Early Olympic Preview of “Unbroken” Is Amazing

Early Olympic Preview of “Unbroken” Is Amazing

Amidst all the Olympic coverage, Tom Brokaw narrated a film trailer that got a primetime reveal.  And if you haven’t seen it, you should.

The movie, Unbroken, is based off the book of the same name by Laura Hillenbrand (who also wrote Seabiscuit, another book made into a movie).  Unbroken (published in 2010 and a New York Times #1 bestseller) tells the story of Louis Zamperini, who, as a 19 year old, qualified for the 1936 U.S. Olympic team in the 5000 meter-run.  While he ended up not medaling in the event, his last lap was so fast that Adolf Hitler insisted on meeting him after the race.

He planned on racing in the 1940 Olympic Games in Tokyo.  As history tells us, those Olympic Games never happened.

Zamperini enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1941, earned a commission as a second lieutenant, became a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator, and after flying many successful missions with his crew in their B-24 (nicknamed “Super Man“), he was on board another B-24 (“The Green Hornet“) flying a search and rescue mission when the plane went down, killing all but three of the crew.  Zamperini and his pilot, Russell “Phil” Phillips, managed to survive at sea for 47 days before being “rescued” by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp in Japan, where he was subjected to the sadistic whims of a prison commander who singled him out.  He survived, but there is so much more to the story.  The book is definitely worth your time, and Zamperini is an American hero.

Not too long after I read the book, Angelina Jolie announced that she was going to be producing and directing the film version of the book.  If her initial trailer is a forerunner of the movie to come, it will be a movie worth seeing.  I still recommend reading the book before you see the movie, especially if my concerns about the ending of the movie prove to be true.  You see, Zamperini came home suffering from PTSD – hardly surprising, given the abuse and trauma he went through in the Japanese POW camp.  How he conquered that is an equally important part of his biography – and it involves a Billy Graham crusade.  I hope that this part of his life story is not skipped for the movie.  We will have to wait and see.  Unbroken will be coming out in theaters this Christmas.

Louis Zamperini is now 97 years old, and deserves to be honored for his service to his country, both in the Olympics and in war.  I hope this movie does him as much justice as the book did.  His is a name and a story every American should know.

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1 Comment
  • Penny says:

    Don’t hold your breath on the Billy Graham part…..Jolie isn’t into religion or Christianity. But, she does do “unexpected” things. I’ll be hoping that it isn’t the usual Hollywood treatment. I have a saying, “Is it truth or Hollywood?”….at 70, I’ve read way too many books, and been terribly disappointed with the movie of it. Artistic license!

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