Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Action, Drama, War
Director(s): John Woo
Production: MGM/UA
  3 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
134 min


Watch out!

My hand!


We're running out of ammo.

We gotta get out of here.


Come on!

Come on, you can do it! Come on!

We got nothin', Enders!

We're out of ammo!

Joe... Nobody else needs to die.

We can go! We can get outta here!

We got orders!

They told us to hold the position!

And that's what we're gonna do!

Get up, marine!

Hold the goddamn position!

Come on!

Get down!


Goddamn you!

Oh, no! No!

- Bill!

- I'm out.

Come on! Come on!

Goddamn you, Joe Enders.

No... No!


Raise your right hand.

- I... State your full name...

- I, Ben Yahzee...

Do solemnly swear to support and

defend the constitution of the US...

Against all enemies,

foreign and domestic...

Jap Ha-Go. Who can give me

the code word for "tank"?

Come on. You boys

wanna be codetalkers.

Show me some brains. Think!

What do we call a tank?


Tortoise. Good.

Artillery. Code word?

In code. Private Whitehorse.


Very good.

Japanese Zero. Code word?

We can go! We can get outta here!

They told us to hold the position!

Nice day, huh?



Didn't hear a word, did you?

That's what happens to a man

when he's talking to a beautiful woman.

It happens when you're

not watching my lips, Joe.

Watch this.

You're a mess, Joe.

You're not fooling anybody.

No, Rita. He's a mess.

I'm getting better every day.

You got a perforated eardrum, Enders.

Your equilibrium's all screwy.

You can't go back to war

if you can't stand up.

Let's go, marines. This war

ain't gonna wait forever. Let's go.


Why don't you just stay here, Joe?

Somebody's gotta keep

the WAVES company.

Are you gonna help me or not?

Marked improvement.

And his left ear is the worse of the two?

It's... amazing.

TBY hasn't got the range of the TBX.

So you may need a relay to get

your transmission to command post.

But what it really comes down to

is speed and accuracy under pressure.

Transcribe now.

Victor, Victor. This is X-ray. Over.

Damn it! We got a unit under fire!

We're losing men.

I need this message decrypted.

"Request fire support. We have target

at one-one-niner, Baker one-five. "

"Pillbox with heavy machine gun.

Fire at will. "

Beginner's luck.

You're up, mac.

- Corporal Enders reporting, sir.

- At ease.

You've done well as a marine, Corporal.

Better than you did as a civilian.

Stole a motorbike, crashed it.

Got kicked out of high school.

Assault and battery...

on one Father Crispin O'Donnell?

A priest?

Assistant principal at Archbishop Keenan

High School, sir, and head disciplinarian.

Public-school boy myself.

Some minor problems in boot.

A commendation for valor in Shanghai.

And you made a hell of a stand

on the Solomons.

Tough bit of business there, huh?

Pretty tough, sir.

But you're prepared

to jump right back into it?

Yes, sir. Very much so.

Very much so.


The Japs have pretty much busted

every code we've thrown at 'em, Corporal.

You men on the Solomons

were lost to a broken code.

Tell me something. You ever

run into any Indians on the Solomons?

- Indians, sir?

- Navajo, to be exact.

The Corps has developed a new code

based on their language.

It's had quite an impact.

So much so the navy have decided

to go to great lengths to protect it.

That's why you're here.

You're to pair with one of them,

keep his ass safe.

Your job is to keep him alive

so he can do his job.

Begging the major's pardon, but I believe

I'd best serve the Corps killing Japs,

not baby-sitting some Indian.

Enders, we didn't pick

your name out of a hat.

We need good marines.

That's why you're standing here.

Take a look.

It's a Navajo. Or it was.

Tortured to death by Japanese

intelligence trying to bust our code.

Fortunately, he couldn't help them

even if he wanted to.

- Sir?

- Man's a Navajo, not a codetalker.

Code's based on their language,

but it is still a code.

Tojo would like nothing more

than to catch a live one.

What I'm about to tell you, Corporal,

cannot leave this room.

Under no circumstances can you allow

your codetalker to fall into enemy hands.

Your mission is to protect the code...

at all costs.

You understand me?

Yes, sir, I do.


Congratulations. You just made sergeant.

Keep those hands vertical.

Way to go, marine.

Fortino, take over.

Hey... That was you, right,

sitting in front of the major's office?

Yeah. Listen, I'm Pete Henderson.

They call me Ox.

Not cos of my big muscles or anything.

I'm from Oxnard, California.

Just north of Hollywood a ways.

So you're with JASCO too, huh?

Hey, know where we might find

No f***in' idea, mac.

Thanks. Thanks a bunch.

They've never seen so many Navajo.

Looks to me like you got to see

a little action there.

Me too.

Jap sons of b*tches

shot me right in the ass.

You believe that sh*t?

I wasn't running or nothin'.

So, your duty with JASCO have anything

to do with these Navajo radiomen?

I'm not at liberty to say.

I see you got a new stripe there. Me too.

So I'm guessing the orders you can't tell

me are the same orders I can't tell you.

Hell of a thing, huh?

Ain't a democracy, Sergeant.

It's the marines.


They look pretty normal, I guess.

Expecting them to wear war paint?

Maybe we ought to go introduce

ourselves. They look a little lost to me.


I wouldn't get too friendly.


Just kiddin'. I'm Ox.

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John Rice

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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