“The Wave” is a 1981 American television film by director Alex Grasshoff. Unlike the film by Dennis Gansel, this film is not based on the young adult novel by Morton Rhue, but on the short stories and essays by Ron Jones. As a teacher, Ron Jones had actually conducted an experiment with his students in 1967, which in turn served as the inspiration for Rhue's novel.
The nearly 45-minute film covers the events at an American high school after history teacher Ben Ross decides to conduct an experiment with his students.
Following a documentary about the Nazi regime and the concentration camps, the students in Ross's history class raise their voices. They all agree: it is inconceivable how the Germans could have allowed so many people to be tortured and killed in the Third Reich without revolting against it. The young people are absolutely certain that something like this could not happen a second time with the toleration of the population.
Ben Ross introduces new rules of conduct as well as The Wave's mottoes as an experiment, and the students behave accordingly. They have fun learning the required obedience and feel a bond within their class. Even the outsider Robert Billings suddenly feels at ease and gains self-confidence.
The motivated history teacher co...