6.2/10
526
19 user 2 critic

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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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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World War I Ghost Soldier
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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

Walter Huston, who plays Uncle Sam, the personification of the United States, was born in Canada. 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

Mr. 'C': If that's Americanism, it's very hyphenated.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Edited into Shooting War (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
Music by William Steffe (circa 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1961)
Played as background music often
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User Reviews

 
"You know that I know that you know that this is an attack by Japan."
20 December 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Docudrama about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, that led to the US entering World War II. The version I have seen twice now on TCM is the unedited 82-minute version. The shorter version, which runs 34 minutes, is the one that won the Oscar for short subject documentary. The first part of the film is amusingly corny. Uncle Sam (Walter Huston) is vacationing in Hawaii, where he is interrupted by his conscience (Harry Davenport) the day before the attack. They discuss the history of Hawaii, the loyalty of Japanese-Americans, and America's complacency. From there we have the Pearl Harbor attack and the entry into the war. These scenes are a combination of stock footage and recreations shot by famed cinematographer Gregg Toland. It's not hard to differentiate between the two. Dana Andrews plays the ghost of a sailor who died at Pearl Harbor and Paul Hurst plays the ghost of a soldier who died in WWI. The credit for this film seems to go to John Ford, although it appears all he may have done is edit down Gregg Toland's longer version. I haven't read up on the film's history so I can't say for sure. I will say that very little about this screamed John Ford to me, stylistically speaking. Like I said, it's corny and maybe a little offensive if you want it to be, but I found it pretty fascinating. It's a nice window into the mindsets of Americans at the time and how they felt about these issues and events. The attack itself is excitingly recreated. WWII buffs should find a lot to chew on here. Everybody else, how you'll feel about it likely depends on the baggage you bring with you. Some will like it, some will hate it, and some will like to hate it. Hopefully most of you will find it interesting and your blood pressure will be unaffected.


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