Iwo Jima Movies

“Sands of Iwo Jima” was a big hit for Republic Pictures and John Wayne.

John Wayne and the three surviving Flag Raisers. (Left to Right) Ira Hayes, John Bradley, John Wayne and Rene Gagnon.

John Wayne and John Bradley.

The survivors raise the flag again in the finale.

(Clockwise from left) George Schrier, John Bradley, Ira Hayes and Rene Gagnon at Union Station in Washington DC for the premiere of “Sands of Iwo Jima” 1949. Schrier led the platoon up Mt. Suribachi to raise the first flag,
Bradley was a funeral director in Wisconsin, Hayes a farmer in Arizona and Gagnon an airlines clerk in New Hampshire.

John Wayne being memorialized at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Wayne’s plaque is black. Black cement made from the black sands of Iwo Jima.

A scene from the movie “The Outsider” about Ira Hayes. Tony Curtis (far left) played Hayes. Actors playing John Bradley and Rene Gagnon meet the press.

Steven Spielberg acquired the movie rights. Clint Eastwood is the Director. Learn more . . . Get the Movie!

Also directed by Clint Eastwood, this film portrays the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese soldiers. Get the Movie!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Monahan November 24, 2009 at 5:56 am

Those who fought there were a great inspiration to us in the younger generation. Last week 11 Nov 2009 we lost a great man of God, Robert Shillinger of Marthasville Mo, who as a young man went thru hell-on-Earth to help take that island. I have been in the war zones of Iraq and Afganistan and don’t think we have gone thru anything close to what they went thru. He said that the Navy and the Army air corps let up too soon when they got sent in to take the island. He said it would of been better had they starved out the enemy, then to have run them out. For those who where on Iwo Jima, thank you very much!
Your alls friend in Christ,
Rick Monahan
Bagram / Kabul, Afganistan


arteom December 22, 2009 at 2:39 am

I watched three of these movies.Flags of our Four fathers,sands of iwo jima and letters from iwo jima and all of them are awesome!


Al January 29, 2010 at 5:29 am

Another good film to watch is, “Iwo Jima 36 Days of Hell- The True Story” it was released in 2008.


Mike February 10, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Iwo Jima is a very important lesson in sarafice…. The Japanese men were sent there to die, there was no coming back to mainland Japan…think of that for a moment. I have been to Iwo Jima several times with carrier air group flight training and I can tell you this island must of been a floating hell in the time of that miserable war. The pain and suffering the Japanese must of endured goes beyond imagination. The US forces who landed here and paid the ultimate sacrafice also endured the pain of war and the horrors of places un-known. Iwo Jima can provide much learning and much healing in the hopes we never have to repeat this event… Thank you to the men who served on Iwo Jima and the men who had to live and ultimately die there. “So Sad to Fall in Battle” is a great book and I highly recommend it.


Ben Kramer February 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm

In talking to a friend who lasted 21 days after the invasion, he related the details of that fight. When I asked about his return for the reunion, he said the Japanese refused to take the island back in it’s condition thus the US spent 4 years flying over and dropping grass seed to restore it to their specifications. He felt no respect for that requirement. In Bible days when the enemy was secured, the victor took his spoils and he was glad to be alive. What happened then to this story. The young Marine was Harry Kelley from Dayton, Oh.


joboy February 19, 2010 at 1:17 pm

How many of U know what happened to Ira Hayes? Very few do. Perhaps U may recall a music album by Johnny Cash where he recalled in one song the fate of Ira Hayes. How sad. What caused Ira’s demise? Fame, his living condition, his heritage, or was it just too much of the “white mans” do it our way prejuidice mentality.


Dallas February 20, 2010 at 11:56 am

My cousin was a Navy medic on Iwo. I understand that the Japs targeted our medics, but then, they did not sign the Geneva convention and were not bound to those inconvenient requirements.
My cousin will not discuss his experiences on Iwo or Guatalcanal. He did tell me that he lost his helmet over the side of the landing craft and told his sergeant that he would find a replacement. He said that he had to go only a short distance and there was a soldier named O’Keefe who he said ‘would not need his helmet anymore”. My cousin said that he wore that helmet throughout the war.

My father was KIA in Belgium in September 1944 and I often wonder if O’Keefe’s family ever found out how he served.

God Bless our veterans and troops and these United States.


Constance G. Martin February 23, 2010 at 10:53 am

My father was on Iwo Jima. He was hit when he landed on the shoreline. He has pass now. He never really recover from it. It did alot of mental damage to him.
It is always easyier to be the monday morning quaterback. Back then it was dog eat dog. We fought to win. There were no rules. War is not something the can be put in a nicely wrap gift box. I think we have forgot that. War is ugly, bloody, and deadly. It can not be suger coated.
I am proud of my father for serving the U.S.A. He protect our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. For that anybody that serves this country has earn our respect, honor, prayers and love!!


steve stahl February 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Our father was in the 3rd Marine Div. 12th marine regiment, “H” battery. His name is Charles “BOB” Stahl. He was in the artillery serving on Iwo Jima for the entire campaign. My father never discussed specifically all that he and his peers experienced during the sacrifices that they all were subject to. These Americans were easily of the “Greatest Generation”. I still have the letters my father had written to my mother during his service. He never even slightly complained of the Hell all of the soldiers were experiencing. He never even indicated where they were located. This is typical of the generation that too many take for granted today. It was them that gave of themselves to the death to provide freedom for their country. Freedom has never been free and needs to be appreciated in heart and spirit, knowing that God blessed our nation in it’s design of freedom to all who live here. All conservative and liberals owe a deep dept (that they should never ignore or take for granted) to God and country. It is those who have never served under and type of duress that usually take this type of action for granted, never admitting that they would not be able to protest at all if our forefathers had never fought and won that right for us all. God Bless All!


Mahaley February 26, 2010 at 11:42 am

My father was in Iwa Jima also, and even though he survived the war, he did not survive. He committed suicide at the young age of 36, after almost drinking himself to death. My Mother said he never drank before, but was tortured by the memories.
I never knew him..but I am very proud of him.


Richard Lewis February 28, 2010 at 12:42 am

A man stands up for himself,a real man stands up for those who cant. Thank you all for your bravery and uncommon valor. This post is for my Father John P.Lewis Korean War. God bless you all.


MSgt. James E. Conover, USMC (Ret0 February 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I am a Cold War and Vietnam Veteran. I am very proud of you, your Mom (A Marine Wife) and your Marine Dad for his service to God, Country and Corps.

Semper Fidelis


MSgt. James E. Conover, USMC (Ret) February 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Please let it be known that Marines from Montfort Point also landed on Iwo Jima. In fact, the national president of the Montfort Point Marines Association met with Clint Eastwood to request that African Americans be depicted in the movie: “Letters From Father”.

As a Platoon Sertgeant at Marine Barracks, Washington, DC; it I always seem to stand taller when we performed at the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

In closing, imagine this. I knew two female twins named…Iwo and Jima! Can you imagine living with those names? LOL

“An Uncommon Valor, Was A Common Virtue”…inscribed on the US Marine Corps Memorial. What does that mean to you?

God Bless all Marines and their families were ever you are

Semper Fidelis


MSgt. James E. Conover, USMC (Ret) February 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm


I should have said “Flags of our Fathers”. I will report to the “Rose Garden” now. LOL


Amanda Winkelmann March 11, 2010 at 10:27 am

this is truly a heartbrecking moment for me when i saw my great grandfather in the picture of them raising the flag.


Ramona March 27, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I just watched Sand Of Iwo Jima. I have seen it many times. I am grateful to these heroes for their service and dedication. My words are inadequate to express the gratitude I feel in seeing this movie and knowing real men died serving our country. All I can do is pray for the mens safe return home. If I could I would send cookies or some thing. Just has a way to express gratitude and something tolet the men and women know they are appreciated. Thank You.


Dana Julius March 31, 2010 at 9:43 pm

great post thanks!, love to see more posts from you.


sue dunlap April 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Please know that my heart is so saddened to learn of your dad’s suicide. What a terrible loss for your mom and her children. Do know however that his contribution to our country was immense.You must be so proud of him. As a history teacher,I keep the memory of these brave men very much alive to my high school students.

S. Dunlap


Sue Dunlap April 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Rick, bless you and all of the U.S. military personnel serving our great country in Iraq and Afganistan. You all are the heroes of our times. Please take care , and come home safely to your family


Jack Kilmon May 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Iwo Jima was the turning point of the Pacific War and produced 23,000 American Casualties. The raising of the flag was a symbolic action that acted as a catalyst for Amarican morale. In the vicissitudes of history, the first brave men who scaled Mount Suribachi while still iunder fire and with Japanese still in caves, to raise the first smaller flag are often forgotten. Ernest “Boots” Thomas, Charles Lindberg, Hank Hensen,Louis Charlo, Ray Jacobs and George Schrier (who also helped raise the second flag) should be equally honored.


Geneva Glover May 25, 2010 at 2:05 am

It seems Ira Hayes was tormented for having been labeled an Iwo Jima Flag raising hero. Just replaying Louis Charlo’s part in the second flag raising, to picture the ‘token’ American Indian didn’t leave him with any pride. Thank you Jack, for recognizing the true six brave men, who under fire, raised the first flag at Iwo Jima. My father, his four brothers and Louis Charlo left the safety of the beautiful Flathead Reservation in Montana to serve their country.


SAS July 13, 2010 at 3:10 am

Each of these movies does a great job showing a little of what Iwo Jima was like. The only flaw in all three is that they do not explain to the audiences that the reason for taking Iwo Jima was to have airports for our bombers and their crews who were crashing into the Pacific and dying. That is why we could not wait and starve them out. My Dad as a young Marine was bitter that they did not shell and bomb for a few more days but the underground caves, tunnels and bunkers that are now exposed cured him of those feelings. He now realizes the way Iwo was fortified they were landing in Hell no matter what.
His only complaint about the John Wayne movie was that most of the actors were old men not the young boys in their late teens and early twenties that fought and died on Iwo Jima.
My DAd told me that more than 100,000 air force crew members had their lives saved by Iwo Jima’s airstrips and those bombing raids help to soften up the Japs and destroy most of their war factories. He said many of the Marines knew they were putting their lives on the line for those factories and supply centers to be destroyed by our Air Force. He had told me that captured pilots and crews were stoned, stabbed with bayonets, and on outer Islands eaten. Many pilots knew their missions were a one way trip if their planes hit strong winds or suffered any damage and as scared as the Marines were going in to Iwo they couldn’t do less than those flight crews for their country or their fellow serive men.


Guilet August 11, 2010 at 7:03 am

Rick, bless you and all of the U.S. military personnel serving our great country in Iraq and Afganistan. You all are the heroes of our times. Please take care , and come home safely to your family


B.J. Biringer August 22, 2010 at 12:34 am

Everytime I read about Iwo Jima or see the movies, I always think of my grandfather who fought and survived the battle. Later he would go on to serve in Korea at the Chosoin Reservoir. He passed away due to a heart attack when I was only 3 years old. He was only 48 at the time, and what I wouldn´t give to have had more memories with him, and the opportunity to ask him about what he lived at Iwo Jima. My father has told me some things, but I wish I knew what unit, platoon, etc. he was in. His name was Charles L. Biringer and he was a Seargent.
Thanks for this great site. Along with the books, movies, and hsi Christmas train I still have, this also gives me back a piece of my grandfather that I miss so much.

B.J. Biringer


John December 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I just watched “LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA” (Clint Eastwood). I hate war. PEACE.


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