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

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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:

A Comedy Spectacular! 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  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed 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 advance teaser trailer, with John Belushi as "Wild" Wayne Kelso, was an original production in its own part. Directed by John Milius with an original score by John Williams and featuring thematic materials that differed from the score of the actual motion picture. The score for the advance teaser is featured on the LaLaLand Records 1941 extended score two CD set. 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, ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

During the closing credits shooting explosions are seen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Master Ninja I (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Daddy
Music and Lyrics by Bobby Troup (uncredited)
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Worth watching at least once.
19 March 2005 | by (York, PA) – 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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