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Look out for more coverage of
Flags of Our Fathers in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Flags of Our Fathers

THE STARS:
Ryan Phillippe • Jesse Bradford • Adam Beach • Barry Pepper • Jamie Bell
DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood

The iconic image in the making THE CONCEPT:
Based on the best-selling book, this war drama chronicles the story of one of the most reproduced images in the history of photography; the picture of the Marines raising the flag during the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The photo made heroes of the men in the picture as the three surviving flag-raisers were returned to the US and made into props in the government’s Seventh War Bond Tour. Uncomfortable with their new celebrity status, they considered the real heroes to be the men who died on Iwo Jima.

U.S. RELEASE: October 20 2006, Nationwide • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

CLINT EASTWOOD:
“There’s never been a story on Iwo Jima, even though there have been pictures that have used it in the title. It was the most fierce battle in marine corps history. But what intrigued me about it was the fact that it wasn’t really a war story, it was just a study of these people.”

RYAN PHILLIPPE (Doc Bradley):
“I felt the responsibility that comes along with playing someone who I feel was really a pretty great person, and had gone through these experiences. But in a lot of ways it makes my job that much easier, a lot of the work is done for me, this man existed. I can see pictures of him and know how he smiled and talk to his son, and find out how he dealt with people. I loved playing someone who I think is great.”

ADAM BEACH (Ira Hayes):
“If you follow the history of Native American people, every boy that was growing up back in the hunting buffalo days, you had a purpose and that purpose was to be a warrior to find your spirit and to protect your family, and I believe that a lot of our native peoples still have that spirit, and it was an honor to be a Marine because you were not only fighting for America, you were also fighting for your ancestral lands and there was a stronger spirit and drive behind that.”

JESSE BRADFORD (Rene Gagnon):
“My main thing was I got to play this guy right and I’ve got to do him justice. Rene could be considered the least sympathetic character. There are some negative traits to him and for me it was a matter of, look this guy has sacrificed more in his life than I ever have. He’s already proven to be more of a hero and a badass just by virtue of the fact that he voluntarily joined the marines to end up fighting one of the bloodiest battles of all time.”

EASTWOOD:
“It’s important to tell this story because it told a time in our history when there was a lot of spirit. The icon itself of the flag-raising, a candid shot which didn’t have any significance at the moment, but it was just a shot that was very rare. It’s a work of art because it’s people not looking into the camera and smiling at their aunt in Des Moines, it shows the unity of people working towards a common cause, and that itself showed a time when people felt we had to be victorious in this war.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Flags of Our Fathers site
Images above © Paramount Pictures
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #676, November 2006 cover

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