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 five Marines and one Navy Corpsman 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
The Marine Corps on October 17, 2019 again changed the identity of one of the six flag raisers. PFC Harold "Pie" Keller has been identified as replacing PFC Rene Gagnon. This comes just three years after the Corps determined that PFC Harold Schultz replaced Hospital Corpsman John Bradley. In the film, the mistaken identification of Hank Hanson for Harlan Block was explained. Only Sergeant Mike Strank, PFC Franklin Sousley, and PFC Ira Hayes remain as initial flag raisers whose identities have not been disputed. See more »
During the initial bombardment of Iwo Jima by the U.S. Naval
Fleet, the distinctive shape of several Iowa Class battleships is shown (their bows had a unique curvature when seen in profile). One of these ships is shown taking a direct hit from Japanese batteries. Three Iowa-Class battleships were present at Iwo Jima and did perform shore bombardment duties, but none was hit as depicted in the film. See more »
Corpsman! Corpsman! Corpsman! Corpsman! For God sakes, corpsman! Corpsman! Corpsman!
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There is an additional short sequence after the credits have ended. See more »
I'll Walk Alone
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne
Performed by Dinah Shore
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
By arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Main title performed by Don Runner See more »
The Battle Within
A film about war, war between cultures over clashing hegemonic drives. Made during a period of the same, so it puts the American viewer in a sort of bind. We are in between wanting the truth, as this purports to give, and at the same time be warmed by the goodnesses we share, which this gives in great dollops and if not lies, at least fabricated.
It is true that nations define themselves in large part through film and especially war films. It is true that solipsism reigns when matters of national honor are raised. This film pulls the legs from under such cheap theatrics while doing the very same thing. Its a characteristic of Eastwood that drives me crazy, how quick he is to polish ideals so they glisten next to the other guy's clichés, in this case Spielberg's "Private Ryan," which in retrospect was pretty bad storytelling.
So. Let's spank Clint for hypocrisy, for metaphorically taking the first flag. But I think much of the blame for that goes to Paul Haggis, a scourge now in full infection in Hollywood. He won't hesitate to use any device in the spine of his work, no matter how trite.
And let's wonder every time we see a war, even one like this.
But let's also give the man his due for storytelling. This is fantastic visual storytelling. Multiple narrators, multiple framing devices. Nonlinear presentation with time reversals motivated by flashbacks, memories, tales told. The business about walking 1300 miles to tell the truth, and the business about old men finally telling the truth to the son. Its what I call a folding device to underscore that we are seeing the truth, the story within the story.
The pacing is perfect, even a bit too manufactured for my taste. The most effective war film in terms of confusion and lack of theater is "Thin Red Line," I believe. The scale of the thing, both in the battles and bond events was impressive. The phrasing is tasteful, but when an episode finished, I couldn't help but be aware that I was being sold an image I was expected to wear.
Its enough to drive me to drink.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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