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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 3,504 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)

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) on IMDb 7.6/10

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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

The MGM composer Herbert Stothart quotes the catchy title song from the 1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway musical "Oklahoma" a number of times in his background score for this 1944 film. As none of the fliers came from that state, no one has ever determined whether it was a bit of unconscious plagiarism on his part, or a subliminal tribute to Americana. One of the 80 fliers in the Doolittle Raid was indeed from Oklahoma. He was Robert J. Stephens, born February 28, 1915, in Hobart, Oklahoma. See more »

Goofs

When Lawson tries to go to his wife, you can clearly see his "amputated" leg foot and all, flail up behind him as he falls to the ground. He was only sitting on it the entire scene. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Ted Lawson: Goodbye.
Young Dr. Chung: I have one sorrow, Lieutenant. that we did not have the medicine to ease your pain.
Lt. Ted Lawson: You saved my life, Doc.
Young Dr. Chung: I hope that someday you'll come back to us.
Lt. Ted Lawson: We'll be back. Maybe not us ourselves but a lotta guys like us, and I'd like to be with them. You're our kind of people.
Young Dr. Chung: Thank you, sir.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Forecast (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

The Army Air Corps Song
(1939) (uncredited)
Written by Robert Crawford
Played during the opening credits
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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