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Midway (1976)

A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director:

Jack Smight

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The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Capt. Matt Garth
Henry Fonda ... Adm. Chester W. Nimitz
James Coburn ... Capt. Vinton Maddox
Glenn Ford ... Rear Adm. Raymond A. Spruance
Hal Holbrook ... Cmdr. Joseph Rochefort
Toshirô Mifune ... Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (as Toshiro Mifune)
Robert Mitchum ... Admiral William F. Halsey
Cliff Robertson ... Commander Carl Jessop
Robert Wagner ... Lieutenant Commander Ernest L. Blake
Robert Webber ... Rear Admiral Frank J. 'Jack' Fletcher
Ed Nelson ... Admiral Harry Pearson
James Shigeta ... Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo
Christina Kokubo Christina Kokubo ... Haruko Sakura
Monte Markham ... Commander Max Leslie
Biff McGuire ... Captain Miles Browning
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Storyline

The summer of 1942 brought Naval stalemate to the Pacific as the American and Japanese fleets stood at even numbers each waiting for the other to begin a renewed offensive. "Midway" tells the story of this historic June battle where a Japanese carrier force, in an attempt to occupy Midway island and lure the American fleet to destruction, was meet valiently by US forces operating off of three aircraft carriers and numerous escort ships. It was the first battle in which naval air power was extensivly used, and at its conclusion the Japanese Carrier force had been completly destroyed which lead the way for the US 1943 and 44 offensives which would eventually bring the Pacific War to a close. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In SENSURROUND See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 June 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Battle of Midway See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,356,666, 20 June 1976, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$43,220,000, 31 December 1976
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Sensurround (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (archive footage)| Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

To play Admiral Yamamoto, Universal cast prominent Japanese film actor Toshirô Mifune. When Mifune showed up for filming, one of his white gloves had a short finger. Admiral Yamamoto was missing one joint in one of his fingers. Admiral Chester Nimitz also had a finger missing one joint. See more »

Goofs

In the overhead shots of the carriers the island is on the port side and the angled flight deck on the starboard side. This is backwards and due to film reversal, but this was intentional. These are supposed to be the Japanese carriers Akagi and Hiryu, which had their islands on the port side. Neither ship, however, had an angled deck. See more »

Quotes

Captain Garth: Listen, Carl; I understand my boy, Tom, is in your squadron. How's he doing?
Cmdr. Carl Jessop: Good, he's doing good. Good pilot. Good all around. I think his only problem would be... enemy identification. The boy's got to learn man: you do not win a war by kissing the enemy
See more »

Alternate Versions

A television version exists, with additional cast and plot. It runs four hours with commercials. The main plot points are a Charlton Heston-Susan Sullivan romance and the Coral Sea battle (reffered to in the other version) is played out like the Midway battle. At the end of the TV version, Sullivan and Christine Kukobo are both shown waiting dockside. See more »

Connections

Edited from Rengô kantai shirei chôkan: Yamamoto Isoroku (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Mood
Music by Joe Garland
Performed by the Glenn Miller Orchestra on the jukebox at the bar in Hawaii
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Blast from the past
5 June 1999 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

Saturday night TV is a bit of a dead zone down here so I suppose one should be grateful for the odd watchable movie, even if its 20 years old. This one looks older than it actually is, due to the liberal use of stock footage and a cast that's a retirement counsellor's dream. A relatively youthful Charlton Heston is in the lead, but there's Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum, Robert Webber and even the great Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune. A curious aspect is that every military character with a speaking part is an officer; the grunts just get to grunt. It's very much the view from the bridge (and the pilot's seat). Despite this aspect and the attempt at historical realism it's not made clear quite how it was that the Japanese made the error that cost them the battle, getting caught with their flightdecks full just as the American torpedo bombers arrived. The contribution of the American land-based aircraft is also given scant recognition.

Still you do get a bit of a story, though the less said about the silly sub-plot involving the Heston character's son and a Japanese-American girl the better. The director, Jack Smight had extensive T V experience, as did many of the younger actors, and this shows up in the rather static dialogue scenes you get when you aren't allowed to move the cameras much. The Japanese voices are dubbed, so that Paul Free, the voice of Boris Badenov in "Bullwinkle," (and countless other cartoon characters) is Admiral Yamamoto. The music was written by John Williams who a year or so later did the music for "Star Wars" and you can sense the similarities.

In the film the military operations side of things abounds with anacronisms, partly due to the liberal use of stock footage as mentioned. I don't think you can be too hard on the producers (the low profile but financially successful Mirisch Brothers) for not using a real Japanese World War 2 aircraft carrier since they are all at the bottom of the sea, but the crashed jet on the Yorktown's flightdeck was a bit sloppy. "Tora Tora Tora," which cost more money, was a better film. Not because it cost more money but because it was more carefully made, more balanced (both side's story told well) and more honest, perhaps also because it dealt with defeat rather than victory from the American viewpoint. "Midway" has some suspense, plenty of action, and the the patriotism drum is not banged to the point of pain.


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