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Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

In 1941, as Japan prepares to open its war against the USA with a pre-emptive strike on Pearl Harbor, a series of American mistakes threatens to inadvertently aggravate its effectiveness.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (as Soh Yamamura)
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Admiral Chuici Nagumo (as Eijiro Tono)
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Lt. Commander Alvin D. Kramer
Shôgo Shimada ...
Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura (as Shogo Shimada)
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Lt. Commander Thomas
Koreya Senda ...
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Jun Usami ...
Admiral Zengo Yoshida (as Junya Usami)
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Storyline

This dramatic retelling of the Pearl Harbor attack details everything in the days that led up to that tragic moment in American history. As United States and Japanese relations strain over the U.S. embargo of raw materials, Air Staff Officer Minoru Genda (Tatsuya Mihashi) plans the preemptive strike against the United States. Although American intelligence agencies intercept Japanese communications hinting at the attack, they are unwilling to believe such a strike could ever occur on U.S. soil. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most spectacular film ever made. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Тора! Тора! Тора!  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$29,548,291 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Japanese Edition 2009)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| (some 35 mm prints)| (some 35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While there was controversy over the attack happening without an explicit warning, declarations of war were already obsolete. The Soviet Union did not declare war when it invaded Poland in September 1939. Adolf Hitler did not declare war on the Soviet Union prior to launching Operation Barbarossa, which he claimed was a pre-emptive strike before Joseph Stalin had time to rearm for war against the European Axis Powers. The Japanese did not declare war before attacking Russian warships at Port Arthur in 1904, beginning the Russo-Japanese War. There was no declaration of war when the British invaded Iceland on 10 May 1940, or when Anglo-Soviet forces invaded Iran on 25 August 1941. See more »

Goofs

Shortly before the attack commences an officer tells Isoroku Yamamoto, "The Emperor wishes to follow the Geneva Convention, a declaration of war will be delivered at 1 pm, 30 minutes before the attack". The Geneva Convention deals solely with the treatment of PoW's and non-combatants, not the rules of war, a common misconception. He meant the Hague Convention III (1907) which does. Japan ratified but did not sign the Geneva Convention. They did sign the Hague Convention. Senior Japanese officers would be well aware of this. See more »

Quotes

Cordell Hull: In all my fifty years of public service, I have never seen a document so crowded with infamous falsehoods and distortions, on a scale so huge that I never imagined until today that any government on this planet was capable of uttering them.
Ambassador Nomura: [pleading] Mr. Hull...
Cordell Hull: [wearily] Go!
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Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo does not appear on this film. See more »


Soundtracks

Chattanooga Choo Choo
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the dance
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An underestimated epic
27 February 2002 | by (Gifu, Japan) – See all my reviews

I have not seen the movie _Pearl Harbor_; nor, for that matter, do I plan to. I do not personally care for films that warp an important historical event to suit a formulaic date-flick format (a certain travesty involving a big steamship comes immediately to mind). If I go to the movie theater to watch a historical account, then that's what I want to see. _Tora! Tora! Tora!_ is exactly that, and more; it very nearly puts you right in the middle of the conflagration.

It continues to be a source of total wonder for me that _Tora! Tora! Tora!_, a movie made nearly thirty-two years ago, is so expertly presented. The reason for this is twofold: usage of lesser-known character actors to keep plot distraction to a minimum, and the usage of vintage working ships and aircraft to keep the realism to a maximum. These two elements merge together to produce what amounts to a cameraman in a time machine filming the actual events on site.

Since this was a collaborative effort between both US and Japanese film studios, the numerous switches between scenes will give you a good look at the differences between directing (and acting) styles. I am constantly amazed at the boldness of the content for a film released in the US during the Vietnam War, and only 25 years after the Pearl Harbor attack itself; compared to the rather wooden Martin Balsam and Jason Robards, Takahiro Tamura's Lt. Commander Fuchida is replete with a charisma I would never have expected from The Enemy. The Japanese side of the tale is laid before you so well that one is sent into the minds of the people involved, a rarity for American war films. (Sometimes it goes a little bit over the edge -- Admiral Yamamoto's comment "I know [the Americans] are a proud and just people" is a mistranslation -- but the general mood is accurately conveyed overall.)

And then there is the beautiful and sometimes chilling scenery. The attack scenes themselves are eye-popping and brazen enough -- an awesome effort given the technology of the period -- but my personal favorite scene is the Japanese lead strike force's departure from their aircraft carrier. Those of you who purchase the DVD version of the movie should crank up the volume at this point. This is a piece of film that most probably can never be shot again: REAL aircraft flooring their REAL engines and taking flight from a REAL ship of war, against the backdrop of the early dawn, one after another, until the sky is alive with what looks like waves and waves of warplanes. Although the aircraft and ships used were modifed American stock, the flags, uniforms, and color schemes are all authentic... resulting in a spine-tingling spectacle of Japanese pilots plunging headlong into what was ultimately a disastrous mistake. They are depicted as human beings, as they should be.

It is an astoundingly accurate presentation of a dark moment in history for both the US and Japan, free of pretense, pandering to the audience, big-bucks megastars, lovey-dovey sappiness, and computer-generated pixels. You don't *need* any of these things to create a fantastic movie; all you need is history, which we all know is stranger -- and scarier, and more engaging -- than fiction. _Tora! Tora! Tora_ should be in every movie fan's library.


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