LOS ANGELES -- Ralph Lindenmeyer didn't want to relive his memories of the attack on Pearl Harbor. But a group of Hollywood filmmakers changed the war veteran's mind.
Lindenmeyer agreed to serve as a top adviser on "Pearl Harbor" -- the $135 million blockbuster coming out Memorial Day weekend -- because he thought it could teach a new generation about the "Day of Infamy," Dec. 7, 1941.
"The schools don't really teach about the battle. And the survivors' motto is: 'Remember Pearl Harbor and keep America alert,"' said the 80-year-old Lindenmeyer, of San Diego. "So, I'm hoping this movie will really rekindle the fire of that morning."
His main critique of the script: "a few too many four-letter words."
Lindenmeyer recruited scores of other Pearl Harbor veterans to share their stories with screenwriter Randall Wallace and director Michael Bay. The filmmakers also relied heavily on the Navy and Defense Department, commissioning airfields, ports and even an active aircraft carrier during the production.
"We were asking for unprecedented military cooperation," Bay said. "We literally needed to make war on Pearl Harbor's Ford Island for six weeks with planes flying and hundreds and hundreds of stunt men and bombs going off. They basically gave us full access ... and kept their base going around us."
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