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
Numerous active-duty U.S. Navy personnel appeared in the movie. The Navy only allowed them to work during their off-duty hours, and the production had to pay them as they would any other extras. See more »
In the beginning of the film when Col. Rufus S. Bratton and Lt. Cmdr. Alwin D. Kramer walk by a soldier just before entering the room, the soldier says to Bratton "good morning general" when he is clearly a full colonel. See more »
[a Chief Petty Officer is showing ship identification silhouettes to pilots aboard Akagi]
Chief Petty Officer:
No, you idiot! It's your own flagship!
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The 20th Century Fox logo does not appear on this film. See more »
Original video versions removed the intermission, (between the close-up of a desk calendar showing Dec. 7 and the Japanese beginning to launch planes.) The 1998 video release restores the intermission. The widescreen version prints all subtitles (Japanese translation, character titles) below the screen in the bottom black bar. See more »
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the cocktail party on Saturday night, Dec. 6. 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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