6.7/10
19,444
155 user 55 critic

The Final Countdown (1980)

PG | | Action, Sci-Fi | 1 August 1980 (USA)
A modern aircraft carrier is thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Director:

Don Taylor

Writers:

Thomas Hunter (story), Peter Powell (story) | 5 more credits »

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A United States Navy destroyer escort participates in a Navy "invisibility" experiment that inadvertently sends two sailors forty years into the future.

Director: Stewart Raffill
Stars: Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas
The Vikings (1958)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A slave and a Viking prince fight for the love of a captive princess.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine
Lust for Life (1956)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, George Cukor
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald
Saturn 3 (1980)
Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Two lovers stationed at a remote base in the asteroid fields of Saturn are intruded upon by a retentive technocrat from Earth and his charge: a malevolent eight foot robot.

Directors: Stanley Donen, John Barry
Stars: Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas, Harvey Keitel
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, David Warner
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

During the air war over Vietnam, a U.S. Navy A-6 Intruder bomber pilot schemes with a hardened veteran to make an unauthorized air strike on Hanoi.

Director: John Milius
Stars: Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe, Brad Johnson
Midway (1976)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Norwegian resistance tries to stop German efforts to produce an atomic bomb component during World War II.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

David Herdeg's participation in a failed 1943 experiment in radar invisibility has propelled him 40 years into the future. An aberration in his genetic makeup enabled him to pass through ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Cornwell
Stars: Brad Johnson, Marjean Holden, Gerrit Graham
Blue Thunder (1983)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Roy Scheider, Warren Oates, Candy Clark
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A German plot to kidnap Sir Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Capt. Matthew Yelland
Martin Sheen ... Warren Lasky
Katharine Ross ... Laurel Scott
James Farentino ... Cdr. Richard Owens / Mr.Tideman
Ron O'Neal ... Cdr. Dan Thurman
Charles Durning ... Senator Samuel Chapman
Victor Mohica Victor Mohica ... Black Cloud
James Coleman James Coleman ... Lt. Perry (as James C. Lawrence)
Soon-Tek Oh ... Simura (as Soon-Teck Oh)
Joe Lowry Joe Lowry ... Cdr. Damon
Alvin Ing ... Lt. Kajima
Mark Thomas Mark Thomas ... Marine Cpl. Kullman
Harold Bergman Harold Bergman ... Bellman
Dan Fitzgerald ... Navy Doctor
Lloyd Kaufman ... LCdr. Kaufman
Edit

Storyline

In 1980, the assistant of the Department of Defense Warren Lasky is assigned by his mysterious chief Richard Tideman to visit the aircraft carrier USS Nimtz commanded by Capt. Matthew Yelland as an observer of the routines. Lasky finds that Wing Commander Richard T. Owens has a great knowledge of history. Out of the blue, the vessel faces a weird storm and they find that they have traveled back in time to the eve of the attack of Pearl Harbor on 06 December 1941. When the two Japanese Zeros attack the motorboat of Senator Samuel Chapman, the crew of the Nimitz rescues the senator and his assistant Laurel Scott. But sooner Lasky learns that the senator had disappeared on that day and Capt. Matthew Yelland is planning to attack the Japanese. Will these actions create a time paradox? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Trapped outside the boundaries of time and space... 102 aircraft... 6,000 men... all missing. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | Russian

Release Date:

1 August 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der letzte Countdown See more »

Filming Locations:

USS Kitty Hawk See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,647,800

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,647,800
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Bryna Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The time travel storm is the same special effect as seen in The Lathe of Heaven (1980) during the climatic dream sequence confrontation. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, as the Navy Admirals are coming aboard, Commander, Carrier Air Group 8 is announced. Even numbered groups are on the East coast. Once NIMITZ transferred to the Pacific, an odd-numbered Carrier Group would have been assigned. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
F-14 Pilot: [voice over radio] Pearl Tower, Tomcat two-zero-zero. requesting clearance for departure runway zero-nine. Over.
Pearl Harbor Tower: [voice over radio] Two-zero-zero, Pearl Harbor Tower. You are cleared runway oh-niner. Winds zero-four-five at eight. SH-three approaching from the right. Have a nice day.
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 6 secs to edit blood spurts from gunshots. In 2002 these cuts were waived by the BBFC. See more »

Connections

Featured in Starring the Jolly Rogers (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(uncredited)
Written by Charles A. Zimmerman (as Charles Zimmerman), Domenico Savino, Alfred Hart Miles and George D. Lottman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
When the Propmaster is the Chief of Naval Operations
15 April 2004 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

Making a military movie without official cooperation can be difficult. If the story doesn't require major air or naval assets, a script disapproved of by the top brass can be convincingly brought to the screen. Two examples - both true stories that the Pentagon didn't want to support - are "Men of Honor" reflecting the epidemic racism of the not-that-long-ago Navy and "Sgt. Bilko," a film portraying what some noncoms do to earn extra income (trust me, it's a true story: a real Sgt. Bilko worked (officially but not actually) for me when I was an Army officer.

But when you need lots of planes and ships, you gotta have official help. And few movies have gotten more assistance than the producer, director and cast of "The Final Countdown," now available on DVD,a sci-fi recruiting spectacular that features - on loan at taxpayer expense - the huge carrier U.S.S. Nimitz complete with crew. Now that's cooperation!

Kirk Douglas skippers the supercarrier which is on Pacific Fleet maneuvers. On board as some sort of efficiency consultant is a young Martin Sheen, not yet ready for the West Wing. A mysterious and never explained weather phenomenon grips the mighty floating air base and to the unfolding amazement of captain, officers and crew dawns the realization that the Nimitz in sailing not that far from Pearl Harbor on 6 December 1941.

Meanwhile a U.S. senator, played by one of Hollywood's deservedly decorated war heroes, Charles Durning, is enjoying his yacht, also near Pearl, while dictating to his lovely secretary, Katharine Ross. A brace of Japanese Zeroes sink the yacht, killing two passengers which then prompts the carrier C.O. to order trailing F-14 Tomcats to "splash" the "enemy." Durning and Ross are rescued. Without a word, this talented actor's face does a comical double-take when introduced to the ship's executive officer who just happens to be black (in 1941 a black navy man could only serve as a steward in the officers mess. That was it. Period.)

The dilemma facing Douglas, of course, is a classic time-travel conundrum. To interfere with the course of history (the carrier's air wing can make instant teriyaki of the six Japanese carriers) or to let events take their known and disastrous course.

A chaste incipient romance between the nearly drowned damsel and the carrier's Commander Air Group competes with the white knuckle decision-making struggle of the C.O.

So much for the plot. What is on offer here is a demonstration of every aircraft type, fixed-wing and rotary, deployed on the vessel as well as demonstrations of shipboard activities ranging from retrieving a damaged jet to going to General Quarters to...you name it. The technical advisers knew they had a film crew pliant to every suggestion. The result is a genuinely exciting show- a great warship going through its paces. And, unlike "Tora Tora Tora" it doesn't appear that any genuine sailors were harmed in the making of the movie.

There's one big problem. A science fiction story is usually utterly improbable, indeed impossible, but its internal logic is vital: it must be consistent. Spielberg understands that very well. Watch the first couple of minutes when Sheen is greeted by his employer's lackey and the last minutes when he debarks from the Nimitz. Something is very, very off-kilter. Could the CEO of a great military-industrial conglomerate have used top secret technology to send the carrier back to 1941 for...

So what. This is a beautifully filmed adventure story, not a great film. The cast probably relished taking over the carrier for a while and the real captain, never shown, surely wished that the Navy hadn't banned hard spirits from our ships in World War I. But all emerge unscathed in a genuinely entertaining romp through time.

8/10


55 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 155 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed