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

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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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:
...
...
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
Edit

Storyline

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The incredible attack on Pearl Harbor. 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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$14,500,000 (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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In three consecutive shots of the Nevada making her run for the sea, you see an overhead shot of her steaming alongside the other Battleships in Battleship Row, then she is seen from a dock steaming alongside the dock (you even see a jeep pull up to the edge of the dock) and then back to the overhead shot alongside the other Battleships again. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Howard the Duck (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star-Spangled Banner
Music based on "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith
[Played on ship by Navy band as zeroes attack.]
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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