5.9/10
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226 user 60 critic

1941 (1979)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
4,494 ( 890)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cmdr. Akiro Mitamura (as Toshiro Mifune)
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Gas Mama (Eloise) (as Lucille Bensen)
Jordan Brian ...
Macey Douglas
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

As They Roared Into Battle, Only One Thing Was Missing...The Enemy! See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

14 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Night the Japs Attacked  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,701,898, 16 December 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,755,742

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,455,742, 31 December 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)| (Todd-AO)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first advance trailer centered on John Belushi's character, who was identified as "Wild Wayne Kelso". When the movie was shot, the character's name was changed to "Wild Bill Kelso". See more »

Goofs

"Wild Bill" Kelso's leather jacket has patches on the right front pocket indicating that he has shot down three German and three Japanese planes. Given that the war had only been declared a few days before the time when the movie was set, it would not have been possible for him to go into combat against both the Germans and the Japanese in that period of time. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby Mine
(uncredited)
Music by Frank Churchill
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Performed by Betty Noyes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Worth watching at least once.
19 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

1941 is a unique movie. 1 part of it is animal house-esque lowbrow humor, 1 part is B-movie love story, and 1 part stoic war movie, and 2 parts insane hilarity.

It is a weird mix to say the least.

First, the problems: 1. The first half of the movie is slow. It grinds on making you wonder why you're watching this movie.

2. The "Love story" subplot is poorly executed for what this movie is trying to do.

3. many of the actors are not used to their fullest potential (especially Dan Akroyd and John Candy) while others receive excessive screen time. (see: The slow moving love story sub-plot) But then there are the good aspects: 1. John Belushi is hilarious. He would have been funnier had he interacted with more characters rather than appearing in many solo shots, but he was funny.

2. The "Epic Battle" was great. It had me laughing as my sides hurt.

3. Slim Pickens: His appearance in the movie was truly where the movie stopped being slow, and the fun really started. He was great in his scenes and between the dialogue and his visual scenes, you can't help but laugh.

There's more, but in short, if you don't mind sitting through a slow build up, the payoff is worth the wait.

It's not the best movie ever, but in the barren entertainment landscape that is Weekend Television: Finding this movie can be like an oasis in the desert. It's solid Saturday afternoon fun.


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