Academy-Award-winning actor and filmmaker Mel Gibson has teamed up with Lionsgate for an inspirational film about a World War II soldier, Desmond Doss, who proves that the only weapon needed on the battlefield is prayer.
"Hacksaw Ridge" is the extraordinary true story of WWII medic Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield ("The Amazing Spider Man"), who in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII miraculously saves 75 men in a matter of hours without firing or carrying a gun.
Doss served as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army but refused to kill or carry a weapon into combat because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. Consequently he thought it was fitting to become a medic during the war.
In his Medal of Honor citation it says that while at war Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with many stricken soldiers, carrying them one-by-one to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to safety. He often times exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire on his rescue missions and was wounded but never relented.
He is the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon. His choice of artillery was prayer and he used it often while single-handedly evacuating the wounded from behind enemy lines, under constant enemy bombardment.
His outstanding bravery and determination resulted in Doss saving the lives of many and his name becoming a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty. His courage and faith won the admiration of his commanders and fellow soldiers.
Although regularly criticized by his fellow soldiers for refusing to carry a gun, Doss actually saved the lives of the men who had condemned him. He believed the war was necessary but thought it unacceptable to kill under any circumstance. The Virginia native called himself a "conscientious cooperator" as he volunteered his services.
In October 1945, the inspiring soldier was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman. Doss went on to live until the age of 87 and died at his home in Piedmont, Alabama, in 2006.
"Hacksaw Ridge" is Gibson's first directorial film since the success of "Apocalypto" and "The Passion of the Christ." With Garfield as the lead, the movie also stars Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn.
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The script was written by Andrew Knight, Robert Schenkkan and "Braveheart" screenwriter Randall Wallace. "Hacksaw Ridge" is coming to theaters nationwide November 4th, 2016.
For more information check out lionsgate.com