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Midway (1976)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  18 June 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 12,812 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 19 critic

A dramatization of the battle that became the turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (as Toshiro Mifune)
Admiral Harry Pearson
Christina Kokubo ...
Haruko Sakura
Commander Max Leslie
Biff McGuire ...
Captain Miles Browning


The summer of 1942 brought Naval stalemate to the Pacific as the American and Japanese fleets stood at even numbers each waiting for the other to begin a renewed offensive. "Midway" tells the story of this historic June battle where a Japanese carrier force, in an attempt to occupy Midway island and lure the American fleet to destruction, was meet valiently by US forces operating off of three aircraft carriers and numerous escort ships. It was the first battle in which naval air power was extensivly used, and at its conclusion the Japanese Carrier force had been completly destroyed which lead the way for the US 1943 and 44 offensives which would eventually bring the Pacific War to a close. Written by Anthony Hughes <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A war's defining battle. A nation's defining moment. [DVD Cover] See more »


Action | Drama | History | War


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle of Midway  »

Box Office


SEK 2,046,974 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(archive footage)| (archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Most dogfight sequences come from 1942 newsreels, with considerable cropping due to the need to adapt the image to the Panavision framing. See more »


Several Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters appear in the movie. This type did not see combat until 1943, the year after this movie takes place. See more »


Miss Haruko Sakura: Damn it, I'm an American! What makes us different from German-Americans or Italian-Americans?
Captain Garth: Pearl Harbor... I guess.
See more »


Edited from The Wings of Eagles (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Blast from the past
5 June 1999 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Saturday night TV is a bit of a dead zone down here so I suppose one should be grateful for the odd watchable movie, even if its 20 years old. This one looks older than it actually is, due to the liberal use of stock footage and a cast that's a retirement counsellor's dream. A relatively youthful Charlton Heston is in the lead, but there's Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum, Robert Webber and even the great Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune. A curious aspect is that every military character with a speaking part is an officer; the grunts just get to grunt. It's very much the view from the bridge (and the pilot's seat). Despite this aspect and the attempt at historical realism it's not made clear quite how it was that the Japanese made the error that cost them the battle, getting caught with their flightdecks full just as the American torpedo bombers arrived. The contribution of the American land-based aircraft is also given scant recognition.

Still you do get a bit of a story, though the less said about the silly sub-plot involving the Heston character's son and a Japanese-American girl the better. The director, Jack Smight had extensive T V experience, as did many of the younger actors, and this shows up in the rather static dialogue scenes you get when you aren't allowed to move the cameras much. The Japanese voices are dubbed, so that Paul Free, the voice of Boris Badenov in "Bullwinkle," (and countless other cartoon characters) is Admiral Yamamoto. The music was written by John Williams who a year or so later did the music for "Star Wars" and you can sense the similarities.

In the film the military operations side of things abounds with anacronisms, partly due to the liberal use of stock footage as mentioned. I don't think you can be too hard on the producers (the low profile but financially successful Mirisch Brothers) for not using a real Japanese World War 2 aircraft carrier since they are all at the bottom of the sea, but the crashed jet on the Yorktown's flightdeck was a bit sloppy. "Tora Tora Tora," which cost more money, was a better film. Not because it cost more money but because it was more carefully made, more balanced (both side's story told well) and more honest, perhaps also because it dealt with defeat rather than victory from the American viewpoint. "Midway" has some suspense, plenty of action, and the the patriotism drum is not banged to the point of pain.

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