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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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4,377 ( 94)
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 the director of "Flags of our Fathers" comes the story of the battle for Iwo Jima told 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

Clint Eastwood asked his previous collaborator Paul Haggis to pen the screenplay but Haggis felt that he wasn't sufficiently qualified to do the job. He called on Iris Yamashita - who was a research assistant on Flags of our Fathers (2006) - to help him out. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where General Kuribayashi recognizes Saigo in the tunnels, his clearly visible tunic collar insignia are that of a Chujo (Lieutenant- General), consisting on two silver five-pointed stars over a yellow strip. Instead Kuribayashy was promoted to full generalship (Japanese rank Taisho) in March 1945 before being sent to Iwo Jima, and he should wear a yellow collar strip with three silver stars. See more »

Quotes

General Tadamichi Kuribayashi: We will build those underground fortifications. And fight till the end.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 11 June 2008 (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What Foreign Movies Can Do if Funded Well
9 April 2008 | by alexkolokotronisSee all my reviews

This movie is so good. Probably even great. Like other movies it shows the horrors of war. Letters From Iwo Jima gives a real genuine feeling too it. You really feel scared for all the characters involved. By no means is it stating something new by showing the negatives of war but what it does have that other anti-war movies don't show well. It is realistic more than anything, it shows the past lives of the soldiers briefly yet it feels like you know so much about the character. This movie is the Platoon of this decade.

The directing was great in this movie. Clint Eastwood does such a masterful job here. Showing landscapes of the island, the incredibly large fleet of the U.S. He really is able to teach you some history in this film without having to state facts. Usually subplots of characters in these war movies spin out of control and just confuse or bore you. This movie is done just right because of the directing. Eastwood does not put too many characters yet he is able to show the responsibilities and feeling of certain ranks from the general down to a simple private.

All of this has to do with great editing. This movie could have easily fallen into a 3 1/2 hour novel/soap opera. Instead the movie jumps from scene to scene so fluidly and consistently that you want to see more and more.

The acting was great. Ken Watanabe led a pretty much unknown cast(at least to me) giving great conventional yet original portrayals to their roles. The acting made it so easy to get into this movie and the characters. Ken Watanabe was fantastic in here perfectly displaying the pressures of a general. He is able to show how their needs to be some sort of hope to survive, no matter how bad times can be.

The music was spectacular. It stuck out so much and gave me as mentioned before such a genuine feeling. Every part of this movie was great and in my opinion is better than some recent World War II such as Saving Private Ryan, A Thin Red Line or anything else that I have seen from the past 10-15 years.

You could see that this movie was done so well and with so much feeling. It was not made to impress people but too make a real statement. That is what makes the movie so great. You can see that well funded movies can still be powerful. This movie is a sign of hope from the movie industry that has seemed to become more and more commercial. I know I'am repeating myself but that is because this movie reminds me of such great war movies such as The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Born On the Fourth of July, Apocalypse Now and The Killing Fields. These were all powerful movies and this has go to be right up there. Just shows the power of foreign movies when they are actually noticed and somewhat funded. Remember this movie by no means had a big budget.


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