"Docudrama" about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and its results, the recovering of the ships, the improving of defense in Hawaii and the US efforts to beat back the Japanese reinforcements.
This documentary training film for agents of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was intended to show agents-in-training the techniques and obstacles involved in undercover work in ... See full summary »
In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, director Gregg Toland is tasked by producer John Ford, both now serving in the navy, to film a documentary about that infamous day. What Toland provided was an 82 minute documentary that featured not only the attack but focused heavily on the local Japanese population's supposedly large role as spies providing information to the homeland. Ford took over the direction of the film and the military eventually released a 34 minute version focusing on the attack. The longer version features Uncle Sam telling the audience how naive America was before Pearl Harbor with recreations of Japanese people collecting information in preparation for the attack.Written by
Other reasons this film was cut to 32 minutes was that it asked embarrassing questions about the military's preparedness - the lack of long-range reconnaissance flights and air patrols, for instance, which were considered damaging to the moral of the country, and it had a segment dealing with the Japanese-American population in Hawaii and how they responded to and were affected by the attack - at a time when Japanese-Americans were being evacuated and interred on the west coast of the USA. See more »
Showing the events of the Sunday morning attack, the priest at Mass (at Kaneohe, I believe) announces incorrectly that it is the 1st Sunday of Advent. Actually it was the 2nd Sunday of Advent. See more »
The War and Navy Departments, producers of the movie, are credited orally by a narrator. See more »
Special 50th anniversary edition on video released in 1991 is restored to 82 minute length with subtitles added to Japanese language sequences and a descriptive prologue added. The 1943 version was a completely censored 34 minute version with the full version being banned by the US government for being damaging to morale. See more »
United Nations on the March
Music by Dmitri Shostakovitch
Lyrics by Harold Rome & E.Y. Harburg
Played when the flags of the allies are displayed at the end See more »
Chances to see history like this only come once.
After America entered World War II at the close of 1941, Hollywood directors were "drafted" into making short films for the war effort. These directors included Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston, and the most poetic, sentimental of Hollywood directors at the time- John Ford. Ford made this short film. Part of it is a political cartoon come to life. Uncle Sam (Walter Huston) is on vacation in Hawaii. It's not yet December 7th, 1941. He doesn't have a care in the world, other than his conscious (played with delicate humor by the great Harry Davenport!) reminding him of possible trouble brewing. The film also serves as a neat documentary about life in Hawaii before the war, and offers a peek into the heavy Japanese-American population at the time. Look for Dana Andrews in a ghostly bit part. History books just have the dates and places of historic occurrences. This seldom seen classic shows the mindset!
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