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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Akira Kurosawa agreed to direct the Japanese part of the film only because he was told that David Lean was to direct the American part. Lean, in fact, was never part of the project. When Kurosawa found out about this, he tried to get himself fired from the production--and succeeded. See more »
Frank Knox's aide, Major John Dillon, is dressed in an Navy Admiral's uniform instead of a Marine Corps Major's uniform. See more »
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto:
Finally, gentlemen... many misinformed Japanese believe that America is a nation divided... isolationist... and that Americans are only interested in enjoying a life of luxury, and are spiritually and morally corrupt. But that is a great mistake. If war becomes inevitable, America would be the most formidable foe that we have ever fought. I've lived in Washington and studied at Harvard, so I know that the Americans are a proud and just people.
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Excellent, if not one of the best documentary style movies of all time, as told from both sides, of the event that plunged the United States into the Second World War.
This movie reigns supreme over it's 2001 version Pearl Harbor which is really a fictional love story confined within a true conflict. Tora Tora Tora is based on actual events leading up to this avoidable tragedy, notably the bureaucratic bungling and complacency from the top down which allowed the Japanese attack to succeed.
Throughout this well done production, the story in true chronological sequence shifts between the two opposing sides with full subtitles giving the role played by each leading actor.
The viewer is given a clear concise unfolding of events with the part of the code-breakers importantly emphasized.
The attack is quite breathtaking in parts with several scenes closely resembling or being actual footage taken.
Ironically the breaking of the Japanese naval code by U.S. Intelligence gave the Americans every opportunity to correctly contemplate the next move of their adversary, but a desire for utmost secrecy by the Roosevelt Administration and the top brass of the Navy and Army restricted the transmission of clear and proper communications necessary for the Pearl Harbor commanders, Admiral Kimmel and General Short to make sound objective judgments regarding their respective commands.
Both men were treated shabbily by their superiors in the aftermath of the attack, were relieved of their command, and for decades thereafter had to endure the shame and responsibility placed on them in allowing this occurrence to happen.
This movie does a lot to exonerate them from their part in this terrible disaster.
P.S. I had the great honor of meeting bugler Richard Fiske personally, (USS West Virginia) with a colleague of mine when we visited Pearl Harbor in March 1997, (plus autograph),and had our photo taken with him. It is one of my enduring photos of this great sailor who gave his time unselfishly as a volunteer survivor, at the base, to give two second generation Australians the respect of knowing that we met a man who belonged to a nation which contributed to the success of winning the Pacific War.
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