Pariah No More? Mel Gibson Gets Standing Ovation at ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Screening in Beverly Hills

However heavy the baggage that Mel Gibson carries from a decade ago, the audience screening his World War II battlefield hero movie “Hacksaw Ridge” at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills Monday night looked past it — to the movie itself.

“Show your heart — not just your applause — for Mel Gibson,” producer Bill Mechanic asked the crowd after the credits rolled.

As Gibson walked down the aisle to take the stage with fellow producers and key cast members, the audience gave a standing ovation. It was a departure from the typical Hollywood premiere, where the main introductions take place before the screening.

Gibson quickly turned the attention to the main character’s real-life son, Desmond Doss Jr., who was a surprise guest for the screening.

“Hacksaw Ridge” tells the story of Desmond Doss Sr., a conscientious objector who fought for his right to take the battlefield without a gun, serving as a medic in Japan. He rescued 75 soldiers during the battle of Okinawa and was the first conscientious objector in history to be awarded the Medal of Honor, an honor designated for battlefield heroics.

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