Letters from Iwo Jima

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama, History, War
Director(s): Clint Eastwood
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 37 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
141 min

Letters From Iwo Jima


How did those soldiers ever manage

to dig out these tunnels?

Let's get a rotation in here.

Hey, I found something!



We soldiers dig.

We dig all day.

This is the hole that we will fight...

and die in.


am I digging my own grave?

Today, I head for the post

where my men await.

I am determined to serve

and give my life for my country.

I believe I have organized

everything at home...

but I am sorry I wasn 't able to attend

to the kitchen floor before I left.

I had all the intention...

but had to leave

without having the time...

and I am still worried about it.

So make sure to have

Taro take care of it promptly.

Damn this island!

The Americans can have it.

Nothing grows here.

It smells. It's hot. There are too many

damn bugs, and there's no water.

This island is part

of Japan's sacred homeland.

There's nothing sacred about this island.


We should just give the island

to the Americans...

and then we can go home.


What did you say, soldier?

I said if we beat the Americans,

then we can go home.

You there, is that what he said?

Yes, sir.

I'm Kuribayashi.

Welcome, General.

I am Admiral Ohsugi.

How long have you been

waiting here for me?

Three hours, sir.

Sorry to hear that.

They wouldn't allow me

to wire my arrival...

after what happened

to Admiral Yamamoto.

I understand, sir.

This is my aide, Lieutenant Fujita.

What's the matter, Admiral?

You don't look very well.

It's nothing, sir. The water

doesn't agree with me here.

Sorry to hear that.

This way to your quarters.

Admiral, I want to make a round

of the island first.

Shall I fetch a vehicle?

No, let's walk.

Walking is good for the health.

It might be just what you need, Ohsugi.

So that's Suribachi.

You unpatriotic...

no-good peasants!

Hey, stop it!

Stand up!

What are you doing?

These soldiers...

were conspiring

with unpatriotic words, sir.

I see.

And, Captain, do you have

such an excess of soldiers...

that you could put two

of them out of commission?

No, sir.

Then stop beating them.

Deny their lunch rations instead.

A good captain uses his brain,

not just his whip.

What is all this?

All this?

Trenches, sir.

Why are the men digging trenches here?

This is where the Americans

are expected to land.

Have them stop immediately.

But, General...

And, Captain...

make sure these men get proper breaks.

They look like they're from Mars.

Stop digging!

Just as well.

My stomach has been

bothering me anyway.

A toast to General Kuribayashi...

a fine commander.

Better than sake!

I heard he lived in America.

Maybe that's why he

doesn't want us digging trenches.

Maybe he likes Americans.

No, stupid.

He studied the Americans.

So now he knows how to beat them.

I heard from someone in the 204th...

that another general was

supposed to command the island...

but he didn't want the job.

So Premier Tojo gave it

to Kuribayashi instead.

Nozaki, you hear a lot of things...

but your ears are full of wax!

Anyway, you can't trust anyone

from the 204th.

They're part of the Navy.

I think this Kuribayashi

must be a superb general.


we're not digging those damn trenches

in the sand anymore, are we?

This heat is more than I had anticipated.

This island is bigger than I thought.

I'm exhausted.

Ito, reporting for duty.

Thank you for coming right away.

How much air force

do we have available?

41 Zekes and 13 bombers, sir.

Is that all?

In order to support Saipan,

we lost 66 planes a few days ago.

We will have to rely on support

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Iris Yamashita

Iris Yamashita is a Japanese-American screenwriter. She was hired by Clint Eastwood to write the Japanese side of the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima, once rumored to be titled Lamps Before the Wind, then called Red Sun, Black Sand, before being released as Letters from Iwo Jima. She was nominated in 2007 for the Academy Award for Original Screenplay. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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