The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
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
Despite being the sole credited Screenwriter, Randall Wallace claimed that he was not involved with changes made to the script during filming. See more »
After Pearl Harbor, Col Doolittle recruited Rafe and Danny to fly on the Raid on Tokyo. Rafe and Danny are single-engined fighter pilots and would not be qualified to fly multi-engined bombers. While the B-25 Mitchell bomber is an easy plane to fly, the participants would have come from qualified bombardment squadrons. As a matter of historical record, the pilots on the actual raid largely were recruited from the 34th Bombardment Squadron of the 17th Bombardment Group (aka, "The Thunderbirds").
Furthermore, Doolittle implies that the men have been selected due to their being "just about the only pilots with combat experience". This is untrue, and, as aforementioned, would not have been a logical choice; said experience was irrelevant with what the mission entails (Danny & Rafe were land-based fighter pilots dueling with Japanese fighters without needing to bomb anyone; the mission involves multi-engine, bomber aircraft being launched from an aircraft carrier at sea, and who could not maneuver wildly), and the two pilots would have to be extensively retrained to fly multi-engine aircraft anyway. See more »
Hey, you know you're not supposed to be painting titties on the side of my airplanes, and if you do, don't make 'em lop-sided.
They we're lop-sided, Earl.
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Roll up, roll up! See the cinematic spectacle of 2001! See the horrible deaths of 2500 or so people commemorated by a film about two guys who fly fast planes really fast. See them go ZOOOOOOOOM, see them go WHIIIIZZZZ! See them reprise the 'flypast and debriefing' scenes from Top Gun. Watch the beautiful love story unfold. See the true love two people have for one another tested and broken when Kate Beckinsale comes between them.
See a fine young actor reduced to playing Token Black Guy. Watch as he fights to prove he's more than a Token Black Guy, even though he's given so little to do that he ends up as nothing more than a Token Black Guy (even though, unlike the two guys in the planes, Token Black Guy actually existed).
Watch the awful bombing of a military target. Watch the heroic bombing of a city. Watch Jon Voigt recreate Peter Sellars' unforgettable character Dr. Strangelove.
Watch the whole reality of war, and the lives and deaths therein trivialised to make a Big Dumb Action Movie that thinks it's some kind of ghastly tribute to the American dead of December the 7th.
Or better still... don't!
On the other hand, if you want an unrealistic film with ponderously paced romance, fighter planes zooming all over the place and nice explosions, check this out. It's a lot of fun. Just don't take it seriously - you'll only encourage them!
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