Windtalkers

Windtalkers

3.6 13
Director: John Woo

Cast: John Woo, Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare

     
 

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Loosely based on a real-life operation during World War II, this action-adventure from director John Woo stars Nicolas Cage as Joe Enders, a Marine traumatized by the loss of his entire platoon in the Solomon Islands during an ambush he believes was deadlier than necessary due to his indecision. Suffering from eardrum damage in Hawaii, Joe manages to be declared fit…  See more details below

Overview

Loosely based on a real-life operation during World War II, this action-adventure from director John Woo stars Nicolas Cage as Joe Enders, a Marine traumatized by the loss of his entire platoon in the Solomon Islands during an ambush he believes was deadlier than necessary due to his indecision. Suffering from eardrum damage in Hawaii, Joe manages to be declared fit for duty once again thanks to a sympathetic nurse (Frances O'Connor), but his new assignment isn't what he expects. Joe is ordered to safeguard a Navajo soldier named Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) because the military has developed a new secret code based on the near-dead Navajo language that is proving unbreakable to the Japanese. Any soldier that speaks Navajo is an immediate asset, including Ben and his pal, Charlie Whitehorse (Roger Willie). Joe's orders are to "baby sit" Ben during the invasion of Saipan, protecting him if possible, but -- if the code-talker's capture becomes imminent -- to kill him before he falls into enemy hands. Meanwhile, Charlie is to be guarded by affable harmonica player Ox Henderson (Christian Slater). Joe reluctantly accepts this new duty as a way to get back into the war, and in the ensuing carnage, his nearly suicidal acts of bravery make him a hero while Ben becomes paralyzed by fear. Determined to live up to Joe's example, Ben musters up his courage, even in the face of racism from a fellow soldier (Noah Emmerich), and ends up rescuing his own protector behind enemy lines by briefly posing as a Japanese soldier. Despite their growing mutual respect, Joe is eventually forced to take an action that threatens to shatter his bond with Ben, as the war's tragic losses strike closer to home for both men. Windtalkers co-stars Peter Stormare, Jason Isaacs, and Mark Ruffalo.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Director John Woo and leading man Nicolas Cage, who previously collaborated on 1997’s Face/Off, reunite for this unusually tense, engrossing, character-driven World War II drama. It revolves around a little-known facet of WWII history: the use of Native American radio operators known as "code talkers," whose Navajo language was indecipherable to Japanese soldiers listening to the transmissions. Cage portrays Joe Enders, a shell-shocked officer detailed to protect Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach), his unit's code talker. If the enemy captures Yahzee, he could be forced to decode American radio messages and thereby impede the entire Pacific campaign. Christian Slater delivers a fine, understated performance as a fellow officer with a similar assignment, and character actors Peter Stormare, Noah Emmerich, and Mark Ruffalo lend able support. Woo’s elaborate battle scenes are graphic, much in the manner of Saving Private Ryan, but the violence isn’t gratuitous; war is definitely not glorified, and the inescapable jingoism is held to a minimum. Instead, the director emphasizes the uneasy relationship between the self-assured, friendly Navaho and the war-weary officer who realizes he might be forced to kill his charge to prevent his capture by the Japanese. The key to Windtalkers’ success is Cage, who keeps his flamboyant urges in check and imbues his tormented character with dignity.
New York Observer
It's like the first 25 minutes of Saving Private Ryan stretched over two hours. I liked it a lot, but the weak and the skittish are hereby warned. Rex Reed

Product Details

Release Date:
04/25/2006
UPC:
0027616144003
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:33:00
Sales rank:
7,249

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary by director John Woo and producer Terence Chang; Audio commentary by Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater; Audio commentary by Roger Willie and Navajo Code talker advisor Albert Smith

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nicolas Cage Joe Enders
Adam Beach Ben Yahzee
Peter Stormare Hjelmstad
Noah Emmerich Chick
Mark Ruffalo Pappas
Christian Slater Ox Henderson
Brian Van Holt Harrington
Martin Henderson Nellie
Frances O'Connor Rita
Roger Willie Charlie Whitehorse
Jason Isaacs Major Mellitz
Emily Mortimer Actor

Technical Credits
John Woo Director,Producer
Arthur Anderson Asst. Director,Co-producer
Joe Batteer Screenwriter
Bryan Bowen Sound/Sound Designer
Terence Chang Producer
Cinesite Animator
Boy Wonder Visual Effects Animator
C.O. Erickson Executive Producer
Richard C. Goddard Set Decoration/Design
Richard Bryce Goodman Sound/Sound Designer
Tracie Graham-Rice Producer
Holger Gross Production Designer
Jeff Gullo Editor
James Horner Score Composer
Kevin Ishioka Art Director
Steven Kemper Editor
Jeffrey Kimball Cinematographer
Caroline Macaulay Co-producer
Mindy Marin Casting
John Rice Screenwriter
Tom Rolf Editor
Alison Rosenzweig Producer
Nick Scarano Costumes/Costume Designer
Bruce Tanis Sound/Sound Designer
Steve Traxler Associate Producer
Kevin Yagher Makeup Special Effects

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Windtalkers
1. Main Title/Credits [4:31]
2. "Solomon Islands - 1943" [5:22]
3. Ironic Honor [1:01]
4. "Many Big Guns" [1:31]
5. U.S. Naval Hospital [4:21]
6. "Protect the Code" [4:27]
7. Chitchat & Chow [6:11]
8. Gambling Away Time [3:09]
9. Marine Pep Talk [4:00]
10. "To War" [4:37]
11. Saipan - June 16, 1944 [1:01]
12. Battle Crazy [2:47]
13. Decoding Coordinates [6:50]
14. Man-to-Man Combat [2:38]
15. Reflections & Fear [4:49]
16. "Windtalker" [2:53]
17. Savage Prejudice [2:10]
18. Ghostly Duo [3:33]
19. "Dear Joe" [3:12]
20. Under Friendly Fire [2:41]
21. Disguised As the Enemy [5:39]
22. First Kill/"Cease Fire" [2:06]
23. Medal of Honor [3:40]
24. Out of Balance [3:06]
25. Smoking Out Demons [6:16]
26. Thinking About Home [1:51]
27. Pain Killers [2:53]
28. "A Soldier of Christ" [2:58]
29. "I Want Out" [3:52]
30. Sudden Ambush [1:25]
31. Senseless Death [7:05]
32. Mourning a Loss [4:30]
33. Just Follow Orders [2:20]
34. Caught in a Minefield [1:24]
35. Some Don't Make It [4:25]
36. Calling for Flyboys [3:34]
37. "No One Else Is Dying [5:18]
38. A Hero in Battle [5:53]
39. Remembering a Warrior [3:23]
40. End Credits [2:14]

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