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Windtalkers (2002)

R | | Action, Drama, War | 14 June 2002 (USA)
Trailer
1:10 | Trailer
Two U.S. Marines in World War II are assigned to protect Navajo Marines, who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Director:

John Woo
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Joe Enders
Adam Beach ... Ben Yahzee
Peter Stormare ... Hjelmstad
Noah Emmerich ... Chick
Mark Ruffalo ... Pappas
Brian Van Holt ... Harrigan
Martin Henderson ... Nellie
Roger Willie ... Charlie Whitehorse
Frances O'Connor ... Rita
Christian Slater ... Ox Henderson
Jason Isaacs ... Major Mellitz
William Morts ... Fortino
Cameron Thor ... Mertens
Kevin Cooney ... Ear Doctor
Holmes Osborne ... Colonel Hollings
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Storyline

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. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Navajo Has the Code. Protect the Code at All Costs. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive graphic war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM | Official site [South Korea]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Japanese

Release Date:

14 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wind Talkers See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,520,412, 16 June 2002

Gross USA:

$40,914,068

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,628,265
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicolas Cage actually learned to speak Najavo fluently for his part, despite the fact that his character in the film does not. Cage later said that he did it to better understand the script, but John Woo maintained that Cage had misunderstood the character for which he had been cast. See more »

Goofs

Just before Pete Anderson joins Private Whitehorse in their flute/harmonica-duo, Whitehorse plays solo. However, the flute plays on, just for a second while he is clearly taking in air, and thus, obviously, cannot play. See more »

Quotes

Ben Yahzee: I'm Ben Yahzee, I guess the corps paired us up, may I join you?
Joe Enders: You're blocking my view.
Ben Yahzee: Sorry.
[about the food]
Ben Yahzee: What do they call this crap anyway?
Joe Enders: Marines call it chow.
Ben Yahzee: Well there is a propaganda effort there.
Ben Yahzee: [he accidentally knocks over his cup of coffee] Shit, sorry, you could have mine.
[he then accidentally spills the coffe all over his food]
Joe Enders: What did you say your name was again?
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

An extended directors cut is available on dvd and features about 22 minutes of new footage. These include several extended battle scenes as well as a few fully deleted scenes including an early scene of Joe recieving a medal for his work at the start of the film. There are also several new scenes near the start as well including a scene of Joe and Rita on the beach. This scene was included in the trailer for the film. Also a scene of all the marines taking pictures before shipping off to war. Also an extended scene of Yazee introducing himself to Joe and joe asks if he has seen any combat to which yazee replies "No, but i'm looking forward to getting into some." There were also several other smaller additions and alternate angles and shots used. See more »

Connections

References The Thin Red Line (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

IÄ 'OE E KA LÄ
Traditional
Performed by Kunewa Mook and Hula Hälau 'O Kamuela
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Couldn't finish it
18 March 2004 | by tron-12See all my reviews

I was asking for pain tonight. I knew this would be a horrible movie, but my wife was out of town and I grabbed a few war movies at the video store.

I had no idea it was this bad. John Woo has made a truly trite, shallow, Z-grade, 1940's war movie. Please kill the writer! It's beyond description how leaden and cliche'd the dialogue is. Witness the crying child, reaching out as his father gets on the bus (of course he's the last one to get on as the door closes and he looks back... GAG!) See the well-worn exchange between the "nurse" and the "grizzled vet." Watch as the Norwegian guy from Fargo & Big Lebowski plays a Marine officer with a very strange accent. It just keeps going down the comode.

I can't help but wonder if the Chinese influence is at work here. Woo's early films, and others in that genre (HK gangster action) rely on the conventions and cliches of American film noir and action cinema. They try very hard to be Western movie stars in a vaguely eastern context. Is that what is happening here?

It's the voice in Windtalkers that gives it away for me. It's so clear that Woo wanted to make a film like "Sands of Iwo Jima" or "Battleground". But he simply copied the surface and not the spirit of those classics. He takes the easy way out.

I have to bitch about the introduction of Cage's character because it will make me feel good to get this out. After watching Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick's flawless film of the Pacific War, I can't help but make comparisons. As Cage is hiking through the jungle, his men are chopped to pieces by bullets, bayonets, and swords. Cage and 3 other forgettables are gathered around a tree trunk to make their last stand. After 2 characters have yelled, "we're out of ammo!", the men continue to pour lead from their eager weapons into the swarming Japanese. As they were on patrol and moving moments ago, Cage now informs the 3 survivors that , "We're MARINES, and we've been ordered to hold the position!" Everyone is handily killed except for Cage (who's name is JOE, perfect for this era of chest-thumping film). After this trauma he works hard to be cold-blooded killer of "Japs". (Actual line of speech from the movie.)

Well it sucked hard. Avoid, avoid, avoid!


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