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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Most sequences of the Japanese air raids on Midway are stock shots from 20th Century Fox's Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) (for instance, the Command Car thrown into a wall by a bomb blast). See more »
During the Coral Sea sequence, a US flag with 50 stars is shown prior to the Japanese air attack on the US carriers. At the time, there were only 48 states. See more »
[to his son, Tom, who he is having an argument with]
You better shape up before some hotshot Jap pilot flames your ass!... You're being paid to fly planes, not sit in your room and cry over your girlfriends picture!
See more »
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 »
A good movie about how grand battles are won and lost
I remember reading that this movie was made primarily because they had excessive footage from when they shot "Tora! Tora! Tora! and some of the shot looks like they did came from that film. But this film also includes old actual shots taken by service men and news people.
The movie is based on the American victory off Midway Island. The movie was made 30 years after WWII and a couple of years after Vietnam, so it doesn't have a jingoistic feel to it. It has more of a matter of fact feel to it, more a docudrama than propaganda.
The movie is different from most war movies because it shows how Grand battles are won and lost. There isn't much individual heroism from ordinary soldiers shown. Instead we see how commanders, in this case admirals make decisions and take risks usually based on sketchy information. They put their reputations on line, along with the safety of their men, and the security of their nations. We see how the outcome of a battle can hinged on risky decisions or sometimes on indecision. We see how commanders have to sweat out their decisions as History hangs on the balance. Yes! History! This battle after all is considered the turning point of the War in the Pacific.
In this movie decisions are made on what certain letters mean, whether enemy carriers are where they are supposed to be. If viewers give it the appropriate attention, they will see that this movie plays like a giant chess match. The outcome determined by gutsy moves and bad decisions, sometimes indecision.
The movie boasts an impressive cast which include, Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson, Charlton Heston and they all do fine jobs. They play the typical Grand characters in epic movies, they move the story along but has no personal stories themselves. The one personal story belongs to Edward Albert, who plays Heston's son. He's not very convincing and playing opposite a pro like Mr. Heston, he comes across as being weak almost amateurish.
The movie is good but far from great. I love how the filmmakers remained true to the events. But the special effects looked cheap and the use of actual combat footage feels inappropriate and even exploitive. Nevertheless I think it's a good film not to be missed by Military History buffs.
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