SILVER SPRING, Md., March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Military Channel has signed Hollywood film and television star Lou Diamond Phillips to host the new franchise AN OFFICER AND A MOVIE. Debuting every Friday evening beginning Friday, April 1, AN OFFICER AND A MOVIE pairs Phillips with retired and active duty officers who lived through major battles or have an expertise in the conflicts depicted in notable Hollywood films. As each film makes its Military Channel premiere, AN OFFICER AND A MOVIE provides expert commentary that can only come from being "on the ground" during the action as these officers reflect on the themes of that night's film and also provide personal insight that puts each movie into a modern context.
"Lou Diamond Phillips is well known for his many feature films including the military movie Courage Under Fire and, as the son of a Navy officer, he is the perfect choice to interview some of the U.S. military's most distinguished leaders," said Henry Schleiff, president and general manager, Investigation Discovery and Military Channel. "The discussions within AN OFFICER AND A MOVIE bring an entirely new and even more realistic dimension to some of the greatest war movies of our time -- from The Dirty Dozen to The Great Santini to Hart's War -- and provide valuable new information exclusively for our audience of military history buffs."
"To have the opportunity to discuss the real-life events and strategies of the heroic efforts of service men and women from our nation's history is something I will cherish," said Lou Diamond Phillips. "In Military Channel's AN OFFICER AND A MOVIE, I am honored to pick the brains of some of America's heroes, who experienced first-hand the themes showcased in each week's classic war film."
In the premiere episode on Friday, April 1 at 8 PM ET, Lou Diamond Phillips and retired Marine Col. Arthur Athens discuss the themes behind the 1979 classic film The Great Santini, starring Robert Duvall, who was nominated for an Academy Award for this role. As the director of the U.S. Naval Academy's Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership, the former Commandant of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Athens is uniquely able to comment on what it means to be a leader in the military and within a family's home, where in his own life he has ten children.
AN OFFICER AND A MOVIE will include Kelly's Heroes, Hart's War, Windtalkers, Three Kings, and The Dirty Dozen among others. After The Great Santini, the next three premieres include:
Heartbreak Ridge -- Friday, April 8 at 8 PM ET
Hard-living Gunnery Sgt. Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood) has seen action in Korea and Vietnam. Approaching retirement, he returns to his old Marine Corps unit to train a young reconnaissance platoon. His training and their skills are tested when the U.S. enters into war in Grenada. Providing expert commentary for Heartbreak Ridge is Bronze Star recipient for his actions in Iraq, Maj. Timothy S. Brady, Jr. (USMC). Maj. Brady planned more than 25 battalion orders for the conduct of combat operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom including the execution of combined "heliborne" assault operations.
Bridge at Remagen -- Friday, April 15 at 8 PM ET
A true story told from both the Allied and German sides of the WWII battle for a critical bridge over the Rhine River, Bridge at Remagen stars George Segal, Robert Vaughn and Ben Gazzara. Lou Diamond Phillips sits down with retired Col. Raymond K. Bluhm (U.S. Army), who served two tours in Korea and 18 months in Vietnam as an Infantry officer, receiving a Silver Star and three Bronze Stars. Col. Bluhm has served as the Executive Director of the Army Historical Foundation and has written several books on military history.
Victory -- Friday, April 22 at 8 PM ET
Starring box office favorite Sylvester Stallone and Academy Award winner Michael Caine in a thrilling story of POWs who use a soccer match to stage a daring escape, Victory was directed by the legendary John Huston and co-stars soccer super-player Pele. The expert featured in this week's discussion of Victory is WWII Combat Medic Charles Stenger, who voluntarily became a POW to help provide medical care for U.S. troops. Later in his career, Stenger became the head of psychiatry for the Veterans Administration with an expertise on post-war stress.
AN OFFICER AND A MOVIE is produced by the Military Channel. Emil Gallina is director, Ron Simon is executive producer, Sara Kozak is vice president of production and Henry Schleiff is president and general manager.
About Lou Diamond Phillips
Phillips first came to the public's attention when he starred as Richie Valens in La Bamba and solidified his reputation in Stand and Deliver, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor and received a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nomination. Other notable film credits include Courage Under Fire, Young Guns and most recently, CHE. Additionally, Phillips earned a Tony nomination for Best Actor for his performance as the King of Siam in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I. Currently in its final season, Phillips can be seen on the SyFy series Stargate: Universe. A few of his other memorable television credits include Chuck, Psych, Law and Order: SVU, and Numb3rs. As a director, Phillips most recently helmed the Hallmark Channel movie Love Takes Wing in 2009.
About Military Channel
The Military Channel brings viewers compelling, real-world stories of heroism, military strategy, and significant turning points in history. Currently available in more than 57 million homes, the network takes viewers "behind the lines" to hear the personal stories of servicemen and women and offers in-depth explorations of military training, aviation technology and cutting-edge weaponry. As the only cable network devoted to military subjects, it also provides unique access to this world, allowing viewers to understand the full spectrum of experiences intrinsic to the armed forces, as well as the long-held traditions of the military. For more information, please visit military.discovery.com.
Additional press information, including photos and online screeners for review, can be found on Military Channel's Press Website at: http://press.discovery.com/us/mil/
SOURCE Military Channel