7.5/10
4,227
51 user 15 critic

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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of men at war and that of the esteemed Pulitzer prize winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Soon after the U.S. entry into World War II, Pyle joined C Company, 18th Infantry in ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum, Freddie Steele
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dramatized account of the role of the American PT Boats in the defense of the Philippines in World War II.

Directors: John Ford, Robert Montgomery
Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed
Air Force (1943)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The crew of an Air Force bomber arrives in Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack and is sent on to Manila to help with the defense of the Philippines.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Garfield, John Ridgely, Gig Young
Bombardier (1943)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Training of bombardiers in semi-documentary style, with personal stories and a battle climax.

Directors: Richard Wallace, Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Randolph Scott, Anne Shirley
Battleground (1949)
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A squad of the 101st Airborne Division copes with being trapped in the besieged city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban
Bataan (1943)
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Japan has just invaded the Phillipines and the US Army attempts a desperate defence. Thirteen men are chosen to blow up a bridge on the Bataan peninsula and keep the Japanese from ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Lloyd Nolan
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dead World War II bomber pilot, Maj. Pete Sandidge, becomes guardian angel to another pilot, Capt. Ted Randall, guiding Ted through battle and helping him to romance his old girlfriend, despite her excessive devotion to Sandidge's memory.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Signe Hasso, Hume Cronyn
Wake Island (1942)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

December, 1941. With no hope of relief or re-supply, a small band of United States Marines try to keep the Japanese Navy from capturing their island base.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Robert Preston, Macdonald Carey
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Byron Haskin, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Japanese fishermen fired on by the U.S. Navy escort ships did in fact have time to alert Tokyo, but their transmission was ignored. An urgent report of two American aircraft carriers so close to Japan by understandably hysterical "ignorant" fisherman was scorned as ridiculous by Japanese authorities. See more »

Goofs

When BG Doolittle was leaving LT Lawson's hospital room near the end of the movie, he began to put on his uniform cap as he was closing the door; however, since he was in the hospital corridor, and not yet going outdoors, he would not have put on his cap while indoors. See more »

Quotes

Gen. James Doolittle: [Addressing all the flight crews, assembled in the USS Hornet's briefing room] Lt. Jurika has detailed maps and pictures of cities and specified targets. Mr. Jurika spent a great many years in Japan. I think it might be a good idea if he gave you some idea of what kind of people you're going to run up against in case you're forced down. Mr. Jurika.
Lieut. Jurika: [Lt. Jurika gets up and addresses the men] I was assistant Naval attaché at our embassy in Japan, long enough to learn a few things about the Orient.
Lt. Bob Gray: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Keys (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish ballad
Words by Robert Burns
Played and Sung at a dance
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


33 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Only thirty seconds of action scheelj1
Phyllis Thaxter is the most wooden actress ever seen grannyw-1
Attention to detail and research in movies smiley-39
Special Effects for Aircraft Takeoff from the Hornet eThink
Remake? wsteph
Why Isn't this on DVD? billhgraham-1
Discuss Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?