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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
YTM-195 is seen in the fire fighting scenes during the battle. This is the USS Yonaguska (YTM-195). It was a harbor tug assigned to the submarine base at the time the film was made. See more »
When the Japanese aircraft are taking off from the carriers to bomb Pearl Harbor, several of the aircraft that would have carried a crew of two or three (representing Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers and Aichi D3A dive bombers) are seen with a pilot and without the other crewmembers (gunner, radio operator, etc) See more »
Lt. Cmdr. Fuchida:
It's the Nevada, she's making a run for the sea. If we sink her in the channel, the harbor will be blocked for months.
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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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