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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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727 ( 219)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 48 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:

December 7, 1941 - A day that shall live in infamy See more »

Genres:

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:

 »
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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

On his DVD commentary, Michael Bay argues that the heavily criticized first part of the film was very much designed to show the innocence and blasé attitude of Americans to the possibility of becoming embroiled in the "European war". He says that the reason this part of the film is so colorful and mirthful is because that's exactly what things were like back then - there was very much a sense of being untouchable, something which he says was emphasized time and again by the survivors to whom he spoke. Bay claims that many survivors say he got the pre-Pearl Harbor atmosphere perfect. See more »

Goofs

When the camera follows a torpedo from it is being dropped by a plane through the surface of the water, the wooden fins remain in place. In reality these wooden fins were loosely attached and meant to fall off in order to level the torpedo off at a shallower depth than normal, so that they could be used in the harbor. See more »

Quotes

Evelyn: Every night I watch the sunset and soak up every last ray of its warmth, and send it from my heart to yours.
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 »

Connections

Spoofed in The Critic: Episode #1.10 See more »

Soundtracks

Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol Me)
Written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer
Performed by Woody Herman
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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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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Message Boards

Recent Posts
How did Rafe and Evelyn get out of the service? TheAcadian
The Japanese may as well have been the aliens from Independance Day... vote_the_ficus-465-316359
it is not a war movie.. It is a love story.. nordebring
Am I the only one who didn't hate this movie? rwkrok
So nobody smoked in the war? acplc
Worst war movie ever? Or worst movie ever? dmgreer
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