This dramatic retelling of the Pearl Harbor attack details everything in the days that led up to that tragic moment in American history. As United States and Japanese relations strain over the U.S. embargo of raw materials, Air Staff Officer Minoru Genda (Tatsuya Mihashi) plans the preemptive strike against the United States. Although American intelligence agencies intercept Japanese communications hinting at the attack, they are unwilling to believe such a strike could ever occur on U.S. soil.Written by
The two pilots named by Admiral William F. Halsey during the target practice scene, Dickinson and Anderson, were both real members of bombing squadrons aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise in December 1941. LT Dickinson was one of the Enterprise's SBD Dauntless pilots shot down during the Pearl Harbor attack when their flight ran into the attack on their way to land at Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor. During the attack, Dickinson's rear-gunner William Miller shot down a Japanese aircraft; this is considered one of, if not the first, Japanese aircraft shot down by U.S. Navy aircraft; however, Miller ultimately did not survive the battle. Surviving that incident, Dickinson would go on to help sink the Japanese submarine I-70 on December 10, 1941; the first enemy ship sunk by the U.S. Navy after the Pearl Harbor attack. Dickinson survived the War and retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral. See more »
The full-scale replica of USS Nevada has too many 14-inch guns. The USS Nevada and USS Oklahoma had 10 14-inch guns (2 3-gun turrets and 2 2-gun turrets, with one of each type fore and aft). The full-scale Nevada has 12 14-inch guns, as found later on the USS Arizona and USS Pennsylvania. The miniature models of Nevada and Oklahoma used in the Battleship Row sequences have the correct number and layout of 14-inch guns. See more »
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto:
Finally, gentlemen... many misinformed Japanese believe that America is a nation divided... isolationist... and that Americans are only interested in enjoying a life of luxury, and are spiritually and morally corrupt. But that is a great mistake. If war becomes inevitable, America would be the most formidable foe that we have ever fought. I've lived in Washington and studied at Harvard, so I know that the Americans are a proud and just people.
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The 20th Century Fox logo does not appear on this film. See more »
The original release included a line by Admiral Halsey (James Whitmore) saying that after the war, Japanese will only be spoken in Hell. This line is removed from later releases. See more »
Music by Kiyoshi Nobutoki
Played by Japanese band on IJN warship See more »
As a Professor of History...
It never ceases to amaze me that people know as little as they do about their nation's past, even when Hollywood mostly propagates myths.
"Tora" does not mean "kill" in Japanese. It means "Tiger" (Prange, Gordon W.,"At Dawn We Slept", New York: Putnam, 1981.)
This movie was one of the better dramatizations of the Pearl Harbor debacle, focusing more on the miscommunications and errors in judgment shown by the military leadership in Hawaii. Also covered is the pure luck the Japanese First Air Fleet had. Left out, mostly because it had not yet become publicly available, was the information that the White House, the State Department, and the upper echelons of the military kept from Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short. Both of these men were made scapegoats for failing to protect their commands from attack, while being deprived of the information they really needed to do so. (Stinnett, Robert B. "Day of Deceit", New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.)
Still, this is a vastly better movie than the recent farce made by Michael Bay. It was no more an accurate portrayal of Pearl Harbor than Ghostbusters was factual.
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