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Windtalkers (2002)

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Two U.S. Marines in World War II are assigned to protect Navajo Marines, who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Director:

John Woo
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Popularity
4,875 ( 366)
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Joe Enders
Adam Beach ... Ben Yahzee
Peter Stormare ... Hjelmstad
Noah Emmerich ... Chick
Mark Ruffalo ... Pappas
Brian Van Holt ... Harrigan
Martin Henderson ... Nellie
Roger Willie ... Charlie Whitehorse
Frances O'Connor ... Rita
Christian Slater ... Ox Henderson
Jason Isaacs ... Major Mellitz
William Morts ... Fortino
Cameron Thor Cameron Thor ... Mertens
Kevin Cooney ... Ear Doctor
Holmes Osborne ... Colonel Hollings
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Storyline

During World War II when the Americans needed to find a secure method of communicating they devised a code using the Navajo language. So Navajos were recruited to become what they call code talkers. They would be assigned to a unit and would communicate with other units using the code so that even though the enemy could listen they couldn't understand what they were saying. And to insure that the code is protected men are assigned to protect it at all costs. One of these men is Joe Enders, a man who sustained an injury that can make him unfit for duty but he manages to avoid it and is told of his duty and that the man he is suppose to protect is Ben Yahzee. Initially there is tension but the two men learn to get along. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Navajo Has the Code. Protect the Code at All Costs. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive graphic war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM | Official site [South Korea]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Japanese

Release Date:

14 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wind Talkers See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,520,412, 16 June 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$40,914,068

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,628,265
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was released on the same day as Scooby-Doo (2002), and The Bourne Identity (2002). See more »

Goofs

When Ben Yahzee is leaving his family he shares a firm handshake with an elder. In Navajo culture personal contact is very limited. The handshake would have been a brief, light touch if given at all. See more »

Quotes

Ben Yahzee: His name was Joe Enders, from south Philadelphia. He was a fierce warrior, a good marine. If you ever tell a story about him George... Say he was my friend.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood and the Muslim World (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Voice of the Mountain
Written by Kaare Whitewind and Tom Bee
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The boys over at Mystery Science Theater 3000 should have a crack at this mess.
26 June 2002 | by alamosaSee all my reviews

What's that you say? "Windtalkers is a war movie, not science fiction!"

Let's see...Cage's character fires his pistol in no particular direction yet takes out large numbers of enemy soldiers who also seem compelled to present themselves as clear targets at the most inopportune moments during the countless firefights.

The bodies of enemy soldiers are hurled through the air in unbelievable symmetry as a result of conventional World War II ordnance detonations that contradict the laws of physics.

While under ferocious enemy attack, a Navajo code talker invokes the code (his native Navajo tongue) to request air strikes from the American battleships offshore. A less dramatic, more expedient request for assistance would have gone something like this: "Holy crap, we're getting pounded here on the island by the enemy! Anything you fellas can do to kill the Japanese soldiers who are killing us would really be helpful! Just look for the smoke, fire and bodies flying through the air!" No code needed, just plain old conversational (albeit very animated) english. No problem if the enemy hears the radio transmission because everything is ... what's the phrase?... happening right now!!!

I saw this movie a year ago during a pre-release studio screening in Laguna Hills, CA. John Woo and about 35 movie industry types (each armed with his or her own water bottle) were in the audience. When the movie ended and the audience members began filling out the obligatory evaluation forms (the price of admission) the stillness in the theater was deafening.

I assumed that the film would be severely re-edited. Apparently it wasn't.

"Windtalkers" was as much about the American Indian's (90% Navajo) unique contribution to our prevailing in World War II as Tom Sizemore's character -- collecting souvenir soil samples -- in "Saving Private Ryan" contributed to the study of geology.


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