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1941 (1979)

PG  |   |  Action, Comedy, War  |  14 December 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 23,775 users  
Reviews: 212 user | 52 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: 1941 (1979)

1941 (1979) on IMDb 5.9/10

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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Comedy Spectacular! 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
See  »

Did You Know?


The names of David L. Lander' and Michael McKean's characters, Willie and Joe, are a nod to cartoonist and WWII veteran Bill Mauldin's creations for the Army newspaper, "Stars and Stripes". Mauldin's Willie and Joe represented average American GIs, their viewpoints, and their daily lives outside of combat. See more »


When Ned Beatty crashes the cannon into the house, to get a better shot at the Japanese submarine, Bing Crosby can be heard singing, "I'll be Home for Christmas", which was recorded October 4, 1943. 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 »


Referenced in The Adventures of Tintin (2011) See more »


In the Mood
Written by Wingy Manone, Andy Razaf and Joe Garland
Performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

best comedy i've seen in a long time
18 January 2003 | by (near SF, California) – See all my reviews

I'll keep this short; read msa0510's review for a more in-depth review. The best part in this movie is Slim Pickens. Just thinking about his scenes makes me start laughing again.

It was nice having the "Making of 1941" on the dvd and seeing the remarks by Spielberg; I knew this movie had been panned by the critics but I hadn't known that it was popular in Europe. I can't understand why we Americans don't find it funny; it's hysterically funny to me.

It's a perfect 10 in my book; so few comedies these days are so over-the-top funny as this movie is.

42 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What is it you hate about 1941 stepstonefilms
Sorry, but I really like this movie! KatrinaW
The word 'Jap' Jonhny
Couldn't buy a laugh parillamilt
Something wrong here. VonRyan71
Fave characters? Least favorite? nancydrewadventure
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