For decades, actor Sam Elliott has been synonymous with the wild, wild west. His iconic mustache and lanky physique earned him the chance to make a name for himself as a cowboy actor, and his phenomenal acting skills brought back the gunslinger western during a time when many thought the genre was dying out.
While he’s best known for movies like “Tombstone” and for guest appearances on shows like “Gunsmoke,” though, he’s also managed to establish himself as a fantastic face for military films, as well. So it’s hardly a surprise that in the wake of news that there’s a documentary on the nation’s oldest active army infantry regiment set to come out, Elliott will be narrating the miniseries.
The docu-series, titled “Honor Guard,” will follow the 3rd Infantry Regiment—otherwise known as The Old Guard. It’s the oldest active infantry regiment in the United States Army, best known for hosting the Sentinels, who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, opened in 1921, honors those who have served and fallen in the military without their remains being identified. The guards at the tomb serve to prevent tourists from taking advantage of the location to picnic or vandals from destroying the memory of all the fallen.
Writer and director Neal Schrodetzki has created the four-part documentary with fellow former Army guard Ethan Morse, who served with Schrodetzki as guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They opted to use Elliott to narrate the series, which will follow the exclusive training cycles of the Old Guard, as a way to pay homage to the success he’s had portraying military heroes with accuracy and honor in the past.
“We wanted Mr. Elliott to narrate Honor Guard because he’s known throughout the military for portraying American heroes in film,” Schrodetzki said, via Deadline. “From his role as the legendary Sargeant Major Plumley in ‘We Were Soldiers’ to his character as the morally upright Army officer Sam Damon in ‘Once An Eagle,’ Sam Elliott represents the soul and spirit of Honor Guard.”
The series is far from Elliott’s first foray into military cinema, but it will be his first following a long-overdue Oscar nomination. He earned the nod as a finalist for the Best Supporting Actor following his successful portrayal of the elder half-brother of Bradley Cooper’s character in “A Star Is Born”—but despite the mainstream success he earned for the film, it’s clear that he’s just as delighted to help the military peel back the curtains on the routines for some of their own.
“It was an opportunity for me to honor those that honor the fallen,” he said.
The series should be an excellent look at one of the military’s most underrated—but important—roles, so plenty of military-oriented cinephiles should be salivating at the opportunity to tune in. With Elliott’s prestige and success lending themselves to the endeavor as well, though, the series could provide an excellent opportunity for even the civilian community to get excited about some behind-the-scenes cinematography related to those that work to honor the nation’s fallen.