150 user 54 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.


Don Taylor


Thomas Hunter (story), Peter Powell (story) | 5 more credits »
4,832 ( 510)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




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


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


On December 7, 1980 --- The nuclear carrier USS Nimitz disappeared in the Pacific...and reappeared December 7, 1941...the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





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 »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Bryna Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The number of planes and personnel that were said to have gone missing were 102 aircraft and 6000 men. See more »


Sunrise on December 7, 1941 in Hawaii was about 0630 and when the planes are being loaded with their weapons and the helicopter is dropping off the Senator, shadows indicate it's closer to mid day and not early in the morning. See more »


[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 »


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


You Made Me Love You
Written by James V. Monaco and Joseph McCarthy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The U.S.S Nimitz carrier trapped in a time warp goes back just time before the bombing Pearl Harbor
8 March 2011 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Fantastic film about a weird , powerful storm winds up throwing USS Nimitz into past world during WW2 . Caught outside the boundaries of time and space, all mission , 102 aircraft, 6,000 men , are transported back to 1941. On December 7, 1980 the nuclear carrier USS Nimitz disappeared in the Pacific and reappeared December 7, 1941 ,the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour . The events go wrong , causing an USS naval battleship to disappear in Pacific Ocean by means of a warp time. The motley crew as Wing Commander Richard Owens (James Farentino) , Lasky (Martin Sheen), Cmdr. Dan (Ron O'Neal) commanded by Captain Matthew Yelland (Kirk Douglas) find themselves thrown into a temporary hole . Then they find in the past world of 1941 and they can change the course of history but also to generate a cataclysm that threatens to destroy it.

This is a far-fetching but acceptable story about an U.S nuclear-powered aircraft carrier traveling forward in time to just to discover famous incidents and change the world. It is developed with intrigue, suspense , thrills and noisy action with interesting screenplay by Thomas Hunter. Familiar but satisfying and agreeable Sci-Fi yarn , including a surprisingly final . Just amusement enough to cover production gaps and some flaws. Fine special effects by the time and liking acting by the leads manage to keep this one afloat. Nice performance of Kirk Douglas as Captain Matthew who must face the ultimate decision , leave history intact or stop the known events . Good support cast as Charles Durning as the Senator, Soon-Tek Oh as a Japanese pilot , Ron O'Neal , among others and early appearance of Lloyd Kaufman , subsequently producer of B films with Troma Productions. Colorful cinematography by Victor J. Kemper and atmospheric , spectacular musical score by John Scott. The picture achieved big success at Box office and had ripoffs and imitations , being followed by ¨Philadelphia experiment¨ and inferior sequel titled ¨Philadelphia experiment II . The motion picture is professionally directed by Don Taylor. He was an actor and director as TV as cinema and an expert on adventures genre as ¨Adventures of Tom Sawyer¨ , Terror as ¨Damien : Omen 2¨ and science fiction as ¨Island of Dr. Moreau¨, ¨Escape from Planet of Apes¨, and of course ¨The final of countdown¨. Rating : 6,5 . Acceptable and passable fantasy fare although better viewed in big screen .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 150 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Recently Viewed