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Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Romance  |  25 May 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 236,568 users   Metascore: 44/100
Reviews: 1,987 user | 191 critic | 35 from

Pearl Harbor follows the story of two best friends, Rafe and Danny, and their love lives as they go off to join the war.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Greg Zola ...
Nurse Betty Bayer (as James King)
Nurse Sandra
Joe (as Matt Davis)


Pearl Harbor is a classic tale of romance set during a war that complicates everything. It all starts when childhood friends Rafe and Danny become Army Air Corps pilots and meet Evelyn, a Navy nurse. Rafe falls head over heels and next thing you know Evelyn and Rafe are hooking up. Then Rafe volunteers to go fight in Britain and Evelyn and Danny get transferred to Pearl Harbor. While Rafe is off fighting everything gets completely whack and next thing you know everybody is in the middle of an air raid we now know as "Pearl Harbor." Written by shoppingurl3

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Victory[WWII Retro Poster] See more »


Action | Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sustained intense war sequences, images of wounded, brief sensuality and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

25 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tennessee  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$75,177,654 (USA) (25 May 2001)


$198,539,855 (USA) (30 November 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm print)| | | (8 channels)


(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Before shooting began in Pearl Harbor, a Hawaiian priest blessed the crew - a practice recommended by local custom for film crews shooting in Hawaii. The ceremony took place on the first day of principal photography and lasted over four hours, much to the chagrin of director Michael Bay who had been told it would only take about 15 to 20 minutes. See more »


Gooz doesn't bash the firing pin down on the Type 97 grenade before throwing it. Furthermore, the grenade was known to be weak and certainly wouldn't have had enough blast to send bodies flying. See more »


Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle: There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Unusually, Pearl Harbor started without showing the opening Touchstone and Bruckheimer logos; they only showed up after the end credits. See more »


Referenced in King of the Hill: Returning Japanese (2002) See more »


There You'll Be
Written by Diane Warren
Produced by Trevor Horn and Byron Gallimore
Performed by Faith Hill
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This film should contain a health warning!
11 May 2006 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

There are very few films I've come across which actually make you want to beat yourself senseless with a heavy object. But this is surely one of them. Quite possibly one of the worst films ever made and I can't believe I managed to watch it through to the end! Twice. Once in the cinema and once on TV!

First off let me say that I can understand the need to make a compromise between historical accuracy and the telling of a 'good story'. That assumes of course that you have a good story to tell, rather than this banal boiling-pot of the oldest clichés in the book.

The heights of implausibility which this film manages to attain are just jaw-dropping. Saving Private Ryan managed to interweave an implausible story with historical events while maintaining a semblance of believability. Pearl Harbor just had me swearing obscenities at the screen in frustration!

I can forgive the use of late-model Spitfires in the 'Battle of Britain' sequences. What is less forgivable is the portrayal of the Battle of Britain at all given that it took place in 1940 and not 1941 as depicted here! And it is never quite explained how Ben Afleck manages to get himself released from his duties with the RAF and return to Hawaii - I guess he decided he'd had enough and so handed back his plane and uniform! Isn't that desertion in most people's book?

Some of the special effects during the attack on Pearl Harbor are, admittedly, not bad - despite the appearance of what appear to be quite modern warships in some shots! But the makers seem to think that the more special effects they can get into a single frame of film then the more realistic/impressive it will be! Unfortunately it just ends up looking like an intro-sequence for a Medal of Honor type game. Less is definitely more sometimes!

Talking about effects - what was that all about with the sequences in the hospital during the battle? Did they get a dud batch of film stock that had been exposed to sunlight or something? It's all very well trying to be smart with film effects but sometimes you can end up looking like complete amateurs - which I'm afraid they do here.

As for our intrepid heroes suddenly becoming experienced B-25 pilots - oh pur-lease!! At this point I had my head in my hands and was sobbing uncontrollably. The boys even manage to get involved in hand-to-hand combat, wiping out an entire Japanese platoon in the process. Presumably this was to show that our heroes were capable of going toe-to-toe with the enemy as well as just dropping bombs on them?

Who on earth was this film aimed at? I'm sure the majority of filmgoers are not complete imbeciles but this is exactly who the target audience seems to be. It could be viewed simply as a romantic adventure yarn (although the romantic element is dire) but it seems to want to portray itself as much more than that, which is it's biggest weakness.

If you want to be a heavy-weight historical drama then you just cannot mix in the sort of love-triangle claptrap and implausible plot lines that are in this.

Dreadful. Watch it and cringe.

152 of 295 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Japanese may as well have been the aliens from Independance Day... vote_the_ficus-465-316359
So nobody smoked in the war? acplc
Am I the only one who didn't hate this movie? rwkrok
it is not a war movie.. It is a love story.. nordebring
Worst war movie ever? Or worst movie ever? dmgreer
Is it good war movie ?? almog_520
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