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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:

A True Gem

9/10
Author: benfield-larry09 from Charlotte NC
8 April 2013

This film accurately depicts the lead up to and attack on Pearl Harbor. The scale of the sets and intensity of the battle sequence stands well the test of time. Although the 2001 film Pearl Harbor had better visual effects the accuracy of Tora Tora Tora has no equal. The presentation of both sides of the battle adds to the depth of this film, allowing us to see both the Japanese motivations for the attack and American confidence that Pearl Harbor was beyond Japan's reach. Unlike many historical dramas that mix fictional characters into an actual event, this movie presents only real life persons giving a almost documentary feel within the film itself. Anyone who enjoys the World War II era will enjoy this film. It can be watched with younger audiences as well since the level of violence does not depict the level gore associated with many war films such as Saving Private Ryan, and Full Metal Jacket.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Definitive retelling of the Pearl Harbor attack

7/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
25 November 2012

A great, epic-feeling film which carefully traces the build up to one of the most famous events in the history of war: the surprise attack by the Japanese on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Forget PEARL HARBOR, TORA! TORA! TORA! is the real deal, a definitive retelling which makes all other versions of the story completely obsolete.

Be warned: this is a real slow-burner of a film, with lots of politics and bureaucracy and stuffy guys in suits chatting together in rooms. It's worth persevering with, though, because the pay-off, when it happens in the final hour, is well worth the wait. You can see why this film was so expensive to make, because much of the attack is done for real, with real planes throughout and real stuff blowing up. Even the use of miniatures is unobtrusive when it does happen.

To be fair, the cast don't have a great deal to work with: it's one of those ensemble productions where there are a few too many characters and none of them have time to make much of an impact. So if you're a fan of Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten et al, don't go into this expecting to see much of their work. In fact, the Japanese actors feel like they're the ones giving more naturalistic performances throughout as they get a chance to be more emotive.

I especially like the way that the film slowly reveals a catalogue of errors on the part of the Americans, as the viewer gradually becomes aware that the attack wouldn't have been quite so unexpected had earlier signs and warnings been heeded. Altogether it's a great movie, one that rewards close attention with a fantastic pay-off.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

At Dawn We slept

8/10
Author: dudedad from United States
11 March 2007

This movie has many great strengths. The photography and music are great, and the battle scenes are authentic. The fact that both sides cooperated in his making give it total historical accuracy. It does not take the truth and corrupt it , as the overblown Pearl Harbor does, inventing a romance and inflating the Dorie Miller story so that Cuba Gooding Jr. could have more to do. The actors look like military people, not like the ones in Pearl Harbor who probably never served, unlike Jason Robards, who plays Gen. Short and was a actually a Pearl Harbor survivor, and Neville Brand, who plays Lt. Kennedy, and was a highly decorated WW 2 combat soldier.

The build-up to the attack is long, what might say too long, and absolutely accurate, but it does slow down the movie. Unlike Pearl Harbor the movie which focused on three main characters, Tora, Tora, Tora gives a bigger canvas but does not leave us with any memorable performances. So in many ways, its strengths could be also classified as weaknesses. If you want to see one movie to show you what the attack was like from both sides and from the planning to the culmination, this is your movie, however.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Best & Most Accurate Portrayal of Events As They Happened

9/10
Author: getyourdander from United States
7 December 2006

This is a fine film on many levels. First, the script tried very hard to go after historical accuracy. On every known level they succeeded. The film was produced with 2 separate units, one which showed the Japanese side, & the other the American Side.

Besides this is a third side- the diplomatic side. While this side might drag for you action viewers, it accurately portrays the political intrigue going on with Japan leading up to the attack. This is not an easy side to show & there are those who think FDR ignored warning signs deliberately. When you watch this portion, you realize that even FDR is not that smart.

The film does not waste it's time putting in any fake story, & actually creates some more interesting stories from the true accounts of the time leading up to the attack. While the special effects are 1970 vintage, the attack sequences are well done. So well in fact that stock footage from this film is also used in MIDWAY & some other films made later.

A veteran cast of actors is solid in performances of real, well known historic characters. Some unknown actors do very well in supporting roles. The Japanese cast is outstanding.

In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, this is the film to watch. It was a very popular film in Japan because it ends with them on top after the attack. Their audiences do not comprehend the terrible diplomatic mistake they made even today.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Still the best about Pearl Harbor

8/10
Author: fastball1740 from Florida
12 July 2004

While the acting was far from Oscar worthy and the plot slow at times Tora! Tora! Tora! remains the best account on film concerning the tragic events that occurred at Pearl Harbor.

The movie's strengths lie in its accuracy and use of real events. For example it uses Yamamoto's actual line about awaking a sleeping giant instead inserting some fancy overly dramatic phrase. Furthermore, the film is not judgemental about its characters and lets the viewer come to his or her own conclusion as to whom the blame should fall.

For the time the film was made the special effects were good and the story was one that could not be forgotten. Other accounts still pale in comparison and that is the final measure for me.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic special effects for 1970 !

Author: Joel Pettegrew from Richmond, Texas USA
25 March 2004

I couldn't find many mistakes in aircraft types, appearances, etc. as there was in MIDWAY, another favorite of mine. My BIG question is] "how did they make all those special and true-to-fact effects without the computer assistance available today?" The entire film was as if I was there without all the "hollywood fake stuff" you see in Pearl Harbor. What a Classic ! I've seen it maybe 10 times and still enjoy it.

I would LOVE to find a film documentary on "How we filmed "Tora! Tora! Tora!" Anybody know of any such thing?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

great battle

Author: alizaire74 from Las Vegas, NV
6 March 2004

I caught the last hour on tv, and I was very impressed with T3. The widescreen panoramas would be quite something to see on the big screen.

Others can critique the historical acuracies, but I thought it was appropriate to hear Japanese instead of English, which I gather was a studio anomaly at the time of release.

Mostly, though, I'll point out that the special effects were FANTASTIC! Several sequences of planes getting destroyed as they attempted takeoff were amazingly real and suspenseful. I can't fathom how these scenes were created 30 years ago.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Lame acting, but phenomenal special effects

Author: Ajhalllpn from Lewiston, ME
5 March 2004

In spite of employing some of the best actors in Hollywood, much of the acting in this movie is so bad it hurts to watch. Fifth-graders doing their first play in front of an audience could do better than some of the performances in this movie. That said, the special effects save the movie. It remains a powerful film, one that is historically accurate, while packing an emotional punch that cannot be denied.

I can watch this movie almost 35 years after it was made and marvel at some of the effects. How did they DO some of those things? Some of the scenes of planes blowing up are so detailed that you really wonder if the producers didn't have some hidden stash of aircraft at a secret airfield. And the scenes of the Japanese planes taking off from the carriers....I simply don't know how they did it, but it looked as real as anything I can imagine (and I served 3 years on an aircraft carrier!) The special effects of "Pearl Harbor" (a much weaker, sappier movie) were no better.

The movie itself is balanced and accurate in its portrayal of the event. The temptation to slide into the "coulda, shoulda, woulda" mode must have been almost irresistible, and at times it comes close to doing just that. But in the end, it's probably the best "big picture" war movie going. With some tighter directing, it could easily have been one of the best war movies of all-time, period.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beats The Heck Out of Pearl Harbor(2001)

Author: Sean_Katakuri from Liverpool, NewYork
15 December 2003

I saw this movie on TV and i gotta say that it was very well done. Even though its over thirty years old, I though it was a good movie.It was better than Pearl Harbor. That movie was just another History-Love film. Just like the Titanic and that why it failed at the box office. I really liked the Battle scence in this film. I just wanted to say if you need to teach your kids about The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, show them Tora! Tora! Tora... forget Pearl Harbor (2001).....its a romance, not a history film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Plain and simple

9/10
Author: dodgerdude100953
17 December 2002

I'll just keep this one plain and simple, THIS MOVIE KICKS THE CRAP OUT OF PEARL HARBOR!!! I love this movie, It has a great script for the time that it was written, It is an all around good movie.

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