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Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 22,335 users  
Reviews: 150 user | 76 critic

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

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 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 most spectacular film ever made. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I epopoiia tou Pearl Harbor  »

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

Of all the time and money spent by Akira Kurosawa, less than one minute of the film he shot is in the final release version. See more »

Goofs

The B-17's used in the movie are F and G models. The B-17s arriving from Hamilton Field, California during the attack were a mix of D and E-models. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Kaminsky: [to Captain John Earle, who demanded confirmation of the attack before doing anything] You wanted confirmation, Captain? Take a look! There's your confirmation!
[Earle, horrified, looks out and sees several ships in flames]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Animaniacs: Guardin' in the Garden/Plane Pals (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star-Spangled Banner
Music based on "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith
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.


61 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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