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Flags Of Our Fathers is a 2006 Clint Eastwood film depicting the Battle of Iwo Jima, based on a book by James Bradley, particularly the famous planting of the flag on Mount Suribachi, as well as the post-battle and post-war struggles of the four men who raised the flag as they are turned into a propaganda agent by the U.S. press. It was released jointly with Letters From Iwo Jima, its POV Sequel.
This film contains examples of:
- Anachronic Order: Although the underlying plotlines are chronological, the film utilizes a great deal of flashbacks, flash forwards, and even flashbacks-within flashbacks to the arrival to and battle at Iwo Jima, resulting in the entire film playing out like this.
- A Fate Worse Than Death: It's arguable that the surviving flag raisers had it worse off than the ones who died in battle. Ira can never escape his unwanted fame and PTSD and becomes an alcoholic, while Rene lives the rest of his life as a high school janitor.
- Downer Ending: The flag raisers who weren't killed in the fighting basically have their lives ruined. Only one character gets a decent ending.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Ira. See A Fate Worse Than Death.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: Used by Cpl. Charles W. Lindberg to burn a Japanese bunker. The same sequence was used in Letters from different camera angles.
- Foregone Conclusion: We already know how the Battle of Iwo Jima ends, not to mention the flag-raising being used as a propaganda tool.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We never actually what was inflicted on Ralph Ignatowski/Iggy but rather base it on Doc's reaction. Letters throws a Call Forward in the form of a scene where the Japanese soldiers torture a captured Marine.
- Imperial Japan: The film's antagonists.
- Iwo Jima Pose: The original photo of the Marines who planted the flag during this battle is a significant part of the film's plot, so yeah.
- Kill'Em All: Of the six men captured in the flag raising photo, three are killed during fighting on Iwo Jima. Of the remaining three, one dies of alcholism less then ten years later, and the other two die of old age.
- The Leader: Sergeants Hank Hansen and Michael Strank for our protagonists' platoon. The former was misidentified for Harlon Block.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Doc and Ira comes across the remains of Japanese soldiers who committed seppuku with their hand grenades in a cave. We get to see the aforementioned soldiers do just that in Letters.
- No Kill Like Overkill: The pre-invasion bombardment, complete with Stuff Blowing Up.
- The Medic: Doc.
- Nothing Is Scarier: See Gory Discretion Shot.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene: The bayoneting and setting on fire of Japanese soldiers.
- Playing the Heart Strings: The main theme, especially its guitar version.
- Propaganda Machine: Tokyo Rose. The American press as well.
- Semper Fi: Very much averted.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Naturally.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Leaning a fair bit more to the cynical side.
- Tank Goodness: Averted. The one time a tank is shown on-screen it gets blown up within seconds of its appearance.
- War Is Hell: All four men are scarred by their experiences, even unto old age.
- Blessed with Suck: In one particularly cringe-inducing scene, a family of tourists gets Ira Hayes's supervisor to call him over to shake hands with them and show him off like a trick-pony, after which the father hands Hayes a dollar.)
- Yanks With Tanks: The film's protagonists.