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Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Robert Zemeckis (screenplay), Bob Gale (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Aykroyd ... Sgt. Frank Tree
Ned Beatty ... Ward Douglas
John Belushi ... Capt. Wild Bill Kelso
Lorraine Gary ... Joan Douglas
Murray Hamilton ... Claude Crumn
Christopher Lee ... Capt. Wolfgang von Kleinschmidt
Tim Matheson ... Capt. Loomis Birkhead
Toshirô Mifune ... Cmdr. Akiro Mitamura (as Toshiro Mifune)
Warren Oates ... Col. 'Madman' Maddox
Robert Stack ... Maj. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell
Treat Williams ... Cpl. Chuck 'Stretch' Sitarski
Nancy Allen ... Donna Stratton
Lucille Benson ... Gas Mama (Eloise) (as Lucille Bensen)
Jordan Brian Jordan Brian ... Macey Douglas
John Candy ... Pvt. Foley
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Storyline

Hysteria grips California in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. An assorted group of defenders attempt to make the coast defensible against an imagined Japanese invasion, in this big budget, big cast comedy. Members of a Japanese submarine crew scout out the madness, along with a Captain in Germany's Kreigsmarine (Navy). Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

As They Roared Into Battle, Only One Thing Was Missing...The Enemy! See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | German | Spanish

Release Date:

14 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Night the Japs Attacked See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,701,898, 16 December 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,755,742

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,455,742, 31 December 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Stereo (Todd-AO)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

On the Ferris wheel, the position of the blanket between the two men changes just before the ventriloquist dummy appears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: On December 7, 1941, the Naval Air Arm of the Imperial Japanese Fleet, in a surprise attack, struck the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and hurtled an unsuspecting America into World War II.
Title Card: American citizens were stunned, shocked and outraged at this treacherous attack. On the West Coast, paranoia gripped the entire population as panic-stricken citizens were convinced that California was the next target of the Imperial Japanese Forces.
Title Card: Major General Joseph W. Stilwell, ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

End credits feature scenes showing cast members screaming. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Freaks and Geeks: Looks and Books (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Down by the Ohio
Music by Abe Olman (uncredited)
Lyrics by Jack Yellen (uncredited)
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Whatever Floats Your Boat
1 May 2000 | by Falcon-51See all my reviews

In 1975 Speilberg gave us the spine tingling horror of "Jaws." In 1977 we were visited by the mothership in the awe inspiring "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." In 1981 he made "Raiders of the Lost Ark" a modern day artifact. He then took time to write "Poltergeist." Finally in 1982 he put together one of his greatest and most profitable films to date "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial." So with these credentials what happened right smack dab in the middle in 1979 when he tried to pull together "1941." With this odd ball comedy you either like it or you don't. It's either funny or it's not. Sometimes when there are a number of huge stars you expect too much and then become disappointed when your anticipation is not met.

Another example of this is "The Bonfire of the Vanities" you may feel the story lacks but still appreciate it for the big stars whether they meet your expectations or not. Myself I didn't care for "1941" on the other hand I liked "The Bonfire of the Vanities." The point is for every good review you read about "1941" your bound to find a bad one and the only way you will truly know is to see the film yourself. If you like that "Three Stooges" type comedy then you may appreciate "1941." There is no doubt that this is not Speilberg's finest work, but it does offer some laughs. Now if you are one of those types that must see everything Speilberg has his hands in then you need to add this to your rental list.

The film is a comedy centered around California preparing to defend itself from a possible Japanese attack. In it's wake a silly Japanese submarine crew delivers many of the laughs.


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