Windtalkers: the making of the film about the Navajo code talkers of World War II
Nearly sixty years after the end of World War II, a group of heroes who played a vital role in winning the war in the Pacific finally received the tribute they so justly deserved. The Navajo code talkers, Marines who used a top-secret code based on their language, were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their brave duty in July 2001.
The Navajo code used during the war was the only code the Japanese never cracked, and because it was so effective it remained a secret until 1968 when it was declassified. Few people outside the Navajo Nation knew about the code or the Marines who created and implemented it during the war.
For the first time, director John Woo brings the Navajo code talkers' story to the world with Windtalkers, a film that centers on the relationship between the Marines (portrayed by actors Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater) and the Navajo code talkers (actors Adam Beach and Roger Willie) they were assigned to protect during World War II. The gripping climax takes place during the Battle of Saipan when the Marines, fighting off the Japanese, must safeguard the code at all costs.
This book tells the fascinating story behind the film - from facts about how the code was created to historical background of the Navajo Nation, a glimpse into the rigorous code talker training program, production details about transforming a lush Hawaiian valley into a Saipan battlefront, and much more.
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Preface by John Woo
A Story that Needs to Be Told
The Battle of Saipan
3 other sections not shown
5th Marine Division actors Adam Beach Advisor Arizona Artillery Batteer Battle of Saipan Battleship Begay Benally Billy bodyguard boot camp Brian Van Holt Brown Camera Christian Slater clan combat Congressional Gold Medal Congressional Medal Congressional Silver Medals Coordinator David Defense Dever Director john Woo explosions film film's fire George Harrigan Hawaii Honoring the Navajo Indian island Iwo Jima James Japanese Jeff Bingaman Jimmie Joe Enders John Rice John Woo Johnny June Kevin Kualoa land Manuelito Medal ceremony Mexico Michael Mike military movie Native American Navajo Code Talkers Navajo Nation Nicolas Cage Noah Emmerich officer Operator Pacific photographs plane Production protect radio Roger Willie Rosenzweig Scarano scenes screenwriters Second Assistant Senator Jeff Bingaman ship Smrz soldiers Special Effects story stunt Supervisor tanks Teasel Technician Terence Chang Transportation treaty Tsosie U.S. Marine Corps United wanted weapon Whitehorse William Window Rock Windtalkers Woo's World Yahzee Yazzie