The Andrew Garfield True Story Tearjerker On Netflix

By Britta DeVore | Published

andrew garfield

Over the years, war features have not only captured our attention but brought the harsh realities of the battlefield into our living rooms. Last year saw the arrival of the award-sweeping Edward Berger film, All Quiet on the Western Front, while other films including Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan have gone down alongside fellow classics. Soon, audiences can catch one of Andrew Garfield’s most riveting performances in Hacksaw Ridge with the true story arriving on Netflix on September 1. 

Directed by none other than Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge sees Andrew Garfield starring as a real-life man named Desmond Doss, who, despite his religious convictions as being a pacifist, was tossed into the brutal and bloody battles of World War II.

In Hacksaw Ridge, Andrew Garfield stars as a real-life man named Desmond Doss

Serving as a medic, Doss (Andrew Garfield) declined to carry any sort of weapon as it would go against his beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. He rises to the status of war hero when, during the Battle of Okinawa, he saves the lives of his fellow wounded soldiers by carrying them out of the gunfights one by one. 

Along with Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge also stars the likes of Sam Worthington (the Avatar franchise), Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four), Hugo Weaving (the Matrix franchise), Luke Bracey (Point Break), Vince Vaughn (Swingers), Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding), and Richard Pyros (Big Bite).

Based on the Terry Benedict-helmed 2004 documentary, The Conscientious Objector, Hacksaw Ridge was a global favorite, grossing a whopping $180.5 million at the worldwide box office, the film was a massive financial success against its $40 million budget. It wasn’t Andrew Garfield’s biggest box office numbers, but it was big nonetheless.

It also swept the award circuit that year, raking in nomination after nomination and several wins at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and the Australian Academy Awards (filming took place in Australia).

Hacksaw Ridges is based on the Terry Benedict-helmed 2004 documentary, The Conscientious Objector

For Mel Gibson, his eye behind the Andrew Garfield-led Hacksaw Ridge put his career back on track following a slew of negative moments that changed the beloved actor into a controversial personality. Following a handful of comments damaging to the Jewish community, the LGBTQ community, and more, Gibson was one of the most disliked people in Hollywood. While he’s still a divisive name, his directorial credit in the war feature certainly brought some of his longtime fans back into his corner.

Hacksaw Ridge was Gibson’s fifth dip into the world of filmmaking, something that he had done previously in the titles The Man Without a Face, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, and Apocalypto. Receiving praise for each of his ventures, it was Braveheart through which he earned the Academy Award for Best Director as well as Best Picture.

Through his war epic, Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson once again found himself up for Best Director at the Academy Awards, losing to The Revenant helmer, Alejandro González Iñárritu.

With so much interest in his personal life through both the documentary and Gibson’s dramatized telling in Hacksaw Ridge, Doss’ incredible story was put under the microscope by people around the world. The WWII vet says that during that harrowing battle, he saved 50 with others stating that the real number was much closer to 100.

As Andrew Garfield depicted in the movies, on top of carrying the wounded soldiers to safety, Doss was then tasked with treating them medically, making for what was likely the most exhausting as well as rewarding day of his life. 

Unfortunately, Doss didn’t live to see Andrew Garfield’s and Gibson’s take on his life in Hacksaw Ridge. In 2006, a full decade prior to the film’s release, the Medal of Honor recipient would pass away at 87 years old. Attending the premiere in his father’s place was the war hero’s son, Desmond Doss Jr., who was so taken with Andrew Garfield’s accurate portrayal of his father that he was moved to tears.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s followed the career of Andrew Garfield as his role in Hacksaw Ridge was one of many heavily dramatic parts that the actor has played over the course of his time in Hollywood.

While he may be known for his role as Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man franchise (as well as Spider-Man: No Way Home), the star has gone on to appear in such features as Breathe, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and Tick, Tick… Boom! with each production tapping into his talents as a dramatic actor. 

Just in time for the cozy fall season, Andrew Garfield’s Hacksaw Ridge is the perfect true story-based film to spend your weekend with when it arrives on Netflix on September 1.