Movie: Hacksaw Ridge (2016) #Oscars

My Take:

  • I love war movies.
  • There are two brothers and a nurse in the opening scenes.  Trying to hold out hope it is not just a love story in a war setting (ie Pearl Harbor).
  • Desmond’s hair is on point.
  • I heart Sarah from Brothers and Sisters.  Glad she is the Mom.  She feels like a mom.
  • Vince Vaughn?  Ok, Vaughn is a prick.  Yelled “Fuck you Vince Vaughn” twice in first half hour after his character is introduced.
  • “Have you ever looked into a goat’s eyes?  Good. It’s not natural.”
  • Conscientious Cooperator.
  • The screaming wounded and rats…ugh.
  • While he was running to and from with the wounded, I wondered if it was quite possible that Forrest Gump’s heroic scene was molded after him?
  • When they yell “off the ridge” and Doss sits for a moment, praying what to do – there is an overhead shot and his wedding band is bright and shiny.  I found that interesting.
  • “Please Lord, help me get one more.”
  • The Japanese soldiers who were surrendering and wearing a loin cloth… was that a thing?
  • The snippets of Doss at the end – I bawled like a baby.

Wow.  Just, wow.  That was an amazing movie.  And, until yesterday, I did not realize that Gibson directed it.  There were times that I had my fists clenched at my sides, or held my heart while I cried.  It pulled all the feels out of me.  I grew up watching war movies with my Pawpaw.  I love them, they make me feel close to him in Heaven.  I oftentimes wonder how he would like “today’s” war movies.  We watched every episode of M*A*S*H and oldies like Big Red One. The movies now are so graphic.  It makes me wonder how he would take that in.  I just finished watching Hacksaw and it made me miss my Pawpaw.  Probably not the reaction you were expecting.  I give this movie an A+.

Before I move on to the “extras,” I want to tell you a story about my Pawpaw.  We used to watch tons of war movies.  They were amazing.  One, in particular, was the Big Red One.  There was a scene where this guy gets a testicle blown off and it is there, a lump of meat.  I guess it made Pawpaw a little nervous that I had seen it at such a young age.  He says, “Sam, do we need to have a conversation about what just happened?”  I replied, “Guy got his nut blown off.”  He responded, “Well, I guess not.”


SynopsisHacksaw Ridge is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun.  He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong.  Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The actual man and his beautiful wife:




Trailer for the movie:


Behind the scenes clips:


There was an episode of This Is Your Life with Desmond Doss:


One more:


Ok, back to the additional stuffs:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes review of  86% Fresh. It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 92% liking it.  Average rating was 4.4/5 and the number of user ratings was 44,749.

Additional Reviews By:

It had an estimated budget of $40M.  The total run time was 139 minutes.

IMDB Trivia:

  • When asked how many lives he saved, Desmond Doss said approximately 50. However, witnesses said it was closer to 100. A mutual agreement was reached at approximately 75.
  • While at the end of the movie it says Desmond saved 75 men by directly lowering them from the escarpment, he also treated around 55 more that were able to retreat without assistance after treatment during the battle.
  • Over the course of his tour, which lasted approximately 3 weeks, he rescued near 300 men.
  • The film had a 14-year path from idea to production, according to an article in “Variety”.
  • The trailer note states that Desmond T Doss was the only soldier to serve in a front-line capacity without carrying a weapon. In WWII, Korea and Vietnam the military classified several Seventh-Day Adventists with the status of 1A-O. This meant that they were willing to serve, but would not carry a weapon in combat. There were also Society of Friends (Quaker) volunteers in WWI.
  • Shot in 59 days.
  • The battle scenes took nineteen days to shoot.
  • Harry S Truman, the US president at that time, gave Doss his Medal of Honor.
  • The battlefield sequence, overseen by Mel Gibson’s longtime stunt double Mic Rodgers, was staged near Sydney (Australia) on a dairy farm that was about 100 meters squared. Smoke trucks circled the perimeter to ensure that any ‘scenery’ that didn’t look like Okinawa was effectively blocked out.
  • When Dorothy gives Desmond the Bible before leaving for basic training it is bookmarked At 1 Samuel 17. This is the Old Testament account of David and Goliath. Many parallels can be found in these two stories.
  • Pfc Doss was not wounded and evacuated in a daylight assault at Hacksaw Ridge. He was wounded a couple of weeks later in the Okinawa Campaign during a night attack near Shuri. As per his Medal of Honor citation, he was wounded in the legs by a grenade but had to wait five hours before stretcher bearers could reach him, during which time he dressed his own wounds. While being carried back to safety by three stretcher bearers, they were attacked by a Japanese tank. Doss crawled off the stretcher to a more seriously wounded man and insisted the others evacuate that soldier and then return for him. While waiting for the stretcher to return, he was shot by a sniper as he was being carried by another soldier. This caused a compound fracture on his arm, for which he improvised a splint using a rifle stock. He then crawled 300 yards to an Aid Station for treatment.



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