By Stephen M. Silverman
January 17, 2002 01:00 AM

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 69, went to the movies in Washington this week, PEOPLE reports. The real-life military adviser and his wife, Joyce, attended the D.C. premiere of “Black Hawk Down,” by director Ridley Scott (“Gladiator”), though the screams of the crowd outside the theater Tuesday night were reserved for the fictional war drama’s stars, Josh Hartnett and William Fichtner. The film tells the story of a 1993 U.S. Special Forces mission in Somalia. (“Bloody but impressive,” says PEOPLE movie critic Leah Rozen.) Although Hartnett, 23, who also appeared in the war drama “Pearl Harbor,” plays an army ranger in the film, he told PEOPLE that a military career never appealed to him. “I grew up in a very kind of a liberal household that was not really militaristic. (But) I found a lot of respect within myself for (the military). They do something that I would never want to do. And I’m very thankful that they do it. They’re very normal people when it comes down to it, which is surprising and good for me to see.” Fellow “Pearl Harbor” vet Fichtner, 45, who plays an army ranger trapped under enemy fire in “Black Hawk,” was actually born on a Mitchell Field Air Force Base in Long Island, N.Y., so the military life was not foreign to him. “I have a younger sister named Patty who’s a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station close to where I grew up,” the actor told PEOPLE. “My father was in the Air Force. But my road seems to have gone in a little bit of a different direction.”