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Windtalkers (2002)

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


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





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 Cameron Thor ... Mertens
Kevin Cooney ... Ear Doctor
Holmes Osborne ... Colonel Hollings


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


Honor Was Their Code. See more »


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 »


Official Sites:

MGM | Official site [South Korea]




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 »


Box Office


$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,520,412, 16 June 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The desert scene in the opening credits uses the same stock footage of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona as Back to the Future Part III (1990) and City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994). See more »


Just before the convoy is hit by the friendly artillery, the ground charge used to simulate the first shell impact can be seen as the truck drives past it. See more »


Ben Yahzee: Sergeant, I'm telling you I won't freeze up again.
Joe Enders: Because your buddy smeared ash on your forehead?
Ben Yahzee: That's right, because my buddy smeared ash on my forehead.
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 »


Featured in Windtalkers: Actors Boot Camp (2003) See more »


Little Jug
Written by Ib Glindemann
Provided by APM
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a bunch of talent, on 2002's answer to battlefield earth
6 July 2002 | by godwatcherSee all my reviews

John Woo, is one of the most prolific action directors around today.

Marc Ruffalo is an amazing actor who keeps getting cast in action movies, as a support, when he could carry a film on his own. Adam Beach, Native American actors, of talent are hard to find, so to cast anyone else would've been a shame, he's so much better than this drivel.

Frances O'connor is striking out left and right, may i remind you of "Beddazled" Brian Van Holt, after "Whipped" should be getting at least a few offers Nicolas Cage, seems to know how to pick movies not to watch, if he's not careful, he'll end up being another Kevin Costner, and everyone will wonder how "he keeps getting work" This movie, is sentimental drivel, i'm all about patriotism, i've always thought the story of the the navajo code talkers was cool, and i like to see native american representation, but this movie was awful, the first thing to pick apart would be the score, I think this film would've been ten times, no really ten times better, which would've made it viewable, and not a waste of my 2&1/2 HOURS, but no, every instrument stands out, so that you can't help but hear how forced the whole score is, and putting a super forced and artificial score, on top of a super forced and artificial script, where character development is a point of praise, kind of, but the film also lacks a narrative, a plot, it has a story, but theres nothing to tie it together, instead it's a series of scenes which move on for no real reason, other than they kill time basically, but no real narrative thread other than, Joe, likes Ben , everyone else learns to like ben, and kill japs,

The one part of the film that is a point of dramatic tension, the need to protect the code "at any costs", is so overplayed that it loses all efficacy. And then the action, okay, all this crap aside, my friends warned me, it was bad, but it's JOHN WOO, the name among names and he was just lost, he was trying to reincarnate the worst of pekinpah, he never took a chance with the film, the whole thing was so expected, and the comparison to saving private ryan, is ridiculous, Spielberg in the first twenty minutes of that movie, shows you the horrors of WWII, in a way that you never imagined, because he shows it to you without fear, he makes bold decisions, and more than anything else, the sound, and the camera work, are explicit, you're looking at this guy get shot in the head in a one shot, wide angle. The camera moves for a reason, time slows for a reason. the look of the film is okay, in my humble opinion, the film was over saturated, and would've benefited, from making a a distinct decision about what to do with the look, instead most of the film, looks safe.

All the talent in the film, is obviously taking it's cues from the money men, and the money men, don't know anything compared to woo, end of story

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