Flags of Our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima

@burrito88 (2779)
United States
May 29, 2012 12:22am CST
I finally had a chance to see both movies over the past weekend on the AMC network. Both movies were filmed by Clint Eastwood, and for a change, we could get to see opposite sides fighting in the same war. Flags of Our Fathers was based on the book of the same name and was fairly true to the book which I had read earlier. That movie seemed to follow the typical formula for an American war movie where it made out that the enemy was evil, although it also addressed the problem of war survivors trying to live with their experiences in combat. Letters from Iwo Jima, on the other hand, showed the Japanese side of the battle and as much as they were demonized in many previous war movies, we got to see the human side of the Japanese soldier. Perhaps one of the only other American made war movies that showed this was None But the Brave which starred Frank Sinatra which indicate that sometimes battles are pointless. The only problem I have with AMC's showings of the movies is that the schedule Letters from Iwo Jima to start at 11:00 PM when a major part of their possible audience would probably go to bed. Have you seen both movies and what is your opinion?
5 responses
@kapil11 (247)
• India
30 May 12
I have seen letters from IWO JIMA,speaking frankly i wasn't impressed by that movie at all,the whole film rotates about a story of a solider and it's a very boring film,,i wouldn't suggest this movie to any war film lovers,,,,
@jlamela (4909)
• Philippines
30 May 12
I'd watched Letters from Iwo Jima on DVD and got bored hehehe!Clint Eastwood is a good director of course but this movie is totally boring and I was only forced to finish watching it because I was relaxing in my room and no things to concentrate on. It was a bad script and bad screenplay.
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
31 May 12
It was a true story based on the "Letter From Iwo Jima" that the Japanese soldiers wrote. Was Eastwood supposed to change the story so that the Japanese won? Was he suppose to add in American soldiers, no that was the other movie. I am reminded here a little of Spike Lee's criticism Flags of Our Fathers because there were no blacks in the movie. (Hey Spike, there were no blacks in the movie because the army was segregated until the Korean War.) Neither movie was a rah-rah movie like those of John Wayne. They were movies that showed soldiers are normal people who don't try to be heroes. They live and fight for their fellow soldiers. Many of the real heroes don't survive.
@Mickie30 (2633)
29 May 12
I have not seen them, but I do think they sound good. I like war films, but have to be in the mood for them. I like Frank Sinatra he was a fantastic talent. Clint Eastwood is also very talented and worth watching his films. We can learn a lot by watching war movies and remembering how people fought for us.
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
29 May 12
Sinatra revived his career in From Here to Eternity. Another good war movie of his was Never So Few with Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson also in it.
@yoniarnon (1081)
• Israel
29 May 12
I saw the movie Letters from Iwo Jima at the movie theater and i didn't like it, we even got out at the middle of the movie, may be the problem was that i saw it with a girl.. Few day later i thought to see Flags of Our Fathers but when i heard that it is the second part of Letters from Iwo Jima it remind me that i didn't like it and didn't saw it. I think i should invite some friend (males) and watch than both..
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
29 May 12
Well both are war movies. When I was young, I used to watch the war movies of the late 40's and 50's whenever they were on TV. In many ways those movies are easier to watch than the newer war movies which are much more graphic and violent in nature. I thought Letters from Iwo Jima was a good movie because it did show the human side of the Japanese soldier. Because of culture and the Samurai code, they were much different in their beliefs than the American soldier. At the time of the battle, Japan had been fighting wars for around 50 years going back to the Russo-Japanese war. For 40 years they had run a string of victories taking over much of the Pacific and Asia. By the time of the attack on Iwo Jima, however, Japan had undergone a string of defeats and the soldiers on the island were ordered and left to die for their country. It was interesting to see that the commandant of the island had spent time in the United States and had been exposed to western thinking. Again he was shown to more human than what we would have expected. However, it should be noted that James Bradley (who wrote Flags of Our Fathers and is the son of "Doc Bradley") also wrote another book called Flyboys. Flyboys is about what happened to 6 American pilots who crashed by nearby Island Ichi Jima and were captured the Japanese their. The Japanese commandant of that island assigned a soldier to guard the captured pilots but allowed them to roam the island basically at will. But when it suited him, he would have a pilot killed and have his cook serve body parts for dinner without telling his guests what they were eating. The US government hushed this up for years, including the fact that they tried the commandant for war crimes. It took Bradley's investigation and his book to let the relatives of the pilots know what happened to them and that they were not just missing in action. As an aside, George Bush Sr. crashed near Ichi Jima but he was rescued by an American ship. (History might have been so different had he been captured.) After Flyboys came out, there was a TV documentary where Busgh Sr. toured Ichi Jima in the company of one of the guards who had been assigned to a pilot. You could tell that the guard had become friends with the pilot and after 50 years was still upset by the way the pilot was killed. War can do strange things to us and for some it can be hard to retain our humanity.
@PageTurner (2827)
• United States
25 Jun 12
Hello burrito88 I saw both of these films, as well as read the book on which Flags of Our Fathers was written. I was intrigued and impressed that Eastwood made two movies from different sides of the same battle. I thought that both movies were very good and tried to stay on track with the historical record. I thought that the films did a good job at inviting the audience to think outside of the typical USA war movie, which tends to romanticize war. In some ways, the Letters from Iwo Jima reminded me of the movie, The Thin Red Line. Peace I love the world!!