Here’s some great news, Hacksaw Ridge backer Argent Pictures, Nine Days producer Mandalay Pictures and Book Club writer-director Bill Holderman are teaming up on a feature adaptation of WWII tale The Last Ridge about the 10th Mountain Division, a troop of U.S. expats-turned-soldiers who helped turn the tide against the Nazis in Europe.
YAHOO reports Holderman will adapt McKay Jenkins’ 2004 non-fiction book which tells remarkable true story of the 10th Division. When WWII broke out in Europe, the American army had no specialized division for mountain warfare. That all changed when an amateur skier named Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole convinced the U.S. Army to let him recruit an extraordinary menagerie of ex-pats, wealthy ski bums, mountaineers, and thrill-seekers and form them into a band of Alpine soldiers. Sounds like an awesome movie right? Here’s writer-director Bill Holderman explaining his interest in the forthcoming project:
“I have had a very strong desire and passion to help tell the story of the heroes that made up the 10th Mountain Division ever since I first learned about them and their bravery while a teenager who often visited Colorado with my family growing up. Bill Holderman and I have been talking about this incredible true story since the first day we met at the Sundance Intsitute Labs back in 2014.”
We’ll keep you posted during the development but in the meantime, we can have fun speculating about the cast. Are there any actors that can ski or skiers that can act that you would like to see on screen?
When World War II broke out in Europe, the American army had no specialized division of mountain soldiers. But in the winter of 1939–40, after a tiny band of Finnish mountain troops brought the invading Soviet army to its knees, an amateur skier named Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole convinced the United States Army to let him recruit an extraordinary assortment of European expatriates, wealthy ski bums, mountaineers, and thrill-seekers and form them into a unique band of Alpine soldiers.
These men endured nearly three years of grueling training in the Colorado Rockies and in the process set new standards for both soldiering and mountaineering. The newly forged 10th Mountain Division finally faced combat in the winter of 1945, in Italy’s Apennine Mountains, against the seemingly unbreakable German fortifications north of the Gothic Line. There, they planned and executed what is still regarded as the most daring series of nighttime mountain attacks in U.S. military history, taking Mount Belvedere and the sheer, treacherous face of Riva Ridge to smash the linchpin of the German army’s lines.
Drawing on unique cooperation from veterans of the 10th Mountain Division and a vast archive of unpublished letters and documents, The Last Ridge is written with enormous warmth, energy, and honesty. This is one of the most captivating stories of World War II, a blend of Band of Brothers and Into Thin Air. It is a story of young men asked to do the impossible, and succeeding.
If you’d like to watch a 2007 movie based on Mckay Jenkins’ book The Last Ridge, you can find it on Amazon HERE:
“During World War II, the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division embarked on a true “mission impossible,” giving new meaning to the phrase “uphill battle.” This compelling documentary recounts their remarkable history as a legendary alpine fighting force. Although 10th soldiers were superstars, they quickly learned that winter, mountains and the invincible German Army were a deadly combination.”
2007 MOVIE TRAILER:
images from NPS.gov