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Tora! Tora! Tora!
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Reviews & Ratings for
Tora! Tora! Tora! More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent depiction

Author: Jerry Smith from USA
7 June 2002

Tora! Tora! Tora! is the true depiction of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, with no love story crap like the other Pearl Harbor. It actually focuses on both the Japanese' side attack and how they planned it out to the American's side of things and how we recovered. That is how it really happened. Miss Pearl Harbor (2001) and go see this.

Overall the movie is an excellent depiction and I highly recommend it. Rating 10 out of 10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Looks better now than 32 years ago.

Author: narmer71 from USA
6 May 2002

I paid to see this film in the theater in 1970 and was very disappointed. However, it actually looks good in comparison to last summer's Pearl Harbor. The movie is a docu-drama of the events and personalities leading up to the attack on December 7, 1941. The one historical element left out of the movie is the Japanese spy system that identified the targets. This attack was probably the most pivotal event in the twentieth century. I believe that the movie suffered from too many characters and too much attention to accuracy in detail. The film was released at a time when no war movie had a chance of success, the height of the Vietnam War.

Of the movies made about Pearl Harbor this is the best with the possible exception of John Ford's 30 minute version released in 1942.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent docu-drama

Author: richardjf from New Zealand
11 April 2002

This is an excellent docu-drama showing the build up to the attack at Pearl Harbour from both American and Japanese sides. The attack itself is an amazing achievement - so realistic and totally deserving an Academy Award, especially in the days before computer generated effects. I sometimes watch this movie just to try and work out how they achieved their special effects.

I found the events before the attack very tense and suspenseful. American military intelligence had cracked Japanese radio codes, and they were aware something was about to happen but didn't know where or when. They also had to convince their superiors of their suspicions.

Surprisingly, this movie didn't do well when first released, and I often wonder why. I wonder if the docu-drama format, and lack of personal story-type snippets (like they used in "The Longest Day") makes this movie a little dry for people who don't have an interest in what happened at Pearl Harbour or military history. I'm not sure, and this is just my speculation.

Anyway, this movie is one of my personal favourites.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This was how they used to make them.....

Author: The Ebullient One from Terra
8 April 2002

Some people have said, and with some justification, that Tora! Tora! Tora! is three parts boring history and one part action movie. If the movie's only goal was to be a drama about the attack on Pearl Harbor then maybe they would be right, but this is primarily a documentary. We see all the mistakes, from the seemed a good idea at the time to the truly monumental, that led up to the attack. Reality doesn't conveniently fit our notions of plot and drama, but does let us see why events happened as they did.

Matters aren't perfect, as I've heard the Japanese bombers were attacking from about 10,000 feet, not off the deck as portrayed, and some of the ship scenes are obviously models, but considering the film's effort to be factual it can be given a little leeway.

Some scenes stick forever in my mind, such as Yamamoto's words at the end about what the attack may have accomplished, and somberly walking out on the deck of his massive battleship, knowing it will all be swept away in the battles to come. That last scene was more powerful than all the action sequences before it, and I think playing Yamamoto was one of Toshiro Mifune's best roles.

This is also a film that probably couldn't be made today, for two reasons. First is there simply aren't enough serviceable World War Two era aircraft to make the flying squadrons coming in for the attack. (Yes, I know the Japanese planes were built from American trainers--but those trainers dated from about the same time period.) Today, as with the awful Pearl Harbor movie last summer, everything would be CGI effects. But no matter how good the special effects are they can't really catch the feel of a real airplane doing the same thing. It's amazing they were able to do this as late as 1970, and the closest movie I can think of for a similar effect of real aircraft flying in the scenes is "The Blue Max."

Secondly is the film makers of the time could make a historical movie and simply tell the story. Today it seems the set designs are perfect and the special effects get louder and more explosive, but the key elements are warped. Too often we get characters and plot points changed to fit conventional standards of political correctness or exaggerated ideas of how people were supposed to act and behave. It's a real shame as movies like Tora are few and far between. The only thing that could have made this one better is if Akira Kurosawa would have been able to direct the Japanese segments. As it is I rank Tora up with one of the top five war movies.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I remember reading about this production as it was filmed

Author: shadowreviewer
16 March 2002

There was trouble with the japanese unit while filming. FOX let go the original director and made several casting choices yet i remember reading as this was being filmed, about some of the studio problems. the hjapanese film units shot fine footage and theirs was a great part in making this film unique from all other PERAL HARBOR films. Yet, unheard of is the behind the scenes problems making the movie. TORA TORA TORA was a lasting achievement for american Fleischer and the two studios and 4 directors who brought it to life. Of note are two japanese directors who filmed the japanese footage.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: fugu_286 from USA
7 February 2002

I just saw this one the other day. It was the first time since I was a kid and let me say once again, woah...Ok, back to the review.

In my opinion, last year's multi-million dollar explosion-fest did not adequately document the build-up, the anticipation, the monumental screw-ups (on both sides), the desperate diplomacy and finally the catalysmic events that defined December 7, 1941. If you want to see the Bruckheimer/Bey version (reimagining?) of what happened, go rent "Pearl Harbor". they've even thrown in a love triangle, for the benefit of those guys who love big explosions, but who's dates might not. You can see FDR pull himself up from his wheelchair, American pilots in the RAF, a highly imaginative account of Doolittle's raid on Tokyo...

OK now, if you want to see what REALLY happened, or at least get some idea, rent Tora! Tora! Tora! It is the only film that attempts to objectively show both sides of the story, from the American and Japanese points of view. There is no "evil music" playing when the Japanese appear on screen. And remarkably, they only speak Japanese, which is translated with sub-titles. Actually, this is a very meticulous account of what happened on that fateful day. If you don't like documentary type films, go see "Pearl Harbor." It's all here, from the band playing moments before the first Japanese wave struck, to the dramatic sinking of the Arizona. The climax of this film is the attack on Pearl Harbor but what really makes this effort shine is how the preceding events are portrayed. You can see the conflict between Japanese "hawks", who want to go to war, and "doves", who still seek a peaceful resolution. The film makers also did not feel the need to detract from the significance of the event (as Bey did) by ending the film on a jingoistic note by skipping 6 ahead to when Doolittle and company raided Tokyo. In doing so, Bey ignores several significant events related to the war (the capture of the Philippines, etc.) in order to give the film a "Hollywood" ending. Be forewarned, Tora! Tora! Tora! does not tell you what happened after Pearl Harbor. We are left with the words of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto: "I fear we have aroused a sleeping giant, and stirred within it, a terrible resolve."

For the benefit of those who slept through history class, we won the war.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: us007ed from Columbia Heights, MN
7 February 2002

I saw this movie last night for the first time in 20 years. The last time I saw it, I was about 10. This is a great movie that tells both sides of the story of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Far better than any recent re-makes of this historic event. The movie keeps the viewer interested, bouncing back and forth between the Japanese and American sides leading up to the conflict. The attack footage was excellent! I was surprised at the intensity. If you are interested in movies that portray history with a dramatic flare -- this movie is one you can't miss!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Historically Excellent!

Author: pattersonsmith
10 June 2001

You will learn a lot about the attack of Pearl Harbor from this movie. I love that they tell the story from both sides, it helps give more insight. However, most of the acting is very poor. There are so many cameos and the actors really ham up there 30 seconds of screen time. Even with this serious flaw, it is well worth watching.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Watching PEARL HARBOR makes me appreciate this gem all the more!

Author: davidemartin ( from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
26 May 2001

I cannot add any finer comments and praise than are already listed here. TORA! TORA! TORA! remains one of the finest examples of the docudrama format, a meticulous and exact retelling that could serve as a history class' supplemental material.

Would that the people behind PEARL HARBOR have been so careful. Watching my video of TTT, I marvelled at how well the film has stood up over 31 years. PH, on the other hand, will be an unwatchable embaresment next year.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

No melodrama here.

Author: hifarers from Brunei
24 May 2001

Very detailed movie of the buildup to the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. The film does not take sides or wave the flag of either country. Instead it just tells a story of mistakes and opportunities. The movie conveys all the actions from the top brass to the lower ranks with ease. Another similar movie to this is "The Longest Day". One criticism is that the American actors seemed so staid compared to their Japanese counterparts.

An interesting historical movie with no melodrama attached.

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