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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 <email@example.com>
In the movie's opening scenes, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto meets his officers aboard a battleship. The ship was a full scale replica, complete from bow to stern, and had even a mock-up floatplane on a catapult. It was built on a beach in Japan, next to the replica of the aircraft-carrier "Akagi." The Akagi set consisted of about two-thirds of the deck and the island area. See more »
A Japanese officer is drilling his men by showing them cards of ship outlines while they shout out the name of the ship. He flashes up a card of an aircraft carrier and one of the men shouts out "Enterprise!" to which the officer says "You idiot! That's your own flagship." In fact, the Japanese flagship was not an aircraft carrier, but the battleship Nagato. See more »
Lt. Colonel Rufus S. Bratton:
[rushing in with a message warning about a possible attack]
Ed, here's a message; I need this typed up immediately!
Colonel Edward F. French:
[in no hurry whatsoever]
[he studies the paper]
Colonel Edward F. French:
Umm... the General's handwriting - hard to read. You're going to have to help me out with this, Rufus.
[looking nervously at French, Bratton takes the paper from French and sits down at a typewriter, rolling paper in as if to begin typing the handwritten message]
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This is one of my favorite war films. What makes it so great is that just like "The Longest Day" this film looks at the events that led up to and during one of the most momentous moments in the history of not only this country, but Japan as well. I also loved the acting in it. Martin Balsam and Jason Robards should have been nominated for their performances as Admiral Kimmel and General Short, respectively. Also, I wonder how much different it would have been if Akira Kurosawa had directed the Japanese scenes as he originally was supposed to. I also wonder if the fact that it dealt with one of the darker chapters in American history had something to to with its poor box office showing on this side of the Pacific (ironically, it was a box office smash in Japan). However, it is still a great film and I especially loved it at the end when Yamamoto made his famous comment "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with terrible resolve." How right he was.
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