Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey
Plot: The true story of Desmond Doss, the conscientious objector who, at the Battle of Okinawa, won the Medal of Honor for his incredible bravery and regard for his fellow soldiers. We see his upbringing and how this shaped his views, especially his religious view and anti-killing stance. We see Doss's trials and tribulations after enlisting in the US Army and trying to become a medic. Finally, we see the hell on Earth that was Hacksaw Ridge.
When asked how many lives he saved, Desmond T. Doss said approximately 50. However, witnesses said it was closer to 100. A mutual agreement was reached at approximately 75.
According to director Mel Gibson, Desmond T. Doss's son Desmond Jr. attended the screening and was moved tears by Andrew Garfield's accurate portrayal of his dad.
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.
The first film directed by Mel Gibson in a decade, since Apocalypto (2006).
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.
Harry S. Truman, the US president at that time, gave Desmond T. Doss his Medal of Honor.
Pfc. Desmond T. 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.
Mel Gibson stated there were aspects of this event that were true but that he couldn't include in the film because he felt people wouldn't believe they were true: Doss stepped on a grenade to save his buddies and was hit by shrapnel, but as he was being carried away by medics he saw another soldier hurt; since Doss himself was a medic he jumped off his stretcher and treated that soldier and told the medics to take care of other wounded soldiers; he then crawled back to safety while being shot at by enemy snipers.
The project was in development hell for 14 years.
The film had to qualify the film as Australian to receive government subsidies. Fortunately for the production, despite being American-born, Gibson's early years in Australia helped the film qualify along with other Aussie-born cast members such as Rachel Griffiths (Doss's mother), Teresa Palmer (Doss's girlfriend/wife) and Luke Bracey, one of Doss's most antagonistic unit members.
Garfield admitted that he cried the first time he read the screenplay.
Teresa Palmer auditioned via her iPhone and sent the recording to Gibson. She heard nothing back for three months, until Gibson called Palmer to tell her in a Skype chat that she landed the role of Dorothy, Doss' wife.
Was filmed entirely in Australia.
The makers of the film did change some of the details, notably the backstory about his father, the incident with the gun Doss took out of his alcoholic father's hands, and the circumstances of his first marriage. The film also does not mention his prior combat service in the Battle of Guam and Battle of Leyte and leaves the impression that Doss' action on Okinawa took place over a period of a few days but his Medal of Honor citation covered his actions over a period of about three weeks.