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Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, History | 25 May 2001 (USA)
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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 & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Nurses Are Needed Now! To Have and to Hold![WWII Retro Poster] See more »


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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tennessee  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was completed in 109 days, one day over schedule. Over the course of the shoot, 3906 set-ups were filmed - around 39 setups a day. Over 300 hours of material was shot, and there were over 3000 crew-members in total. See more »

Goofs

A sailor betting on Dorie Miller's boxing match has a $5 bill with the "Hawaii" overprint on it. Although series 1934 and 1934-A notes were printed with the "Hawaii" overprint, these notes were not issued until July 1942, seven months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. See more »

Quotes

Rafe: [in a letter to Evelyn] It's not easy making friends here. Two days ago I had a beer with a couple of the RAF pilots. Yesterday both of them got killed.
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 »


Soundtracks

Bunk Bed Blues
Written by Bruce Fowler (as Bruce L. Fowler)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sappy love story, inaccurate history -- In short, *avoid*
29 July 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I heard about this film while it was in production. I heard about how they were going to go out of their way to get all the right aircraft to film so things would look right. I heard how they wanted everything to look as authentic as possible. I heard that the movie would somehow encompass the Battle of Britain, Pearl Harbor, and the Doolittle Raid (??? - an early warning sign). I heard that they were going to stage the premiere on an aircraft carrier moored in Pearl Harbor, for an audience of Second World War veterans. They even managed to get one of the veterans attending the premiere to say complimentary things about the movie. I knew that special effects technology had advanced enormously since 1970, allowing the filming of things that would have been impossible in the previous big-budget movie about Pearl Harbor, Tora Tora Tora.

So I thought "Given all this, how bad can it be?".

The answer, unfortunately, is AWFUL. This may not be Hollywood at its worst, but it's pretty close.

I don't know the origin of the phrase "Titanic with bombs" for describing this film, but it's pretty apt. One difference is that Bay and Bruckheimer together don't add up to James Cameron. Both films feature trite, sappy, predictable love stories (with every chestnut in the Hollywood Cliché guide clearly in evidence) layered over a real-life, tragic event. However, although I don't particularly like Titanic, I have some respect for Cameron's success in reproducing the appearance of the RMS Titanic and the events of the Titanic sinking on screen. I am prepared to watch Titanic (while fast-forwarding over the love story bits) just to see the history parts.

Pearl Harbor fails this test. The portion of the film featuring the attack on Pearl Harbor comes off like a video game -- Lots of sound and fury, but no realism whatsoever. The problem here is that this is not only a real event, but an event of pivotal importance in the history of the United States. Worse yet, the event is still within living memory. How will we feel in 2061, when a director decides to make a movie about September 11, 2001, and casually re-arranges the events of that day to make the resulting film "more entertaining/more commercial/more appealing to mass audiences"? Do you feel sick even contemplating that possibility? That's how I suspect that veterans of the actual attack on Pearl Harbor feel about this movie. The late Brigadier General Kenneth Taylor, one of the pilots who did in real life what Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett portray on screen described the film as "a piece of trash...over-sensationalized and distorted."

Watch Tora Tora Tora instead. It's not perfect, but it's a pretty accurate telling of what really happened at Pearl Harbor. (Tellingly, Tora, Tora, Tora used veterans like General Taylor as advisers to make sure that they got most of the details right). A newer film with improved special effects is not necessarily a better film.


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