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Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Passed | | Drama, History, War | November 1944 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on the book) (as Captain Ted W. Lawson) | 1 more credit »
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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:
...
...
Tim Murdock ...
Dean Davenport
...
Charles McClure
Herbert Gunn ...
Bob Clever (as Gordon McDonald)
...
...
'Doc' White (as Horace McNally)
...
John R. Reilly ...
'Shorty' Manch
...
Scott McKay ...
Davey Jones
...
Lt. Randall
...
Lt. 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Phyllis Thaxter's first feature film. She had planned to do just the one film, and then go back to Broadway. Although she continued acting in films, she also had a solid career on the stage. See more »

Goofs

While the Navy is towing the Ruptured Duck to the Hornet, the crew sees a fellow Airman (Spike) standing by the edge of the dock. Spike is standing next to a ladder when the crew first sees him. When the scene shifts perspective, Spike is now standing next to a large ship tie down with a #9 painted on it. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Bob Gray: [pensively] When I was a kid, I used to dream about going someplace on a ship. Well, here I am!
Lt. Ted Lawson: And out there is Japan. My mother had a Jap gardener once. He seemed like a nice little guy.
Lt. Bob Gray: You know I don't hate Japs yet. It's a funny thing. I don't like them, but I don't hate them.
Lt. Ted Lawson: I guess, I don't either. You get kind of mixed up.
Lt. Bob Gray: Yeah.
Lt. Ted Lawson: It's hard to figure, yet here we are.
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.11 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a Long, Long Trail
(1913) (uncredited)
Music by Zo Elliott
Lyrics by Stoddard King
Played and Sung at the dance by the Airmen and wives
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best WWII films made and it's true.
25 August 1999 | by (Wethersfield, CT, USA) – See all my reviews

I think this film is one of the best WWII films (if not the best) made during the war. The principal reason is that it's true and based on the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan on April 18, 1942. The movie follows the lives of a few of the members of that raid and focuses specifically on the experiences of Lt. Ted Lawson, who wrote the book. While a few of the stateside scenes are a bit corny and mushy, it nicely weaves in the story of one flyer and his wife and the way they handle their impending separation due to the upcoming mission. One needs to remember the need to portray and establish patriotism and an "apple pie and mom" sense during a difficult wartime environment when the film was released in 1944. In fact, just as the Doolittle Raid was carried out to bolster flagging US morale after Pearl Harbor (Dec 7, 1941)and a series of US and allied losses in the Pacific war in early 1942, this movie of the raid again plays the role of morale booster for the home front in 1944. The flying scenes, as well as the special effects, are pretty good for the 1940's movie making era and perfect for most WWII aviation buffs. This Hollywood movie version of the book of the same name written by Lt. Ted Lawson and edited by Robert Considine is fairly true to the book, with very minor changes for story continuity and some levity. Spencer Tracy does a good job as Lt. Col. Jimmie Doolittle and adds the needed seriousness to the early part of the film. Van Johnson's role of Lt. Ted Lawson was perfectly played and Phyllis Thaxter as his wife is charming. The story of the early part of their marriage adds the right tone to this movie and sort of personifies all of these types of marriages and relationships that were "put on hold" because of a war. The movie turns quite serious, of course, once the raid begins. The underlying story is quite serious and relates the story of a group of flyers who volunteered for an extremely dangerous mission without even knowing what the mission is. I think this is one of the main attractions of this movie for me...that someone is willing to sacrifice their life for their country when asked to possibly do just that. It is selfish acts like this that we in the US should continue to recognize and to be eternally grateful to those of the WWII generation such as those who took part in this famous and unique event in US aviation history.


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