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1941 (1979)

PG  |   |  Action, Comedy, War  |  14 December 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 24,046 users  
Reviews: 212 user | 53 critic

Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ward Douglas
Joan Douglas
Claude Crumn
Capt. Wolfgang von Kleinschmidt
Cmdr. Akiro Mitamura (as Toshiro Mifune)
Cpl. Chuck 'Stretch' Sitarski
Lucille Benson ...
Gas Mama (Eloise) (as Lucille Bensen)
Jordan Brian ...
Macey Douglas


Hysteria grips California in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. An assorted group of defenders attempt to make the coast defensible against an imagined Japanese invasion, in this big budget, big cast comedy. Members of a Japanese submarine crew scout out the madness, along with a Captain in Germany's Kreigsmarine (Navy). Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Paranoia meets pandemonium. See more »


Action | Comedy | War


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

14 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Night the Japs Attacked  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 5,051,675 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


All told, seven directors were involved in some manner in making this movie: Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale wrote the film, John Milius helped with production of the film, and Steven Spielberg directed it. The other director involved was Brian De Palma. According to Millius in the DVD 'making of' documentary, DePalma contributed the gag of the Japanese asking Slim Pickens "Where's Hollywood?" to which Pickens, whose character name is Hollis "Holly" Wood would answer "I'm here." as a play on Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first?" routine. In addition, Samuel Fuller and John Landis have cameo roles. See more »


When Captain Birkhead and Donna get out of the car, Donna is handcuffed to an MP. Their handcuffs disappear a few minutes later, when the house collapses. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: On December 7, 1941, the Naval Air Arm of the Imperial Japanese Fleet, in a surprise attack, struck the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and hurtled an unsuspecting America into World War II.
Title Card: American citizens were stunned, shocked and outraged at this treacherous attack. On the West Coast, paranoia gripped the entire population as panic-stricken citizens were convinced that California was the next target of the Imperial Japanese Forces.
Title Card: Major General Joseph W. Stilwell, ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

End credits feature scenes showing cast members screaming. See more »


References Dumbo (1941) See more »


Swing, Swing, Swing
Music by Johnny Mandel
Musician: clarinet solo Abe Most
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

What do the critics know?
8 November 2002 | by (Tuscola, IL) – See all my reviews

Those who can't find humor in "1941" need to loosen up. This is one of the few movies I have ever purchased for my own personal collection. The Ferris wheel scene alone is an all-time classic. This is the type of picture that is fun to watch after a hard day at work. Open up a beer and enjoy.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
If John Landis done this movie it would´ve been a classic. old-skool101
What is it you hate about 1941 stepstonefilms
Something wrong here. VonRyan71
Sorry, but I really like this movie! KatrinaW
The word 'Jap' Jonhny
Couldn't buy a laugh parillamilt
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