A True Hero of God – Hacksaw Ridge Interview with Producer Terry Benedict


Erik Calderon, Staff Writer

Desmond Doss was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon. Even though he believed that the war was justified, he did not believe in taking a life.

While Terry Benedict was a young boy, he loved to read. He came across a book called The Unlikeliest Hero about a man during World War II, that would not carry a weapon, and for two years he was harassed by his fellow soldiers, made fun of, humiliated, and even beat up several times. He ended up going to the war in Okinawa, and saving the lives of those same men that had harassed him. He became a hero and was the only soldier to have ever gone into battle without a weapon to receive the Medal of Honor.

A couple of years later, Terry met Desmond Doss at a church summer camp. Desmond was there to help the youth develop their faith. Terry was a young boy back then, and it wasn’t until the 90’s that Terry met Desmond Doss again. Terry was not deep into his career as a filmmaker, and discovered that Hollywood had been after Desmond’s story since 1945 after he had received the Medal of Honor.

Desmond was worried that Hollywood would twist his story for profit; he wanted all of the glory of his amazing feats to go to God. He did not want to be personified as a hero, but only as someone that had all his faith in God. After several conversations with Desmond, Terry got his approval to make a documentary called, “The Contentious Objector. Terry thought it was vital to get this done while Desmond and the people that knew him were still alive. The documentary took 4 years to complete, and while making it, Terry began working on getting the feature film made.

“While I was in post production for the doc, I started interviewing production studios and producers, and I settled on Bill Machnic, who had been the former head of Twentieth Century Fox who was able to pull on board Mel Gibson”

Pulling Mel Gibson on board made this into an amazing film that really brought the story to life. The story of a man, without a weapon, that went into enemy lines to save his own men. A story of a man that saved over 75 men single handedly all by himself, when those men were left for dead by their own troops. All through the night, Desmond Dos would pray to God, asking him to let him save just one more life.

The film Hacksaw Ridge, nominated for 85 awards has won 45, including 2 Oscars, stars Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington Luke Bracey and Vince Vaughn is currently for sale and rent; the incredible true story of a man falling in Love, going to war and living by his faith. The story is so incredible that Mel Gibson decided to tone it down a bit to make it more believable. A man that stood before President Harry S. Truman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“I’m so proud of you,” Truman said, “You really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being president.”

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