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Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

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In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Writers:

Larry Forrester (screenplay), Hideo Oguni (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Balsam ... Admiral Husband E. Kimmel
Sô Yamamura ... Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Jason Robards ... General Walter C. Short
Joseph Cotten ... Henry L. Stimson
Tatsuya Mihashi ... Commander Minoru Genda
E.G. Marshall ... Colonel Rufus S. Bratton
Takahiro Tamura ... Lt. Commander Fuchida
James Whitmore ... Admiral William F. Halsey
Eijirô Tôno ... Admiral Chuici Nagumo (as Eijiro Tono)
Wesley Addy ... Lt. Commander Alvin D. Kramer
Shôgo Shimada Shôgo Shimada ... Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura
Frank Aletter ... Lt. Commander Thomas
Koreya Senda ... Prince Fumimaro Konoye
Leon Ames ... Frank Knox
Jun Usami Jun Usami ... Admiral Zengo Yoshida
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Storyline

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 Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The incredible attack on Pearl Harbor. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

23 September 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Тора! Тора! Тора! See more »

Filming Locations:

Ashiya, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,548,291
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Japanese Edition 2009)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| Mono (some 35 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (some 35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the B-17s shown in the film has been fully restored and (as of 2000) is on display at the Yankee Air Force museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan. See more »

Goofs

When Col. Bratton and Lt. Cmdr. Kramer walk into the Navy cryptography workroom, the Marine sentry at the door is wearing "modified blues" - a khaki shirt and tie with the USMC dress-blue uniform's red-striped blue trousers. The Marine Corps didn't adopt this uniform until after World War II. See more »

Quotes

US Army Air Corps Officer: We got 183 combat planes on this base, general. The way they're parked now, a one-eyed monkey hanging from a balloon could scatter them to hell with one hand grenade.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo does not appear on this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Japanese release runs roughly ten minutes longer and contains two sequences not included in other versions: Admiral Yamamoto visiting the Imperial Palace and talking with Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Kido, and a comical scene between two cooks about the carrier Akagi that explains how the International Date Line works. Also, for obvious reasons, the Japanese characters' dialogue is not given on-screen English subtitles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in NYPD Blue: Torah! Torah! Torah! (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Chattanooga Choo Choo
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the dance
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An underestimated epic
27 February 2002 | by the2beloSee all my reviews

I have not seen the movie _Pearl Harbor_; nor, for that matter, do I plan to. I do not personally care for films that warp an important historical event to suit a formulaic date-flick format (a certain travesty involving a big steamship comes immediately to mind). If I go to the movie theater to watch a historical account, then that's what I want to see. _Tora! Tora! Tora!_ is exactly that, and more; it very nearly puts you right in the middle of the conflagration.

It continues to be a source of total wonder for me that _Tora! Tora! Tora!_, a movie made nearly thirty-two years ago, is so expertly presented. The reason for this is twofold: usage of lesser-known character actors to keep plot distraction to a minimum, and the usage of vintage working ships and aircraft to keep the realism to a maximum. These two elements merge together to produce what amounts to a cameraman in a time machine filming the actual events on site.

Since this was a collaborative effort between both US and Japanese film studios, the numerous switches between scenes will give you a good look at the differences between directing (and acting) styles. I am constantly amazed at the boldness of the content for a film released in the US during the Vietnam War, and only 25 years after the Pearl Harbor attack itself; compared to the rather wooden Martin Balsam and Jason Robards, Takahiro Tamura's Lt. Commander Fuchida is replete with a charisma I would never have expected from The Enemy. The Japanese side of the tale is laid before you so well that one is sent into the minds of the people involved, a rarity for American war films. (Sometimes it goes a little bit over the edge -- Admiral Yamamoto's comment "I know [the Americans] are a proud and just people" is a mistranslation -- but the general mood is accurately conveyed overall.)

And then there is the beautiful and sometimes chilling scenery. The attack scenes themselves are eye-popping and brazen enough -- an awesome effort given the technology of the period -- but my personal favorite scene is the Japanese lead strike force's departure from their aircraft carrier. Those of you who purchase the DVD version of the movie should crank up the volume at this point. This is a piece of film that most probably can never be shot again: REAL aircraft flooring their REAL engines and taking flight from a REAL ship of war, against the backdrop of the early dawn, one after another, until the sky is alive with what looks like waves and waves of warplanes. Although the aircraft and ships used were modifed American stock, the flags, uniforms, and color schemes are all authentic... resulting in a spine-tingling spectacle of Japanese pilots plunging headlong into what was ultimately a disastrous mistake. They are depicted as human beings, as they should be.

It is an astoundingly accurate presentation of a dark moment in history for both the US and Japan, free of pretense, pandering to the audience, big-bucks megastars, lovey-dovey sappiness, and computer-generated pixels. You don't *need* any of these things to create a fantastic movie; all you need is history, which we all know is stranger -- and scarier, and more engaging -- than fiction. _Tora! Tora! Tora_ should be in every movie fan's library.


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