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"Unbroken" - Angelina Jolie's POW Film
A Stunning Story to Surpass Jess Owens's
As of this writing, World War II has been over for 67 years, the final and Jubilee Celebratory Memorial of the attack on Pearl Harbor was held in 2011, and a WWII Memorial has been built in Washington DC with the help of Tom Hanks, who never did commercials for anything else.
Despite all of the time passed, we continue to find jaw dropping stories of individuals in the war. Many have never spoken about WWII, but their stories finally surfaced. Some veterans are still alive, including 95-year-old (in 2012) Louis Zamperini. Many thought that the story of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics was the more powerful story of the age. We even display his Olympic Gold Medal in the Thompson Library museum area in its lobby at The Ohio State University from time to time.
However, Zamperini's own experience at Berlin and in the war is yet a level above Owens's. It drove Angelina Jolie to aggressively pursue the opportunity to make her first film for a major studio, Universal Pictures. Screenwriting began in 2012.
First Film Trailer
Zamp the Champ
Louis began running at his brother's suggestion in order to burn off extra energy and avoid scenarios like hopping freight trains on which he was injured and capturing cows in dead-end canyons in Southern California. He was good enough at running early on that he was expected to be the first man to break the 4-minute mile. However, he craved danger, not just speed.
In 1936, after coming in 8th in the 5000-meter race with a final lap of less than a minute, Zamperini climbed up on onto the roof of The Reich Chancellory and stole Adoph's Hitler's own Nazi Flag. He still has it at home in California.
At age 81, Zamperini carried the Olympic Flame through Naoetsu, the site of his transfer POW camp at the end of the war, to the Nagano Olympic Games in 1998, 62 years after his first and only Olymics participation as an athlete. In Naeoetsu, he carried the Olympic Flame right past the old POW camp.
While he never broke the 4-minute mile - he came as close a 4'12" - "Zamp" set a college record for the mile that held from 1938 - 1953.
(References: Wright Patterson Air force Base aviation history archives.)
Louis Silvie "Louie" Zamperini (January 26, 1917 – July 2, 2014)
Unbroken: History, Olympic Torch, and Medals
Louis Zamperini's Route to Freedom
Zamperini ran the 5000-meter at the Berlin Olympics with little training and came in 8th overall. He visited the Berlin Staduim again in 2005.
Location of Zamperini's Army Air Corps deployment after joining in Septermber 1941.
His 11-man B-24 had structural malfunctions over the Pacific Ocean. Louis made it to the Marshall Islands by raft after two comrades died on it.
Louis Zamperini was held captive in Japan for 2 years, starved and tortured, but survived. He carried the Olympic Flame past his old POW camp in 1998.
Louis Zamperini lives in Hollywood, widowed since 2001, and operates a Victory Boys Camp. He saw Reverend Billy Graham again in 2011.
Greg "Pappy" Boyington Was In the Same POW Camp
- WWII: The USMC Black Sheep Squadron's Sioux Commander
Researching World War II history has been incfeedible. I've discovered groups servicemen and women, non-military staff and general volunteers, all that have eventually received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pappy Boynton served time in a Japanese POW camp and shared Italian recipes with him to pass the time.
- Major Events of WWII: The Platinum Anniversary of Pearl Harbor
The 70th commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day is the Platinum Anniversary in 2011 of the attack on the Hawaiian port city. This was the last celebration to include the survivors of the attack, because of advancing age. Even the organizeers were in their 80s and 90s.
Movie Information for "Unbroken"
Film based on book: Unbroken (2010)
Author: Laura Hillenbrand
Also wrote: Seabiscuit (2002) - The 2003 film is tremendous.
Screenwriter: William Nicholson
Also wrote: Gladiator (2000), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), and "Les Misérables" (released Christmas 2012)
Laura Hillenbrand suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome and has suffered pain for over 30 years. Because of this plight and the fact that she continues to work through it, war hero Louis Zamperini sent her one of his Purple Hearts.
Unbroken, the book, has been on the New York Best Sellers List for 108 weeks as of this writing.
The film as been the property of Universal for a full 55 years at this writing. In the beginning, actor Tony Curtis wanted to play Louis Zamperini. Some rumors on Goodreads indicate that Nicholas Cage may be considered for the part, while most opinions run to James Franco or Christian Bale.
Book by Louis Zamperini
Casting For "Unbroken"
Who should play Louis Zamperini in Unbroken?
Zamp the Missionary
After his release from the Japanese POW camp, Louis Zamperini heard Billy Graham preach at one of his frequent crusades, went forward, and became Christian. In fact, during 1950, Mr. Zamperini returned to Japan as a Christian missionary and tracked down as many of his Japanese captors as he could, to forgive them face-to-face. This took a lot of effort.