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Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Shimizu (as Ryô Kase)
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Lieutenant Ito (as Shidou Nakamura)
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Takumi Bando ...
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Nobumasa Sakagami ...
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Sam (as Lucas Elliot)
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Medic Endo (as Sonny Seiichi Saito)
Steve Santa Sekiyoshi ...
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Storyline

The island of Iwo Jima stands between the American military force and the home islands of Japan. Therefore the Imperial Japanese Army is desperate to prevent it from falling into American hands and providing a launching point for an invasion of Japan. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi is given command of the forces on the island and sets out to prepare for the imminent attack. General Kuribayashi, however, does not favor the rigid traditional approach recommended by his subordinates, and resentment and resistance fester among his staff. In the lower echelons, a young soldier, Saigo, a poor baker in civilian life, strives with his friends to survive the harsh regime of the Japanese army itself, all the while knowing that a fierce battle looms. When the American invasion begins, both Kuribayashi and Saigo find strength, honor, courage, and horrors beyond imagination. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From Clint Eastwood, director of FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, the battle of Iwo Jima seen through the eyes of the Japanese soldiers. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

2 February 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Sun, Black Sand  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$122,548 (USA) (22 December 2006)

Gross:

$13,753,931 (USA) (20 April 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Flags of our Fathers (2006) was originally expected to be Warner Brothers' big Oscar contender that year but when it fell short of expectations - both critically and commercially - the decision was taken to rush Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) into release for award consideration. The film was originally scheduled to open in February. See more »

Goofs

They used a post-WWII Russian (Soviet) army vehicle. A Gaz 69, which was first produced in 1953 and was produced until 1972. See more »

Quotes

General Tadamichi Kuribayashi: [Tadamichi turns up in time to stop Ito from beheading Saigo and Shimizu] I don't want you to kill my soldiers needlessly. Put down your sword. Put it down!
[Ito sheathes his katana and salutes]
General Tadamichi Kuribayashi: What's going on here?
Lieutenant Ito: These men ran from Suribachi.
General Tadamichi Kuribayashi: Lt. Ito, I gave the order that all survivors retreat to the north caves.
Lieutenant Ito: [embarrassed] I am very sorry, General. It's just... Suribachi... has fallen.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in JonTron: StarCade: Episode 8 - Everything Else! (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The landscape of war
28 December 2006 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

The companion film to "Flags of Our Fathers" shows the battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view. Starting with the building of fortifications, hiding from relentless bombardment, and fending off an equally strong attack as American troops land on the island.

"Letters from Iwo Jima" just like "Flags of Our Fathers" is a first rate war movie with a relevant message with its critical nature. "Flags" showed the selling of war and "Letters" does the same, albeit with a different mind-set. Japan was an empire governed by a monarch back then so the military mentality was quite different, but it is also important to note the similarities. Especially at the base of the social pyramid where it is quite apparent that people are people no matter where you go.

Virtually all of the uber-patriotic tendencies that were rampant in Imperial Japan during WWII were also in Nazi Germany and, as both "Flags" and "Letters" demonstrate in the United States as well. People were used for the purpose of the government and were fed propaganda just the same. Maybe a different in a different form, but in the end it is all the same.

Ken Wantanbe is the film's highlight as a military man torn between his sense of duty and his inner feelings. As commander of the island he sees amongst his men the fanaticism, the pacifism, the "just do our job" crowd, and many other configurations of thought in between and mixed with the others. Even strange that some men initially want to fight and are proud to serve in the military and what's shocking is that some of their wives and mothers believe the same.

That paints a landscape of war as something amidst all of the stereotypes that have been made of it. Since that is where the truth usually lies, amidst all the gray matter. --- 9/10

Rated R: war violence/carnage


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