Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

G  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  23 September 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 23,770 users  
Reviews: 155 user | 78 critic

A dramatization of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the series of American blunders that allowed it to happen.


(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Admiral Yamamoto (as Soh Yamamura)
Tatsuya Mihashi ...
Eijirô Tôno ...
Admiral Nagumo (as Eijiro Tono)
Lt. Commander Kramer
Shôgo Shimada ...
Ambassador Nomura (as Shogo Shimada)
Lt. Commander Thomas
Koreya Senda ...
Junya Usami ...
Admiral Yoshida
Captain John Earle


In 1941 the Japanese are at odds with the United States on a number of issues which they are attempting to resolve via their Washington embassy. In case this diplomacy fails, the military are hatching plans for a surprise early Sunday morning air attack on the U.S. base at Pearl Harbour. American intelligence is breaking the Japanese diplomatic messages but few high-ups are prepared to believe that an attack is likely, let alone where or how it might come. Written by Jeremy Perkins <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The incredible attack on Pearl Harbor as told from both the American and Japanese sides. See more »


Drama | History | War


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

23 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Тора! Тора! Тора!  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$14,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Extended Japanese Edition 2009)

Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The civilian pilots hired to fly the Japanese aircraft were a bunch of characters. One, never identified, was taken by a line of stage direction in the script which read, "Watanabe smiles". After each successful shot with the aerial coordinator announced his satisfaction, this pilot would anonymously announce on his aircraft radio, "Watanabe smiles". During the filming of one shot, a civilian general aviation aircraft inadvertently flew into their formation, forcing them to perform emergency evasive maneuvers. The aerial coordinator performed an immediate inventory of flying aircraft, announced his relief that disaster had been avoided. This same unknown pilot this time announced, "Watanabe shits!" See more »


On the USS Ward, her commanding officer is wearing the gold oak leaf insignia of a lieutenant commander. Her actual commanding officer, W. W. Outerbridge, was only a lieutenant, one grade below what is shown, on the day of the attack. This was reinforced by captain Earle's comment that the skipper was "just a green kid." See more »


Hickam Air Traffic Controller: Tower to B-17, there's a Jap on your tail. Juice yer engines and get outta here!
See more »


Edited into Midway (1976) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A definite must for anyone who's curious about Pearl Harbor.
29 May 2001 | by (Toronto, Ont. Canada) – See all my reviews

I will be completely honest with all of you, I saw this movie to prepare for the upcoming 2001 block buster, PEARL HARBOR. TORA! TORA! TORA! seemed the perfect choice. Recent movies these days depressed me, but thanks to TORA! (and Clint Eastwood 's HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER), my enjoyment in watching movies returned. TORA! is an absolutely excellent film packed with incredibly well done acting and emotion and an overall feeling that leaves you blown away. PEARL HARBOR has quite a bit to live up to after seeing this. The special effects produced in TORA! are completely out of this world (even after thirty years!). More credit goes to how well documented this story goes. The Americans and Japanese did a tremendously exceptional job of recreating the entire events leading up to and including the Pearl Harbor attack. Being a Canadian, I was confused a couple years ago when the local paper announced that the number two (of the top 100) event of the 1900's was the attack on Pearl Harbor. I completely understand now and quite frankly am amazed at how both sides felt throughout the entire ordeal.

Simply put, TORA! TORA! TORA! deals with all the events, mistakes (both minor and MAJOR), people involved and attitudes leading up to and during the air raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Though not shown, we even have the general feeling of the U.S. President and the Japanese Emperor. Nothing is missed in this movie. It is as close to the actual depiction of Pearl Harbor you can get.

For 1970, the special effects are absolutely astonishing. Very little looks fake, and nothing looks over done (like many CGI effects do these days). When the first American battletanks are struck, the explosions are incredible. When the Zero crashes into the building, the explosion is eye catching. Everything is unbelievably excellent. The acting is also first rate, how the Americans handle the warnings of a Japanese attack (they're nuts) was supremely well laid out. How the Japanese carefully planned the attack on Pearl Harbor was frighteningly well thought out. Next credit must go to the music. Jerry Goldsmith has to be one of the greatest composers of all time. The suspense created on the morning of December 7 just before the attack is still hair chilling thirty years later. Nothing seems to be wrong with TORA! except the fact that it is a little too long. A couple times, I was hoping that the attack would just begin and get over with. My patience quickly subsided with that music score and with the Emperor's poem. Very little is wrong with TORA! TORA! TORA!. It is a definite must see for anyone curious about how war works, how mistakes are made and how people respond to such attacks.

79 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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