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Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Passed | | Drama, History, War | November 1944 (USA)
In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Dalton Trumbo (screen play), Ted W. Lawson (based on the book) (as Captain Ted W. Lawson) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Johnson ... Ted Lawson
Robert Walker ... David Thatcher
Tim Murdock Tim Murdock ... Dean Davenport
Don DeFore ... Charles McClure
Herbert Gunn Herbert Gunn ... Bob Clever (as Gordon McDonald)
Phyllis Thaxter ... Ellen Lawson
Stephen McNally ... 'Doc' White (as Horace McNally)
Spencer Tracy ... Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle
John R. Reilly John R. Reilly ... 'Shorty' Manch
Robert Mitchum ... Bob Gray
Scott McKay ... Davey Jones
Donald Curtis ... Lieut. Randall
Louis Jean Heydt ... Lieut. Miller
William 'Bill' Phillips William 'Bill' Phillips ... Don Smith (as Wm. 'Bill' Phillips)
Douglas Cowan ... 'Brick' Holstrom
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Storyline

The amazingly detailed true story of "The Doolittle Raid" based on the personal account by Doolittle Raider Ted Lawson. Stunned by Pearl Harbor and a string of defeats, America needed a victory - badly. To that end, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, a former air racer and stunt pilot, devises a plan for a daring raid on the heart of Japan itself. To do this, he must train army bomber pilots to do something no one ever dreamed possible - launch 16 fully loaded bombers from an aircraft carrier! Remarkable in its accuracy, this movie even uses film footage from the actual raid. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

M-G-M's Great Thrill Romance See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

November 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Treinta segundos sobre Tokio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,297,000, 31 December 1944

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,200,000, 31 December 1944
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of the airmen asks a Chinese man if they have any chop suey. This was an intentional gag, as chop suey is actually an American creation and was unknown in China. See more »

Goofs

There are many instances of military personnel of all ranks wearing hats indoors during WWII. A simple picture search would confirm this fact. See more »

Quotes

[repeated lines]
Ted Lawson: Tell me, Honey, how come you're so cute?
Ellen Lawson: I had to be if I was going to get such a good looking fella.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

The Army Air Corps Song
(1939) (uncredited)
Written by Robert Crawford
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

A very accurate account of a major World War II event.
9 March 2003 | by david-valenzuelaSee all my reviews

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo is the most accurate portrayal of the Doolittle Raid on Japan during World War II. Whenever a movie is made from a book, there are usually changes made for "dramatic effect". However, there does not seem to be any such changes in this movie, as there is plenty of drama in the original story. Most of the dialogue was taken directly from the book by the same name. There are some scenes that may seem to be "propaganda" or "corny", but one must remember that in 1943, the atmosphere was different in the United States and the rest of the world. All of the characters in the movie were real life people from the Doolittle Raid and from accounts in the book and other sources, they are accurately portrayed by the actors in the movie. The main character, Ted Lawson, was the original technical advisor, but he was replaced by Dean Davenport (Lawson's co-pilot) after Lawson was re-called to active duty. Most of the flying scenes were done with actual B-25's accurately marked and even the take-off, which was done on a sound stage, used real aircraft on an aircraft carrier mock-up. The scenes that used miniatures were also well done for the time period (before digital effects). The movie "Pearl Harbor" also has an account of the Doolittle Raid, but it is very, very inaccurate. This movie is worth watching for everyone who has a desire to see historical events and is a must for all aviation and military buffs.


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