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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>
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto most likely did not utter his famous quote about having "roused a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve" - it seems to be a post-war invention based on Yamamoto's actual beliefs on the likely outcome of war with the United States and his affinity for the US in general. It appears to be a more dramatic re-write of a letter he sent a month after the attack, in which he wrote: "A military man can scarcely pride himself on having 'smitten a sleeping enemy'; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack." By contrast, his warning earlier in the film about attacking the USA that begins with "If I am told to fight ... I shall run wild for the first six months..." is largely accurate. See more »
When all the Japanese planes launch from their carriers on the morning of the attack, there is a shot from a plane looking down at one of the carriers. The carrier is obviously a US Essex-class carrier with an angled landing deck modification. The angled landing deck didn't begin to appear on carriers until the mid 1950s. See more »
In all my fifty years of public service, I have never seen a document so crowded with infamous falsehoods and distortions, on a scale so huge that I never imagined until today that any government on this planet was capable of uttering them.
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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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