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The Battle of Midway (1942)

The Japanese attack on Midway in June 1942, filmed as it happened.

Director:

John Ford (as Lt. Cmdr. John Ford U.S.N.R.)
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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A look at America's infamous attack against the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Henry Fonda ... Narrator (voice)
Jane Darwell ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Logan Ramsey Logan Ramsey ... Himself
James Roosevelt James Roosevelt ... Himself - US Army Major (as Major Roosevelt)
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Storyline

On June 4-6, 1942, a large Japanese force attempted to capture Midway Island in the North Pacific, but was defeated by U.S. forces with a loss ratio of 4:1 in favor of the Americans. On hand was a crew of naval photographers directed by John Ford; their documentary footage was edited together with narration by Hollywood actors. The film covers the attack on Midway, some limited aerial footage, the search for survivors, and aftermath of the battle. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Short | War

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Batalha de Midway See more »

Filming Locations:

Midway Islands

Company Credits

Production Co:

United States Navy See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The few places where the film jumps its sprockets and goes out of frame were caused by the concussion of exploding bombs or shrapnel hitting the camera. Those scenes were left in by director Ford to demonstrate the intensity of the battle. See more »

Quotes

Main Narrator: Midway Island. Not much land right enough, but it's our outpost. Your front yard.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The American West of John Ford (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Army Air Corps Song
(1939) (uncredited0
("Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder")
(also called "The Army Air Force" (1939))
Written by Captain Robert Crawford
Played in the score
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User Reviews

 
Not as effective now as in 1942
29 March 2018 | by grantssSee all my reviews

A documentary short, directed by John Ford. Covers the Battle of Midway, one of the most decisive battles of WW2. Taking place near the island of Midway in the central Pacific in June 1942, the battle turned the tide of the Pacific Theatre. Ford uses actual footage from the battle and the aftermath, with narration by Henry Fonda.

During WW2 the US used its mighty film industry to its advantage, producing high-quality news reels. documentaries and propaganda films. For this they enlisted some of the foremost directors of the age: Frank Capra, William Wyler, John Huston, John Sturges and John Ford, among others. Here, John Ford (or should I say, Lt. Commander John Ford, USNR) does his bit.

He does fairly well, capturing some great footage of the battle. It is more the editing and over-the-top, hammy added-on dialogue that weaken the film, and only when viewed with a 21st century lens. Propaganda films never have the same impact when viewed outside of wartime.

The movie went on to win the Best Documentary Oscar in 1943.


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