Skip to comments.FILM PLANNED ABOUT TWIN TOWERS HERO - RICK RESCORLA
Posted on 02/14/2002 8:01:22 AM PST by Lexington Green
Hollywood couple Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon are to make a film about the 11 September attacks in New York, focusing on the bravery of a British security officer. Robbins and Sarandon are to base their film on the bravery of Rick Rescorla, a Cornwall-born war hero, who died in the attacks saving thousands of people.
The film is based on an article by James Stewart in the New Yorker magazine, All The Heroes Are Dead, and is one of three productions about the attacks on the Twin Towers currently in planning.
Rescorla moved to the US a the age of 23 and served in the US army in Vietnam, his exploits later recounted in the book - and now film, When We Were Soldiers - in which he was described as a "battlefield legend".
He was the head of security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and died evacuating people from one of the New York towers.
In 1993, he was the last to leave the tower when a bomb was found in the centre.
Rick Rescorla has been called a "battlefield legend"
As the buildings came under attack he phoned his wife at home, who was watching the drama unfold on television .
He told her: "I don't want you to cry. I have to evacuate some people now. If something happens to me, I want you to know that you made my life."
Oscar-winning actress Sarandon will play Rescorla's wife Susan Greer, and she and Robbins hope to have a studio deal in place shortly.
The film will concentrate on the love story between the couple, described as "two fractured people who found each other late in life and enjoyed a storybook romance".
The World Trade Center disaster will provide a cruel finale to the film.
A little clutch of veterans share a table in a bar,
There's a guy off in the corner coaxing tunes from his guitar.
They watch the Hudson River as it rolls towards the bend
And they talk of Rick Rescorla as a comrade and a friend.
While out across the water, many ocean-miles away
Within a Cornish Tavern by a sandy Cornish Bay,
Another group are gathered, reminiscing as a clan,
And their thoughts are all of Tammy, from the schoolboy to the man.
And every head among them has a picture in its mind
Which time and place and memory have captured and consigned,
Now the pictures weld together until only one remains,
Of a sturdy, selfless hero guiding others from the flames.
It's a picture which unites them in their glory and their grief,
More eloquent than eulogies, confirming their belief
That theirs had been a privilege to saunter at his side
And in the way he'd lived his life had Rick Rescorla died.
The veterans recalled him in the killing fields of war
As a man whose potent presence would inspire and reassure,
Just one among his brothers when the skies began to fall,
Yet one whom they regarded as a father to them all.
And now their eyes will moisten at the mention of his name
And the sources and the substance of the legend he became,
When mayhem drove the best of men to crave their mother's love,
He'd stand and croon an anthem to the gory gods above.
And on that evil morning, so deceptively serene,
Amid another carnage, just as callous and obscene
Again he took the mantle of the sainted and the strong
To save the lives of others with a blessing and a song.
Between the Hudson River and the sandy shores of Hayle,
Though eyes encompass differences of latitude and scale,
All hands are linked together in the testament they bear,
They are but Rick Rescorlas friends, united by a prayer.
By David Prowse 2001 - WESTERN MORNING NEWS Cornwall UK
gag... splutter... choke...
Sad to see that no less than three productions are ongoing. I feel that the 11th is too brutal and emotionally charged to make a movie about it - at least for 20-30 years.
It should be treated with an almost sacred deference.
Dub in "There's an Eagle" at some patriotic moment and "Step Right Up And Kiss My Royal Irish Ass" when the shots of OBL and related are shown.
Should be about a one hour and twenty minute film.
Distribute it to every major and minor theater in America and let the proceeds (after theater expenses) go directly to the Defense Budget.
The cost to the producers would be minimal (film, reel, can or if they'r truly progressive ... a DVD and envelope), and the returns for America's defense would be phenominal.
Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming
Can't you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warrior's pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady
It cannot be ever said ye
For the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!
Rick Rescorla, Cheerful Warrior
By Robert Poos
The first time I saw Rick Rescorla he was laughing, an infectious chortle as he told about the footrace he'd just won: with a Viet Cong squad doing its level best to kill him. So it came as no real surprise when the last thing I heard of him, was that he perished while trying to lead people to safety from the stricken World Trade Center twin towers after terrorist-hijacked airliners crashed into them.
That first meeting took place in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in the early Fall of 1965 when I was a combat correspondent for the Associated Press and Cyril R. Rescorla (no one ever called him Cyril) was a Second Lieutenant platoon leader in B Company, First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, U.S. Army.
"Oh," he chuckled, "we did indeed do a bit of E and E'ing back there," pointing to a sergeant sitting on the side of a nearby creek bank as being the other part of the "we" who'd been doing the escaping and evading. "It was a bit of a close thing but it turned out all right, after all, now, didn't it!"
This was shortly after the Cavalry division's arrival in Vietnam and before the 7th cav's epic Ia Drang Valley campaign in which Rescorla distinguished himself in both the battles of Landing Zone X-Ray and Landing Zone Albany.
Rescorla had been directed to conduct a reconnaissance mission and as was typical of him, decided to do it himself, because he knew he was the best man on hand to do the job required and survive. For, unlike virtually everyone else in the outfit, Rescorla had real on-the-job experience at such stuff. He was something of a soldier of fortune, having been on active service in the British Army in Cyprus, doing the dangerous job of trying to keep Turkish and Greek guerrillas on the island from killing one another. He'd also done a tour with the British South African Police in what was then Rhodesia. (A word about the BSAP. It was not British, not South African and not a police force. It was a paramilitary unit which spent most of its time chasing Communist guerrillas in the former British colony.)
This display was typical of the way Rescorla went about leading a platoon of infantry. He led by example. He knew he was exceptionally good at what he did; he showed his men how to do it and then left it up to them. He also inspired them by his unfailing good humor and by doing something I've never before nor since Ñ and I've had a lot of experience at this stuff Ñ heard of any military leader of whatever rank doing Ñ sing to them,
One example of this is found in that fine book We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young, by former UPI correspondent Joe Galloway and Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore. The incident occurs during the Battle of LZ X Ray at a time during the night when it seems quite likely that a North Vietnamese Army regiment, which has the 7th Cav's First Battalion surrounded might very well attack the positions and overwhelm and wipe it out.
"When all else failed, Rescorla sang 'Wild Colonial Boy' and a Cornish favorite 'Going Up Cambrone Hill,' slow and steady tunes which were answered by shouts of 'Hard Corps' (the platoon's nickname) and 'Garry Owen,' the 7th Cav's battle cry and song."
Although he'd subsequently retired from the Army reserves as a colonel and become a top security executive for Morgan Stanley investment company, Rescorla changed very little over the years as is indicated in an article by Rob Jennings in the Morristown, N.J., Daily Record juste after the World Trade Center disaster.
"The last time anyone saw (Rick) Rescorla, 62, he was racing up and down stairs at the World Trade Center's south tower, singing 'God Bless America' through a bullhorn and calming nerves as he shepherded people to safety."
Many survivors credited Rescorla and his security team with saving their lives by leading them out of the crumbling tower prior to its collapse. The firm had some 3,700 employees in the Center but only a dozen or so were lost, according to news accounts. After the first hijacked airliner hit the Center's north tower, loudspeaker announcements advised Morgan Stanley employees Ñ between the 43rd and 73rd floors Ñ to stay where they were. Rescorla thought that bad advice and began leading people down stairwells.
"We had reports of him as low as the 10th floor and as high as the 73rd," said a daughter, Kim, 23. His wife of two years, Susan, said he'd called her on his cell phone and told her not to worry, that he was leading people out of the building and that he loved her. Shortly after that conversation, Rescorla apparently decided to take one more check of the higher floors to determine if anyone was still left. It was one check too many but that's the way Rick Rescorla did things.
At the battle of LZ Albany, Rescorla led a helicopter borne relief force to assist the 7th Cavalry's 2nd Battalion which had been surrounded and was in grave danger of being overrun after a desperate 24-hour fight. It was a "hot" LZ Ñ meaning there were enemy soldiers all around it Ñ the pilot of the helicopter flying Rescorla was shot in the arm as the troopers were jumping out Ñ but Rescorla was in his element. Lieutenant Larry Gwinn watched the relief arrive and, as quoted in the Galloway/Moore book:
"I saw Rick Rescorla come swaggering into our lines with a smile on his face, an M79 (grenade launcher) on his shoulder, his M16 in one hand, saying: 'Good. good. good. I hope they hit us with everything they got tonight. We'll wipe them up.' His spirit was catching. The troops were cheering as each load came in, and we really raised a racket. The enemy must've thought an entire battalion was coming in to help us.'"
Another witness, Lt. Pat Payne of the reconnaissance platoon, recalled, "I had the feeling we were actually being rescued, that the cavalry had, in fact, arrived, like in the movies. I admired the courage it took to land in Albany. Lieutenant Rescorla was one of the best combat leaders I saw in two tours of Vietnam. He walked around and pepped everyone up by telling them they'd done a good job ... he never raised his voice, spoke almost in a whisper. We were awfully glad to see him and the others from Bravo Company.
As the Albany fight flickered to its end, Rescorla, while checking the battlefield, out of the corner of an eye caught some movement and fired a burst from his M16. A couple of North Vietnamese who'd been playing dead, suddenly got that way for real. On one of them, Rescorla noticed something shiny.
As reported in We Were Soldiers ...
"On the dying enemy soldier, Rescorla (found) a big, battered old French Army bugle carrying a manufacture date of 1900 ... On some long ago battlefield, possibly Dien Bien Phu, the victorious Viet Minh, had taken it as a trophy. And marked their own legend; two crude Chinese characters tattooed into the brass bell with nailpoint. Rough translation: 'Long and Powerful Service.' Now here in the Ia Drang in the elephant grass, the trophy had changed hands again. The 7th cavalry had a bugle once more, and Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry would blow it time and time again on the battlefields of Vietnam."
I recall one of those times very well. I was with A Company, 2nd of the 7th, when it once again got surrounded by vastly superior North Vietnamese forces. The Cavalry Division was able to get in one helicopter flight of reinforcements before heavy rainfall grounded all aircraft. As the troopers leapt from the thundering Huey choppers, one of them sounded the charge on the old brass bugle.
An A Company trooper lying next to me shouted above the gunfire "That's B Company AWWWWWRRRRIGHT!"
Rescorla kept the bugle as a trophy until 1991 when he turned it over to the Ia Drang Valley Alumni Association which I believe has it to this day.
So here's to you, Rick Rescorla, you died doing what you did best; being a hero, a good natured hero who inspired others with his love of life and scorn for death.
Robert Poos is a former Marine combat veteran of Korea, an AP correspondent in Vietnam and a former managing editor of Soldier Of Fortune.
If there's anything we can do, from writing the studio, to writing our troops, signing a petition - please ping for further action.
Maybe the clueless in Hollywood have lined up Jane Fonda and Woody Harrelson for the next "gift" to America during these trying times. Hollywood-entertainment community rates an "F" for faithlessness, fearmongering, failing the country that gave them the freedom to play, the paychecks to pretend they're important, and the microphones to spread our enemies' propaganda.