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Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  20 October 2006 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 91,785 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 408 user | 282 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in WWII.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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James Bradley (as Tom McCarthy)
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Storyline

In 1945, the Marines attack twelve thousand Japaneses protecting the twenty square kilometers of the sacred Iwo Jima island in a very violent battle. When they reach the Mount Suribachi and six soldiers raise their flag on the top, the picture becomes a symbol in a post Great Depression America. The government brings the three survivors to America to raise funds for war, bringing hope to desolate people, and making the three men heroes of the war. However, the traumatized trio has difficulty dealing with the image built by their superiors, sharing the heroism with their mates. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They fight for their country but they die for their friends. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of graphic war violence and carnage, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La conquista del honor  »

Box Office

Budget:

$53,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£97,765 (UK) (22 December 2006)

Gross:

£366,722 (UK) (29 December 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Grizzard's final film project. See more »

Goofs

In the "Bond Tour" scenes involving old-time microphones, only once is the microphone positioned correctly. When the "Andrews Sisters" vocal trio sings and the men later speak, the black-and-silver RCA 77 ribbon microphones are positioned backwards. They should have been rotated 180 degrees, so that the microphones' fronts and tops would tilt slightly away from the singers/speakers. The same is true for a later scene with one of the men speaking at a lectern with a large gray Altec microphone - it, too, is positioned backwards. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Soldiers: Corpsman! Corpsman! Corpsman! Corpsman! For God sakes, corpsman! Corpsman! Corpsman!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is an additional short sequence after the credits have ended. See more »

Connections

Featured in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 21 May 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Any Bonds Today?
Written by Irving Berlin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An amazing accomplishment
18 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've always felt that when you fictionalize a story about war, you dishonor the memory of so many people who have a compelling story to tell by choosing to make something up instead *cough*privateryan*cough*.

The problem with war movies about real people is that you have to deal with complexities of character and plot that the genre simply doesn't lend itself easily to.

So when the story at hand aims to pose questions like "what does it mean to do the wrong things for the right reasons" and tries to debunk the popular myth of herodom, there's very little margin for error.

Enter Clint Eastwood. Never one to shy away from challenging stories, this is a much bigger effort than his usual understated character dramas. On the one hand, it doesn't "feel" like a Clint Eastwood movie, but on the other, it feels at home in his themes of used-up heroes -- the person behind the larger than life persona. These are complex characters in very difficult situations, and he presents them in a way that's straightforward and non-judgmental, so we're left to decide the answers to the film's central conflicts ourselves.

To a person, the cast is up to the challenge. It's hard not to admire Ryan Phillippe for a restrained and thoughtful performance, but the real kudos go to Adam Beach. Almost every aspect of Beach's character is cliché, with one minor exception - that's really the way Ira Hayes was. So the challenge was to portray Hayes as a real person despite the cliché, and the result is one of the most heartbreaking and troubling performances in the film. Here's a guy who is portrayed as a hero, who really has no answers at all.

There's a lot not to like about the film. It's not "entertaining" per se, in the same way that any war memorial in DC is not entertaining. Nor is it a particularly approachable film. What it lacks in popcorn-munching entertainment value, it replaces with gravitas. This is an important film, about an important time. It's status as a valuable history lesson is secondary to it's reflections on human nature and our society. As such, it deserves to be seen, and contemplated, and appreciated.

I can't wait for Letters From Iwo Jima (the companion piece, also from Clint Eastwood, told from the Japanese point of view.) Taken together, the scope of this project is breathtaking.


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