Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Unbroken" The Movie

Last Saturday, I was one of those who went to see the movie, "Unbroken".    I have read that it was the third largest Christmas day opening ever and that the ratings have been very high. So...that means that it is very popular.  Good.

For anyone who has read my blog for any length of time, you will know of my great admiration for Louis Zamperini and you will know that I have been waiting to see his life portrayed on screen since I read his book "Devil At My Heels" in 2004.  I mailed a letter to the publisher of that book and Mr. Zamperini wrote me back.   I am not special in this regard.  I know that he replied to every single person who ever wrote to him!  It was only in the past few years that he was not able to answer all of his letters.  He asked his friend and fellow Olympian, John Naber, to help with his correspondence and so I also have a nice reply to one of my letters with a typed reply from John Naber but with a few notations hand written by Mr. Zamperini himself.  What a guy!

Okay,, you know I think the world of Louis Zamperini, but what did I think of the movie?
For me, it is hard to distance myself....I can't just think of it as a movie, I am thinking of it as a story of a man's life, a man that I think deserves to be recognized and honored.  So...I really liked it, I liked it a lot.   (And the one who carries the torch into the Berlin Stadium and lights the Olympic Flame? That is Mr. Zamperini's grandson, Clayton Zamperini...I really love that.)

 To condense a man's life of ninety-seven years into a film that is just over two hours cannot be an easy thing and especially when it is a life like Louis Zamperini's!  I have read some reviews that criticize the ending, it stops when he comes back from the war, never mentioning Billy Graham
 and only tells of the rest of his life in just a few sentences on the screen.  Well, I am hoping...could there be another movie in the works?  After all, Mr. Zamperini lived such a long and fruitful life devoted to his Christian faith and good works, I am hoping that even as I am typing this, that Angelina Jolie is pitching an idea for another movie about Louis Zamperini to Universal Studios,  one that shows him working with the boys at his Victory Camp, showing him giving inspirational talks to thousands of people and showing the humor and wisdom of Louis Zamperini.

At the same time that I saw this movie, I came straight home and finished his book, "Don't Give Up, Don't Give In". which  was sent off to the publishers just two days before he passed away.  I will tell you more about this book, but by all means, go and see "Unbroken".   I was pleased to finally see it on the big screen.  And I am thankful that Mr. Zamperini was able to see it before he died. (Angelina Jolie showed it to him on her computer when she visited him in the hospital.)  He liked it. 
That's good enough for me.

 Stained glass windows at All Souls Church in Eastbourne, England to replace the original windows destroyed in enemy action in World War II.  The first two photos are to show you the words, and the last photo shows the full view of the two windows. Notice the names engraved beneath the windows, they are the names of those who gave their lives in both world wars from this small parish in Eastbourne.  When Mr. Zamperini was called a hero, he always said that the real heroes were the ones who never returned home.


  1. I have not seen it yet. I am glad you enjoyed it so much.

  2. The book is on my list to read this year, then maybe the movie.

  3. Good to know you enjoyed it -- I hope to see it soon!

  4. Thank you for that review, Kay! I'm glad to hear your opinion as you are so familiar with his books. My dad told me that Mr. Z was supposed to be the Grand Marshal at the Rose Parade this year ... but obviously he couldn't be there.

    What a poignant inscription on those windows.

    A happy New Year to you and yours!

  5. What a tribute that his movie is doing so well!

  6. I am so looking forward to seeing this....And I heard of it first from your blog, Kay! Glad to hear you liked it.

  7. I look forward to seeing the movie. I'm glad it's doing well in the box office.

  8. Thats interesting stained glass and I have not come across it even though I had family living near Eastbourne.

  9. I shall bear it in mind when it goes to DVD. I'd probably be able to see it if I was in NZ at the moment but being in the Hebrides is quite another matter: no cinema here.

  10. Oh Kay, I still haven't been able to see the movie. So anxious to see it though! I also read that Louie liked the movie. We have a lot scheduled this weekend but maybe I'll make a special effort to see it next week. Loved reading your review! XOXO!