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Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Passed  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  November 1944 (USA)
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Reviews: 50 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.



(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 overview, first billed only:
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
Scott McKay ...
Davey Jones
Lieut. Randall
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Lieut. Miller
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Don Smith (as Wm. 'Bill' Phillips)
'Brick' Holstrom


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | History | War


Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Trinta Segundos Sobre Tóquio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Phyllis Thaxter's first feature film. She had planned to do just the one film. And then go back to Broadway. Where she had solid career on the stage. See more »


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 »


Lieutenant Jacob 'Shorty' Manch: Well feed me corn and watch me grow! How did all this scum get in here?
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.96 (2006) See more »


Deep in the Heart of Texas
(1941) (uncredited)
Music by Don Swander
Lyrics by June Hershey
Plaed on the radio
Later, Sung and Played as dance music
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Classic
8 June 2001 | by (Eatontown, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

Forget the schlocky fictions of Bruckheimer and Bay's PEARL HARBOR with its footnoted version of the Doolittle raid. If you want to see a more detailed, realistic, historical as well as romanticized version of the Pearl Harbor "pay back," see this one. It is the classic MGM treatment with a skilled cast including Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson.

If you do see PEARL HARBOR, rent this one too so you can see how to tell a real romance set against a historical event. And if you want the full picture of how the Doolittle raid was made possible, see DESTINATION TOKYO, the film telling the story of the submarine that snuck into Tokyo bay to help guide the bombers over the city.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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