Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Letters from Iwo Jima Details


After bringing the story of the American soldiers who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima to the screen in his film Flags of Our Fathers, Clint Eastwood offers an equally thoughtful portrait of the Japanese forces who held the island for 36 days in this military drama. In 1945, World War II was in its last stages, and U.S. forces were planning to take on the Japanese on a small island known as Iwo Jima. While the island was mostly rock and volcanoes, it was of key strategic value and Japan's leaders saw the island as the final opportunity to prevent an Allied invasion. Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) was put in charge of the forces on Iwo Jima; Kuribayashi had spent time in the United States and was not eager to take on the American army, but he also understood his opponents in a way his superiors did not, and devised an unusual strategy of digging tunnels and deep foxholes that allowed his troops a tactical advantage over the invading soldiers. While Kuribayashi's strategy alienated some older officers, it impressed Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), the son of a wealthy family who had also studied America firsthand as an athlete at the 1932 Olympics. As Kuribayashi and his men dig in for a battle they are not certain they can win -- and most have been told they will not survive -- their story is told both by watching their actions and through the letters they write home to their loved ones, letters that in many cases would not be delivered until long after they were dead. Among the soldiers manning Japan's last line of defense are Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya), a baker sent to Iwo Jima only days before his wife was to give birth; Shimizu (Ryo Kase), who was sent to Iwo Jima after washing out in the military police; and Lieutenant Ito (Shidou Nakamura), who has embraced the notion of "Death Before Surrender" with particular ferocity. Filmed in Japanese with a primarily Japanese cast, Letters From Iwo Jima was shot in tandem with Flags of Our Fathers, and the two films were released within two months of one another. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:December 20, 2006


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Iris Yamashita Best Original Screenplay 2006 Nominee
Chicago Film Critics Association Iris Yamashita Best Original Screenplay 2006 Nominee
Chicago Film Critics Association Kyle Eastwood Best Original Score 2006 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Paul Haggis Best Original Screenplay 2006 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Lorenz Best Picture 2006 Nominee
San Diego Film Critics Association Clint Eastwood Best Director 2006 Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Clint Eastwood Best Director (Runner-up) 2006 Winner
New York Film Critics Society Clint Eastwood Best Director (Runner-up) 2006 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Clint Eastwood Best Director 2006 Nominee
Broadcast Film Critics Association Clint Eastwood Best Director 2006 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Clint Eastwood Best Director 2006 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Clint Eastwood Best Picture 2006 Nominee
Chicago Film Critics Association Clint Eastwood Best Director 2006 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Steven Spielberg Best Picture 2006 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Tom Stern Best Cinematography (Runner-up) 2006 Winner
Chicago Film Critics Association Tom Stern Best Cinematography 2006 Nominee


Ken Watanabe
as General Kuribayashi
Kazunari Ninomiya
as Saigo
Tsuyoshi Ihara
as Nishi, Baron
Ryo Kase
as Shimizu
Shidou Nakamura
as Lieutenant Ito
Hiroshi Watanabe
as Lieutenant Fujita
Takumi Bando
as Captain Tanida
Yuki Matsuzaki
as Nozaki
Takashi Yamaguchi
as kashiwara
Eijiro Ozaki
as Lieutenant Okubo
as Hanako
Nobumasa Sakagami
as Admiral Ohsugi
Luke Elliot
as Sam
Sonny Saito
as Medic Endo
Toshiya Agata
as Captain Iwasaki
Yoshi Ishii
as Private Yamazaki
Toshi Toda
as Colonel Adachi
Ken Kensei
as Maj. General Hayashi
Ikuma Ando
as Ozawa
Akiko Shima
as Lead Woman
Masashi Nagadoi
as Admiral Ichimaru
Mark Moses
as American Officer
Roxanne Hart
as Officer's Wife
Yoshio Iizuka
as Tired Soldier
Takuji Kuramoto
as Ono
Koji Wada
as Hashimoto
Akira Kaneda
as Japanese Soldier #1
Shoji Hattori
as Japanese Soldier #2
Mitsuyuki Oishi
as Japanese Soldier #4
Evan Ellingson
as Kid Marine
Kazuyuki Morosawa
as Ito's Guard
Masayuki Yonezawa
as Ito's Soldier
Mathew Botuchis
as American Marine
Yukari Black
as Mother
Daisuke Nagashima
as Prisoner
Kirk Enochs
as Marine Officer
Ryan Kelley
as Marine #2
Michael Lawson
as Marine #4
Taishi Mizuno
as Cave Soldier #1
Daisuke Tsuji
as Cave Soldier #2
Tsuguo Mizuno
as Lead Excavator
Mark Ofuji
as Kuribayashi's Guard
Hallock Beals
as Marine at Clearing
Ryan Carnes
as Marine at Clearing
Jeremy Glazer
as Marine Lieutenant
Ryoya Katsuyama
as Boy
Masashi Odate
as Cook
London Kim
as Okubo's Soldier
Skip Evans
as Pilots


Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Steven Spielberg
Robert Lorenz
Paul Haggis
Screen Story
Tadamichi Kuribayashi
Book Author
Iris Yamashita
Screen Story
Iris Yamashita
Tom Stern
Kyle Eastwood
Composer (Music Score)
Tsuyoko Yoshida
Gary D. Roach
Joel Cox
James Murakami
Production Designer
Henry Bumstead
Production Designer
Paul Haggis
Executive Producer
Deborah Hopper
Costume Designer
Gary Fettis
Set Decorator
Charles Maynes
Sound/Sound Designer
Walt Martin
Sound/Sound Designer
Frank Bonniwell
Chad Finnerty
David Luckenbach
Camera Operator
Stephen Campanelli
Camera Operator
Ilram Choi
Al Goto
McKay Stewart
Scott Leva
Simon Rhee
Dustin Meier
Michael Hugghins
Dennis Takeda
Brian Avery
Arnold Chon
Sam Situmorang
Phyllis Huffman
Danielle Hartzell
Assistant Production Coordinator
Dan Cobbett
Zoe Hay
Karen Shaw
Supervising Production Coordinator
Lou Pecora
Lead Compositor
Steve Mann
Sound Effects Editor
Joel Behrens
Marlo Pabon
Jojo Proud
Eric Beaver
Eryn Krueger
Key Make-up
Jason Hansen
Special Effects Technician
Shawn Sykora
Foley Editor
Atsushi Ikarashi
CG Animator
Steve Beimler
Location Manager
Jay Wejebe
Gregg Rudloff
Re-Recording Mixer
Pam Cartmel
Art Department Coordinator
Youngil Pyo
CG Animator
Deborah Wiltman
Kirk Bales
Dolly Grip
Peter Dress
Second Second Assistant Director
Deana Lou
Personal Assistant
Gareth Dinneen
Holly Horter
Rotoscope Artist
Stephanie Whalon
First Assistant Accountant
Andrew Bradbury
CG Animator
Gloria D'Alessandro
Dialogue Editor
Christina Drahos
David Ladish
Swing Gang
Brenton Cottman
Matte Artist
Thomas Reppen
CG Animator
Diana Sear
CG Animator
Buddy Van Horn
Stunts Coordinator
Asuka Tohda
CG Animator
Patricia Dehaney
Hair Styles
Ross Dunkerley
Chief Lighting Technician
Daniel Mejia
Rotoscope Artist
Yoshikuni Taki
Production Supervisor
Rory McLeish
CG Animator
Sarahjane Javelo
Rotoscope Artist
Niki Bern
Linda Stelling
Set Medic/First Aid
Kenny Sanford
Construction Foreman
Stephen Campanelli
Steadicam Operator
Flash Deros
Boom Operator
Sara Gardner-Gail
Swing Gang
Randy K. Singer
Foley Mixer
Heather Hoyland
Julian Levi
Visual Effects Producer
Mitchell Kenney
Costumes Supervisor
Matt Huffman
Casting Associate
Charles Saldana
Key Grip
Landon Trawny
First Assistant Accountant
Jason Selfe
Lead Compositor
Bub Asman
Supervising Sound Editor
Kristie Macosko
Personal Assistant
Stan Seo
Matte Artist
Matthew Butler
Visual Effects Supervisor
Michael Melchiorre
Jay Frankenberger
Yumi Takada
Casting Associate
John Horning
Assistant Properties
Taffy Schweickhardt
First Assistant Accountant
Michael Cipriano
Assistant Editor
Debra Wolff
Visual Effects Editor
Geoffrey MiClat
Casting Associate
Sarah Monat
Foley Artist
Katie Carroll
Second Assistant Director
Karen Spangenberg
Dialogue Editor
Bill Cawley
First Assistant Sound Editor
Dennis Roden
Hair Styles
Rebecca Watchel
Carol O'Connell
Department Head Hair
Jessica Meier
Assistant Production Coordinator
Takashi Akaku
ADR Mixer
John Reitz
Re-Recording Mixer
Aruna Inversin
Chia-Chi Hu
Gian Sardar
Personal Assistant
Marten Larsson
CG Animator
Brian Gazdik
CG Animator
Dag Ivarsoy
Mike Sexton
Properties Master
Miker Stovall
Assistant Production Coordinator
Ferguson Reid
Set Medic/First Aid
JC Brown
Scenic Artist
Jenn Epstein
Rotoscope Artist
Peter Herlein
Rotoscope Artist
Bill Coe
First Assistant Camera
Jay Jennings
Sound Effects Editor
Kai Blomberg
Swing Gang
Paul Calabria
Animal Trainer/Wrangler
Ben Bohling
Personal Assistant
Trevor Carroll-Coe
Camera Loader
Matthias Wittmann
Supervising Animator
Nicole Yoblonski
Rotoscope Artist
Tania McComas
Department Head Makeup
Paul Weakland
Construction Foreman
James Wheelan
Assistant Location Manager
Christopher Flick
Foley Editor
Kym Olsen
Tamara Stone