7.5/10
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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 »
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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)
...
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
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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
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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

During the hedgehopping run to Tokyo, barren desert mountains are seen in the background. No such geography exists in Japan, this was filmed in the US Southwest. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Ziegfeld Follies (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(1906) (uncredited)
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
Lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles and R. Lovell
Played as background music
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.


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