to tie in with the film.

Post-production of the film footage was delayed because of lack of funding, which was eventually provided by Gold Crest Films. [7]


On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film has a score of 62% based on reviews from 13 critics, with an average rating of 5.9/10. [8] The film was awarded the Crystal Heart Award and Grand Prize for Dramatic Feature at the Heartland Film Festival. [9] A review in Variety is mainly negative. [3]


The film's soundtrack was never released as a stand-alone release. Various songs have been re-recorded by Moya Brennan on her subsequent solo albums, most recently 'Mo Mhian' on My Match Is A Makin'.

1."Mo Mhian (Healing Heart)" Moya Brennan  
2."I Will Go (Campbell's Theme)"Moya Brennan 
3."Lá na Cruinne"Moya Brennan 
4."Find The Place" John Cameron & Moya Brennan 
5."Amazing Grace" John Newton / Traditional 
6."Pomp And Circumstance"Edward Elgar 
7."Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" Johann Sebastian Bach  
8."Yankee Doodle Boy" George M. Cohan  

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  1. McCarthy, Todd (September 3, 2001). "Telluride spreads broad tents". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  2. Willis, John (February 2004). Screen World 2003. Hal Leonard. p. 211. ISBN   9781557835284.
  3. 1 2 "Review: ‘To End All Wars’". Variety, Dennis Harvey. June 18, 2002
  4. Alex Field (2004). The Hollywood Project: A Look Into the Minds of the Makers of Spiritually Relevant Films. Relevant Media Group. pp. 141–. ISBN   978-0-9746942-1-4.
  5. "TO END ALL WARS". Urban Cinefile
  6. "No Headline". New York Times, By DAVID STOUTJAN. 20, 2002
  7. "Isle filmmaker makes his triumphant return". Star-Bulletin, Honolulu, November 1, 2001 Tim Ryan
  8. To End All Wars (2001)
  9. "Heartland Winner Returns". The Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis, Indiana. November 10, 2002. Page 140