Documentary (1945) 20 minutes ~ Color
An Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary, this Technicolor production unfolds with graphic energy the nearly month-long battle for Iwo Jima, a volcanic island lying 700 miles southeast of Japan, in which 20,000 Japanese and nearly 7,000 American fighting men were killed. A struggle eternalized by Joe Rosenthals photographers from the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, we watch as the defending positions are softened by an extensive aerial and Naval bombardment, followed by ten waves of landing craft occupied by men selected from 110,000 (and 880 ships!) who had to fight for every inch of black sandy soil. Only 200 Japanese surrendered, many being fused by flamethrowers, shown in dispiriting detail during the course of this work which was released only two months after brutal engagement and months before atomic bombing attacks upon Japanese mainland.
Stars: Harlon Block, John H. Bradley and Rene A. Gagnon