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Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Passed  -  Drama | History | War  -  November 1944 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 3,433 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 16 critic

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

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(screen play), (based on the book), 1 more credit »
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Title: Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
David Thatcher
Tim Murdock ...
Dean Davenport
Don DeFore ...
Charles McClure
Herbert Gunn ...
Bob Clever (as Gordon McDonald)
...
Ellen Lawson
Stephen McNally ...
'Doc' White (as Horace McNally)
...
John R. Reilly ...
'Shorty' Manch
...
Bob Gray
Scott McKay ...
Davey Jones
...
Lieut. Randall
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Lieut. Miller
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Don Smith (as Wm. 'Bill' Phillips)
...
'Brick' Holstrom
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Storyline

The amazingly detailed true story of "The Doolittle Raid" based on the personal account by Doolittle Raider Ted Lawson. Stunned by Pearl Harbor and a string of defeats, America needed a victory - badly. To that end, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, a former air racer and stunt pilot, devises a plan for a daring raid on the heart of Japan itself. To do this, he must train army bomber pilots to do something no one ever dreamed possible - launch 16 fully loaded bombers from an aircraft carrier! Remarkable in its accuracy, this movie even uses film footage from the actual raid. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Heart-Warming Romance . . . Stark, Sensational Drama! Thrills! Action! Adventure! ...Ripped From The Heart!

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Trinta Segundos Sobre Tóquio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the documentary Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988), for this movie, the MGM studio recreated the section of an air craft carrier flat top on a sound stage large enough to fit four genuine B25 bomber planes whilst a whole sixty foot miniature was also built, placed in the studio tank doubling as the ocean. Moreover, this special effects Academy Award winning movie utilized model planes, hydraulic jacks, wires, motors, pulleys, and a miniature model of Tokyo used to show the bombing of that city with mini explosions. See more »

Goofs

When Lawson's plane lifts off the carrier deck, they immediate raise the landing gear; Several seconds later, when viewed from the side, the gear raises again. See more »

Quotes

Gen. James Doolittle: [on the phone] Hello, hello, York? Dolittle. I want you to get twenty-four B-25's and volunteer crews down to Eglin Field as soon as you can. The job'll take 'em out of the country for about three months. Tell 'em it's a secret mission. They won't know where they're going until they get there. Thats's right, volunteers. tell them they're not to talk to anybody. That's an order!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-Bye Baby
(1886) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Effie I. Canning
Sung by the men when Lawson learns he'll be a father
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A brief bombing mission but a long story
6 December 2003 | by (Peoria, Illinois) – See all my reviews



One of those made-during-the-war war movies that comes with the customary Frank Capra-like homeland security flag-waving and all of that but this is a good flick that stands the test of time.

Oh, it's cornball and the soldiers make like scouts at jamboree but there's an edge here--perhaps because the outcome of the WWII encounter was still in doubt at the time.

As a movie, though, "30 Seconds" has a lot going for it: romance (Van Johnson-Phyllis Thaxter), buddies (Johnson and a young Robert Mitchum), strong Army-Navy relations, strong American-Chinese relations--and plenty of great character parts played by people like Robert Walker, Spencer Tracy and Don DeFore, later to become George Baxter in TV's "Hazel."

There's nothing dated about the cinematography employed here. When the Ruptured Duck flies over Tokyo, you feel like you're right there in the cockpit and the crew's low-altitude escape to China is nothing less than harrowing.

It may not be a 20-20 account of the Doolittle mission to ramp up U.S. spirits after Pearl Harbor but it's a entertaining film with a lot of heavy hitters along for the ride, people like Dalton Trumbo (screenplay)and director Mervyn LeRoy.

Yes, it's one-part propaganda, one part-chin uplifter but there's a lot more to it and it makes my all-time top 10 war movie list.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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