Franklin Graham: Movie 'Unbroken' Omits 'Most Important Part' of Louis Zamperini's Life

By Susan Jones | December 17, 2014 | 10:37am EST

Former WWII prisoner of war Louis Zamperini, seen in January before his death. His story is partially told in Angelina Jolie's new film, "Unbroken." (AP File Photo)

( - Angelina Jolie did "an incredible job" with the film "Unbroken," says Christian Evangelist Franklin Graham, but "unfortunately," she stopped at chapter 33, leaving out the "most important part of the book" -- when Louis Zamperini, a former WWII prisoner of war, returns home and his life falls apart until he turns to Jesus Christ.

The broken man became whole in 1949, when Zamperini attended a Billy Graham crusade in downtown Los Angeles. And that's the "rest of the story," which the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is now telling in a new DVD.

Tormented by nightmares, drinking heavily, Zamperini became alienated from his wife, who intended to divorce him -- until she went to hear Billy Graham speak in downtown Los Angeles, Graham told Fox News on Wednesday.

After hearing Graham, Zamperini's wife decided to stay married to him. And she convinced him to go hear Billy Graham for himself.

The first time, Zamperini left: "He didn't like hearing someone say he was a sinner," Graham said on Wednesday.

But Zamperini came back a few days later:

"And when my father gave the invitation for people to put their faith and trust in Christ, instead of running out of the tent, he went forward. And his life was so dramatically changed. He went home that night, got rid of his pornography,  he got rid of his alcohol, he threw his cigarettes away. And he found his Bible that was given to him in the military, and he began to read and study the Bible, and his life was transformed instantly that day, and it stayed with him the rest of his life. He never turned from what he had put his faith and trust in, and that was Jesus Christ."

Not only did Zamperini's life change, but his nightmares and headaches stopped instantly, Graham said.

"And he was able to go back to Japan a few years later, and confront the men who had tormented him there in prison -- and he was able to forgive them for what they did to him. And it's a tremendous story of forgiveness. And I'm just sorry that that was left out."

The Billy Graham Association has the rest of the story: It plan to release a documentary on Christmas Day called "Louis Zamperini: Captured by Grace."

The film includes recent interview footage of Zamperini sharing his complete story in his own words: "The heart of this story is when I found Christ as my Savior," Zamperini says in the DVD. "That’s the heart of my whole life."

Zamperini, who died earlier this year, visited Billy Graham in June 2011 at his home in Montreat, N.C.

At age 94, he also visited the Billy Graham Library where he signed copies of the New York Times bestseller Unbroken and greeted many WWII veterans. Up until his passing, Zamperini was an inspirational speaker and shared his life-changing testimony at several of Graham’s Crusades, including one in San Francisco (1958) and Los Angeles (1963).

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