The Crossing is a made-for-TV A&E movie starring Jeff Daniels. It is about George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware and attack on the Hessians at Trenton, NJ. While I had heard good things about this production, I was unsure about showing it to my kids. But we have been studying the American Revolution and so I thought I would give it a try.
I am glad we saw this movie. It was very well done. I often find war movies confusing; I can’t keep who is who straight, the action is chaotic, etc. But this one was easy to follow. There were a handful of key characters and while no time was wasted on side plots or personal narratives, you still felt like you got to know and care about them. Their characters shone through their actions. Washington himself came across as a truly admirable character and yet I would not say anything about war was glorified in this movie. It portrayed very well the dire situation the Americans were in and the ambiguities of some of their actions (i.e. confiscating boats from a civilian) without denigrating the American cause.
There were a few scenes which might cause some parents to wince. The fighting at the end when they were in Trenton was somewhat graphic. This doesn’t bother me so much as it is realistic. I did not feel it was overdone by any means as action often is in modern movies. There was one point near the beginning when Washington receives a report that the British general has been fornication (they use that word). And twice there are references to men’s b—-, as in “I am freezing mine off.” These references completely slipped past my kids as they don’t know this use of the word. Lastly, as he boards the boat to cross, General washington tells someone else to “move his fat a–.” This sounds crass as I write it but in the context there was a reason for him to say this; still the use of the “a” word might bother some.
So all in all, I would recommend this movie to those studying this period of American history. I would say middle to high school level is about right.