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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.



(screenplay), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


The battle of Iwo Jima seen through the eyes of the Japanese soldiers. See more »


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 February 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Sun, Black Sand  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally titled "Red Sun, Black Sand". See more »


The artillery shell landing near Saigo when he empties the stinky bucket does not exhibit rifling marks on its driving band. Any shell fired through a rifled barrel would show these, therefore this projectile had never been fired from a gun. See more »


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 »


Featured in Late Night with Conan O'Brien: Episode #14.104 (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

15 December 2006 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

I have watched this film twice already this week (first week of release here in Japan). I am an American living in Japan for the past twenty two years and have yet to see such a strong performance from an (almost) all-Japanese cast. This movie draws you into the caves and makes you a part of the Japanese soldier's life. The main characters all have an interesting story to tell. But in the end the message is clear. War is futile.

The strangest part of all. Clint Eastwood has made a Japanese movie that the Japanese should have made. There is almost no way to tell it was a "foriegn" production until you see the credits.

307 of 362 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Best War Movie? chiliwaterboy
A different view of the battle? xxjoseph23xx
So how much of this was actually filmed in Iwo Jima? SixteenSaltines
Unfair depiction of the Japanese... nebreen
Who's the jap. soldier found in the cave at 2:06:50? zahcary
what happened to siago? amglamuro
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