6.2/10
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December 7th: The Movie (1943)

Unrated | | Action, History, War
"Docudrama" about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and its results, the recovering of the ships, the improving of defense in Hawaii and the US efforts to beat back the Japanese reinforcements.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
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World War I Ghost Soldier
...
Single Voice of the Dead Servicemen (voice)
James Kevin McGuinness ...
Narrator (voice) (as James K. McGuiness)
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Storyline

In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, director Gregg Toland is tasked by producer John Ford, both now serving in the navy, to film a documentary about that infamous day. What Toland provided was an 82 minute documentary that featured not only the attack but focused heavily on the local Japanese population's supposedly large role as spies providing information to the homeland. Ford took over the direction of the film and the military eventually released a 34 minute version focusing on the attack. The longer version features Uncle Sam telling the audience how naive America was before Pearl Harbor with recreations of Japanese people collecting information in preparation for the attack. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | History | War

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

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Also Known As:

December 7  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored) | (war workers') | (Academy Award) | (original theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Japanese planes attacking Pearl Harbor were US "Dauntless" bombers. See more »

Goofs

Showing the events of the Sunday morning attack, the priest at Mass (at Kaneohe, I believe) announces incorrectly that it is the 3rd Sunday of Advent. Actually it was the 2nd Sunday of Advent. See more »

Quotes

World War I Ghost Soldier: Six will get you twelve that fifteen to twenty years from now they'll be opening up new sectors in here.
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Crazy Credits

The War and Navy Departments, producers of the movie, are credited orally by a narrator. See more »

Connections

Featured in Five Came Back: Combat Zones (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
Traditional 18th century tune
Played as background music
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User Reviews

 
December 7TH {Short Theatrical Version} (John Ford and, uncredited, Gregg Toland, 1943) ***
4 February 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is another war documentary by Ford, obviously detailing the nefarious 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour that saw the U.S. finally enter WWII. Ironically, the film was originally made as a feature (running 82 minutes) but was heavily censored by the authorities – despite having been commissioned by President Roosevelt himself! – to the point that it was reduced to a 34-minute short, entered in the Academy Award category for Best Documentary Short and winning the Oscar! For the record, only the edited version was released among the extras on Fox's BECOMING JOHN FORD (2007) DVD and, while I managed to acquire the full-length edition off "You Tube", I opted to only watch the shorter print in view of its being Oscar season!

Anyway, this makes a much better attempt to tell the whole story than THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY (one imagines the feature being that more comprehensive in this regard!), and only resorts to mawkishness – albeit movingly done regardless – towards the end i.e. when the fallen soldiers 'introduce' themselves to the audience. Needless to say, the Japanese side is depicted in strictly caricatured terms (which was the accepted norm for the duration of the conflict, seen also in contemporary cartoons!)…but, while a Japanese civilian (sympathizing with the invasion) is interviewed, we also get to see how other naturalized Orientals hid evidence (not just store-signs but the Asian calligraphy itself!) of their old country in shame. Again, a number of stars lend their services to provide the accompanying narration: I recognized Walter Huston's voice in this streamlined copy but, reportedly, the likes of Harry Davenport and Dana Andrews were also involved.


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