After wowing critics at early morning press screenings on Sunday, Mel Gibson’s pacifist World War II action drama, Hacksaw Ridge, had its red carpet world premiere out of competition at the Venice Film Festival last night. The film played to a roughly 10-minute standing ovation — long standing-Os are not as common a happenstance on the Lido as they are at some other festivals. At about six minutes into the ovation, Gibson and the actors were asked to go down into the audience.
In attendance alongside Gibson were stars Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer and Luke Bracey as well as co-screenwriter Robert Schenkkan.
Garfield plays Desmond T Doss, the real-life conscientious objector who saved 75 men in Okinawa without ever firing or carrying a gun. The faith-based film and horrors-of-war action drama is about a man who “does something extraordinary and supernatural, really, that inspired me,” Gibson had earlier told the press corps. “A lot of attention needs to be paid to our warriors; they need some love and understanding. I hope this film imparts that message. If it does nothing but that, that’s great,” said Gibson.
Lionsgate releases Hacksaw domestically in the heart of awards season on November 4.
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In theaters everywhere November 4th. HacksawRidge.movie