The movie Hacksaw Ridge is about a young man who is a peace maker. Coming from a strong religious background, Desmond Doss refuses to hold a weapon during war. He wants to serve his country, but he wants to do it as a medic. The movie covers a lot about his life and situation concerning the war in Hacksaw Ridge with the Japanese. It is an incredible story of how a man becomes an unlikely hero, but it turns out the movie is also based on a true story. The man who saves dozens of his friends and comrades by himself is one of amazement. If you are a die hard fan of this movie, it makes sense why. Movies based on true stories are always enjoyable to watch because they feel so much more real than movies that are fictional.
Sometimes, Hollywood takes a story and changes a ton of facts around. Most films look almost nothing like the real event that took place, but this movie is one of the rare ones that little is changed. However, there are some secrets and events that have been changed throughout the movie storyline to make it more interesting and believable. You won’t believe the things that have been changed!
Click ‘Start Slideshow’ to find out how Hollywood changed this story from real to big screen.
A Changed Job Occupation
In the movie, we see that Desmond’s future wife, Dorothy Doss, is a nurse. That’s how they meet and end up falling in love. However, in real life this was not the truth. While Dorothy Doss did eventually become a nurse, it wasn’t until after the war when she needed to help support their family financially.
Instead of meeting on the job, Desmond and Dorothy met at church. They were both attending the same sermon when they met each other. It really was like love at first sight for the two of them. This was portrayed in the movie, and it was just as true in real life. Their marriage has survived many challenges, and it has been a very happy and fulfilling union.
You won’t believe what Desmond’s friends said about him. Find out by clicking ‘Next!’
Always Helpful to Others
In the movie, Desmond Doss seems just a bit too good to be true. He is practically a saint, and he always wants to help others. No matter what the cost to himself is, he stays behind and helps out someone else. Most of us probably think that the movie embellished this characteristic a bit. I mean, no one can be that nice, right?
Well, it turns out that Desmond Doss is just as good as they come. Even before the war Desmond was the type of person who would stay behind to help others. He loved being needed, and he never hesitated to lend a helping hand. Desmond was your all around great guy, which is what made his story so great.
Did the producers make a fake love story to make the movie better? Click ‘Next’ to find out the truth!
An Untrue Marriage Story
Desmond and Dorothy Doss were wed in real life on August 17, 1942. This was before Desmond left for active duty. While they didn’t know each other long, Dorothy felt like she could trust Desmond, so she made the decision to marry him before he went to war. However, this timeline is a bit different in the movie.
The movie version of Desmond missed their wedding day because he was denied a pass and put into a holding cell. This isn’t true at all. It did make the movie more dramatic, but in the real story the two were already married. The real life Dorothy said she thought that Desmond was such a good Christian that he would help her get to heaven. Truer words were never spoken!
You won’t believe what really happened when Desmond joined the army. Click ‘Next’ to find out the shocking truth.
Spirit Beaten Down
Desmond Doss did not have it easy in the army. This was true in both real life and the movie. The others in his battalion treated him with a lot of disrespect. They believed that Desmond was a coward for refusing to use a gun. He had to have thick skin to survive all the different threats and taunts that he received.
The one thing that kept Desmond going was that he knew he was going to help a lot of people as a medic. While it wasn’t the preferred choice for many, Desmond never wanted to carry a gun. He refused to kill. Desmond said that he believed that war was justified, but that he could not kill others himself. This belief is what kept him as a medic through all the peer pressure he received to change.
Was Desmond trying to get out of chores on Saturdays? Click ‘Next’ to see why he refused to help out.
With Seventh Day Adventists, their Sabbath day is on Saturday. Because of this, Desmond is seen in the movie refusing to do any work on the Sabbath day. The others around him were convinced that Desmond was doing it to get out of chores and other work. However, Desmond insisted it was for his prayer and scripture study time.
It turns out that the movie hit this truth right on the head. The real Desmond refused to work at all on Saturdays. He needed the 24 hours from Friday evening to Saturday evening to study his scriptures and spend his time praying. This was a practice that continued for him the whole time he was in the army. He refused to give up his worship, so he was exempt from Saturday work.
You won’t believe what happened when Desmond refused weapons. Click ‘Next’ to find out!
Wanting Him Transferred
There’s a scene in the movie where Jack Glover tries to get Desmond Doss transferred out of his unit. It’s an intense scene where he begs Gerald Cooney to release Desmond and get him far away from his battalion. However, this is not granted and Desmond Doss stays in Jack Glover’s battalion.
This actually happened in real life. Jack Glover didn’t want to deal with Desmond, so he tried hard to get him transferred. Fortunately, his opinion of Desmond changed drastically when he fought beside him. After seeing everything that Desmond did he said that Desmond was the bravest person he had ever known. Jack Glover remained in contact with Desmond and thought very highly of him.
Was the court-martial story really true? Click ‘Next’ to find out the unbelievable truth behind this scene!
Desmond Doss was indeed threatened with a court-martial since he would not hold a gun. It was by Captain Cunningham. Desmond had a file that said he did not have to touch a rifle, but Cunningham refused to listen. He made jokes at his expense, and ridiculed him in front of everyone else. When Captain Cunningham tried to force the rifle into Desmond’s hands, he let the rifle drop. It was then that another Captain came into play and told Cunningham to stop it.
However, that was the extent of it. In the movie it goes a lot farther than that. There is an actual hearing, and it seems like it is pretty evident that Desmond is going to be released dishonorably from his battalion. Also, his dad never came in to plead his case for his son. All of that was made up in the movie.
Did Desmond get to say goodbye to his true love? Click ‘Next’ to see if there was any truth behind it!
One of the most beautiful scenes in the movie is when Desmond and Dorothy see each other before he gets shipped out. There is a scene where they get to say goodbye together, and it is as heart-wrenching as it comes. However, it is a miracle they got to say goodbye together.
Thankfully, this miracle extends beyond the movie. In real life, the two said goodbye together at a train station. Desmond and Dorothy were waving frantically together as the train pulled away. They both hoped that they would see each other once again.
Click ‘Next’ to see what he did when faced with a wounded enemy soldier. The results were shocking.
Treating the Enemy
It’s shown that Desmond treated a Japanese soldier in the movie. While this might seem a little far-fetched, it turns out the whole story is true. Everyone always said that Desmond Doss had a heart of gold, and they were not kidding. When he saw a Japanese soldier struggling he couldn’t let him go on that way.
Desmond’s friends describe seeing a Japanese soldier with an American bandage, and they knew immediately that it had to be Desmond. However, Desmond remembers the story differently. He says that the Japanese soldiers pulled a gun on him!
Was Hacksaw Ridge exaggerated for the movie? Click ‘Next’ to find out!
Danger Up Ahead
Hacksaw Ridge is shown to be extremely dangerous in the movies. There is unseen gunfire coming from all different directions, and the cliff itself is a huge obstacle. The movie producers had this right on the money, and they may have toned it down a little bit.
To those who fought there, Hacksaw Ridge was hell on Earth. Bullets would be coming so fast and so thick that soldiers were being cut in half. If a soldier survived, they had to wade through a river of mud and blood to get back to their base. To make matters even worse, the cliff was camouflaged by the Japanese, so it made it impossible to see where they were hiding.
You won’t believe what Desmond volunteered himself to do. Click ‘Next’ to find out!
Bad Cargo Nets
As seen in the movie, there were cargo nets that the soldiers had to climb up to get to the top of the hill. Not only was this extremely dangerous because of what could be lurking on the other side, but it was also a dangerous climb itself. These were not made up in the movie to make the story more dramatic.
These cargo nets were used during the war that took place in Hacksaw Ridge. If there weren’t cargo nets then soldiers wouldn’t be able to get up as fast as they did. However, the movie left one crucial part out. Someone had to volunteer to put the cargo nets up, and it didn’t look good for those volunteers. No one wanted to do it, but Desmond Doss was one of three people who volunteered to take one for the team and put the cargo nets up the cliff. It was so dangerous that other soldiers would stand far away to stay out of the line of Japanese gunfire.
Why did Desmond have to hide all his medic badges? Click ‘Next’ to find out the truth behind this!
Prime Target as a Medic
While Desmond Doss was proud to be a medic, you couldn’t show it off during the war. In the movie the old medics told Desmond that he had to lose all the patches that showed he was a medic. They explained that these patches made them prime targets to the enemy, and Desmond learned quickly to hide his true identity.
Just like in the movie, the real Desmond Doss had to hide that he was a medic while out in the field. The medics were prime target for the Japanese because if you shoot the medic then there is no one to help the wounded soldiers. They would try to diminish the chances of soldiers recovering, so that meant that the medics had to go as soon as possible. It was a scary war to try to help people when you had a target on your back!
Was Desmond truly the only one who stayed behind on the ridge? Click ‘Next’ to find out!
Staying on the Ridge
Desmond Doss was a very unique hero. He saved a lot of people and he never wielded a weapon while doing so. In the movie, you see Desmond staying behind on Hacksaw Ridge. Most of the other soldiers thought it was a waste of time, and they believed that everyone on the field was dead. Why stay and make yourself a target for dead people?
Well, Desmond thought differently. He wanted to stay on the ridge and help those who were wounded. This hero truly believed that if he saved just one life that it would be worth it. While all the other soldiers went back to camp, Desmond Doss stayed behind to help.
Click ‘Next’ to find out if the story behind Desmond’s rescuing was as true as they come!
Lowering One by One
The movie is really dedicated to Desmond Doss’s journey during Hacksaw Ridge. It especially focuses on the time Desmond spent staying behind when the rest of his battalion went back to camp. He finds all these soldiers who are his friends who are not dead, and he attempts to deliver them back to camp. To get them off of the cliff, Desmond has to lower each soldier one by one. This put his in considerable danger.
While it may sound like a fantast, nothing is more true than this scene. Desmond Doss was faced with a dilemma on how to get the soldiers back down the cliff, but he remembered this knot he learned in basic training. The knot was truly a gift from God, and it allowed him to lower each of the soldiers down the cliff. The men just kept coming, and Desmond kept on lowering them.
You won’t believe what Hollywood left out of his story. Click ‘Next’ to find out what Desmond really went through.
Saved by a Jam
There were many times that the Japanese soldiers had a clear shot of Desmond Doss. One Japanese soldier recalled a moment when he tried to shoot Desmond Doss. When he went to pull the trigger, the gun kept jamming. Desmond should have died at the hands of this Japanese enemy soldier, but the man couldn’t get his gun to work.
This wasn’t mentioned in the movie, but it is a really cool story about the real Desmond Doss. Whether it was a gift from God or fate, these soldiers just couldn’t get Desmond to quit. It helped him save a lot of people.
Did Hollywood embellish how many people Desmond saved? Click ‘Next’ to find the true number of lives he saved!
The Total Rescued
You see Desmond Doss in the movie save a good chunk of people, but only the most important characters are shown being saved. Desmond spends all night up there on the cliff lowering down people, so it should come as no surprise that he saved dozens of people.
His commanding officer estimated that he saved about 100 lives that day, but Desmond says it is more of a modest 50 lives. They compromised on the official report to say 75 lives. How one man could save that many people is astonishing, and he received a medal for it. When Desmond went to receive his medal from President Truman, he couldn’t have been more excited. The whole experience felt surreal, and he didn’t feel nervous because of how kind President Truman was the whole time.
Did the battalion wait on Desmond to read his bible? Click ‘Next’ to find out the shocking truth.
Wait to Read the Bible
After Desmond Doss saves a bunch of people, there is a funny scene in the movie. This is really when everyone changed their mind about him. They saw that he did this all for his friends, and he left no man behind. There is never a truer soldier than that, and his comrades respected him for doing what none of them could.
When the final attack came, Desmond reads his bible. The whole battalion waits until he is finished reading and praying before climbing the cargo nets up Hacksaw Ridge. While this seems to make a really good movie, it actually happened in real life too. The attack was done on a Saturday, so it was the Sabbath for Desmond. Since his fellow soldiers didn’t want to go up without him, he agreed to help during their fight if he could read and pray beforehand. This request was approved, and all the soldiers waited until he was finished. They figured if it could help them live then they better let him do it.
You won’t believe how Desmond almost died! Click ‘Next’ to see how he made it out alive.
Almost Blown Apart
The movie does a great job sticking to the facts about what really happened in Hacksaw Ridge, but they failed to mention one crazy story. Desmond Doss almost died a few different times. First of all, he was hit by a Japanese sniper. Thankfully, they got him in the arm so he survived. However, when a hand grenade was thrown his way, Desmond was almost blown to pieces.
He tried shoving his helmet toward where the hand grenade sounded like it was coming from, but it didn’t help him from getting shrapnel in his legs. Desmond recalls the feeling of being blown through the air from the force of the grenade, and he thought that he had definitely lost his legs at that point. He was stuck after that because the shrapnel had embedded into his legs so deeply. This hero continued to survive, but he had some lasting effects from the injury.