Jake from U-571

 Hirsch is an intelligence officer, and is described in one review as "the German-speaking mastermind" of the plan (whom "we're meant to dislike," according to another review). Hirsch's also called a "sallow-faced git" in yet another review, so we'll take these with a grain of salt!
On the official U-571 site (which is quite lovely and detailed), the plot description reveals that Jake's character, Lt. Hirsch, is actually assigned to take over the S-33 (the U.S. submarine on which Our Guys will travel to capture the Enigma machine).
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Jake is identified and interviewed in the "Below Decks" area of the site. According to Martha de Laurentis, one of the producers: "Our cast is not a predictable cast. When Matthew came onto the project, it was very exciting to make an ensemble around him, with the choice of Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi, Jake Weber and David Keith, and then all the new faces that you'll see." Apparently Jake isn't considered a new face!  Nice to see.

Later, the text continues with a quote from Jake himself that gives some juicy insights about Hirsch:

Jake Weber, who played the jilted fiancé in Martin Brest's Meet Joe Black, reflects, "I think the characters were very richly drawn, very identifiable in Jonathan's script. It's a good story with a lot of psychological drama in addition to the action." Weber continues, "Jonathan saw my character as a man who shows no apparent sign of weakness, very educated and seemingly fearless, but he's not a soldier. Instead, he's brave in a more quiet way. I find this is a film where you'll discover a lot of different types of heroism."

Why doesn't it shock me that Hirsch isn't a soldier--"brave in a more quiet way"?  While it'd be a hoot to see Jake portraying some rough-n-tumble type, this seems right up his alley.


  Jake-filled moments in the trailer:

Hirsch's seen briefing a group of men, including Matthew M.,
pointing out Important Stuff (TM) on a map.  

U571 #2

We see Hirsch standing next to Matthew (below) looking out 
to sea and spotting the enemy. Hirsch--wearing a little hat--mutters
some encouraging words like, "the next sixty seconds will determine what kind of men we are."

A shot of Hirsch (from a 3/4 view--I'm guessing it's Hirsch, because I recognize Jake's nose and copper hair) opening up what I believe is the Enigma machine (below).  Earlier, Matthew M's character opens a safe (I think it's a safe) and screams: "HIRSCH!  I think I found the code book!"


Couple of action shots below.  First, we catch a glimpse of Hirsch standing, looking a bit dazed, near some sparking wires.  Uh oh...check out the next image.  Look out!  

Finally, this speedy sequence is very tough to see, because things
start getting very hectic towards the end of the trailer.  However, there's a
few seconds of Hirsch grabbing an axe.... and smashing
something--a door, a box, I can't tell what.*  But it's definitely
Jake--and in a rare action shot!  Very exciting!
 Here are the sequence of shots I was able to capture:


* Actually, the above was written before the film was released. Those of us who've seen the film now know what it is Hirsch is aiming at--and it ain't no box! But telling more would be spoiling the moment, which is pretty powerful! I'll wait until the film's been out longer before going into plot details.

Unfortunately, the new trailer lacks something important
(for Jake completists):
The lost voiceover!  In the original trailer,
we could hear Jake's voice as his character, Lt. Hirsch,
briefs the men about the mission to follow. He explains the
desperate situation and the need for finding the Enigma box.

You can check the whole trailer by downloading the
Quicktime version at the official site--a long download
(7MB), so be prepared!  You can also find a RealPlayer
version at the official site for U-571.     


Here are two terrific pictures--especially the bototm one, it's
 really a keeper.  I found these in the IMDB photo gallery for U-571:



Hirsch riding the waves

U571 #2

A tense moment in the depths.


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cover Click here to buy the novelization of U-571 from Amazon!