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Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

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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.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Iris Yamashita (screenplay), Iris Yamashita (story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
4,724 ( 347)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Watanabe ... General Kuribayashi
Kazunari Ninomiya ... Saigo
Tsuyoshi Ihara ... Baron Nishi
Ryo Kase ... Shimizu (as Ryô Kase)
Shidô Nakamura ... Lieutenant Ito (as Shidou Nakamura)
Hiroshi Watanabe ... Lieutenant Fujita
Takumi Bando Takumi Bando ... Captain Tanida
Yuki Matsuzaki ... Nozaki
Takashi Yamaguchi ... Kashiwara
Eijiro Ozaki ... Lieutenant Okubo
Nae ... Hanako
Nobumasa Sakagami Nobumasa Sakagami ... Admiral Ohsugi
Lucas Elliot Eberl ... Sam (as Lucas Elliot)
Sonny Saito ... Medic Endo (as Sonny Seiichi Saito)
Steve Santa Sekiyoshi Steve Santa Sekiyoshi ... Kanda
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

2 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Sun, Black Sand See more »

Filming Locations:

Iceland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$122,548, 24 December 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,756,082

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$68,673,228
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

While there was a lack of respect for General Kuribayashi's leadership among some of his senior subordinates his wise leadership dashed the American's hopes of a quick five-day campaign and turned it into a thirty-six day confrontation. The dissatisfaction among these officers was largely due to their outdated methods and histrionic attitudes. Kuribayashi forbade banzai attacks as a needless waste of manpower and, rather than fighting a pitched and brief battle on the beaches, his choice of digging in and making the Americans work to dislodge his men resulted in greater American casualties and tied down a significant amount of American military resources for weeks longer than expected. See more »

Goofs

The Japanese script uses a number of "gairago" (foreign loanwords), which are in current use, but would have been frowned upon by the nationalist government at the time. These include "raifuru" for "rifle" and "jiipu" for "jeep". See more »

Quotes

General Tadamichi Kuribayashi: The United States is the *last* country in the world that Japan should fight.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very Personal
20 December 2006 | by deenyingSee all my reviews

Did it really last two and a half hours? It felt felt a lot shorter than that.

No, this is not an action war film with nonstop blood baths. It is a film that pulls the humanity out of the monster that is war.

This is one of, if not the best, movie ever directed by Clint Eastwood. I usually have a hard time following plots with many characters because they make me lose focus on the general story, but this one is done well. Not only am I engaged, I also become attached to every character and feel and understand their conflicts.

It does not matter who fights on the right or wrong side of WWII. This film goes beyond that. It is about what is right or wrong for the individual human being. It excels as a story about the human heart.


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