Hollywood World War Two movie ‘Unbroken’ praised by veterans

Three hundred Wisconsin US Army veterans have been given the opportunity to see new Hollywood World War Two movie ‘Unbroken’ free of charge. Their reviews have praised the portrayal of Louis Zamperini’s story.

‘Unbroken’ is Angelina Jolie’s latest adaptation of a book by Laura Hillenbrand documenting the experiences of Louis Zamperini. Louis was an Olympic winning athlete and served in World War Two.

His war story began in 1943 when a US aircraft carrying servicemen, including Zamperini, crashed in the Pacific. Three survived, including Zamperini . They floated on a raft at sea for more than four weeks until they were captured by the Japanese Navy, and by this time there were only two survivors left.

They were taken to Japan and held as prisoners of war until the end of World War Two, suffering severe torture and beatings.

The free of charge event for US veterans was an idea by local Wisconsin, Micon Cinema. While other attendees could go along for $10, which included a $5 donation to the Freedom Honor Flight in La Crosse, one of five places in Wisconsin which still coordinates visits to the Washington D.C. national monuments for World War Two Korean and Vietnam War veterans.

The idea for the free showing was to give thanks to the veterans, as well as raise money for a good cause.

The veterans’ feedback after the movie was all but praise saying that it was very close to the story in the book, and that Zamperini had quite a life.

It was also a chance for veterans to come together and share their experiences. Korean War veteran Denny Reiter said that at the time the troops just did what they had to do and they got on with the job at hand. He said that events like the movie were a great way to say thank you to the troops and was so grateful to be able to attend.

Denny noted that he thought the movie was wonderful and he was amazed at Zamperini’s spirit which kept him alive throughout the war, the Stars and Stripes reports.

Larry Kent another US Army veteran who attended the event said that he usually reads books more than watches movies. However Larry had heard a lot about Zamperini’s story and wanted to find out more. Now that he’s seen the movie Larry is keen to read the book.

At the end of the event a poster of the movie, ‘Unbroken’ was signed by all the veterans who attended, as a memento of the day.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE