Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
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
The P-40 crashing in the flight line was an unplanned accident--it was a life-sized mock-up powered by a gasoline engine turning the propeller and steered by using the wheel brakes, just like real airplanes, but was specifically designed not to fly. The aircraft shown was loaded with explosives that were to be detonated by radio control at a specific point down the runway. Stunt actors were strategically located and rehearsed in which way to run. However, shortly after the plane began taxiing down the runway it did begin to lift off the ground and turn to the left. The left turn would have taken it into a group of other mock-ups that had also been wired with explosives, but weren't scheduled to be destroyed until later. The explosives in the first P-40 were detonated on the spot in order to keep it from destroying the other planes, so the explosion occurred in a location the stunt men weren't prepared for. When it looks like they were running for their lives, they really were. This special effect was filmed with multiple camera so that it could be reused in other shots in the film, as were all the major special effects. See more »
In the opening scene of Washington D.C., the building on the left is the Museum of American History which was not built until around 1959. See more »
I can review this from a different perspective: my father was a Coast Artillery officer in the U. S. Army stationed at Fort Kamehameha, abutting Hickam Field, when the attack took place. He had his family with him, so my mother, my sister, and I also were involved. I was pre-kindergarten at the time, but have a good memory. Naturally, I've read extensively about the attack since.
Speaking personally, the attack in the film sounded real, though our mother kept me and my sister inside for much of the attack (we had to go outside to get evacuated from our quarters).
But that aside: the film mirrors historic events closely. However, (possibly a minor spoiler or two follow) there were some little points that had been added for the audience's sake.
The MAGIC machine, which was breaking the Japanese PURPLE cipher, did not have to be explained to either officer, but one did, so the audience would get the drift of what was happening. (The actual machine was the greatest cryptological feat of World War II, greater than Enigma, because it was developed from scratch by Frank Rowlett under the direction of William Friedmann.) The film was based in large part from the books of Professor Gordon W. Prenge, an historian who specialized in Pearl Harbor. Prenge interviewed many of the principals in the action, on both sides, and became friends with several.
This is the best film on Pearl Harbor. I got tapes for my mother and sister, both of whom shared my reaction to it.
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