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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 »
Reviews
Popularity
4,729 ( 601)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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:

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 »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,647,800

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$56,647,800
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1980 and from December 6 to December 7, 1941. See more »

Goofs

CAG's helicopter, taking himself and the two survivors to the desert island, takes off from the aircraft carrier. Minutes later, he appears to be seen in one of the debriefing rooms when Captain Yelland is addressing the crew. However, that is not James Farentino who plays the CAG, but another actor who resembles him. 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

Norwegian cinema version was cut by some seconds to get a 12 rating. See more »

Connections

Featured in Scope (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Begin the Beguine
(uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
To watch, or be apart of history.
25 February 2008 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

The title of the movie might be that of a super-cheesy song, with that highly catchy chorus by the band Europe in the 80s. Forget it because this came first, nor does it submit to cheese/silliness in what could've been a nonsensical premise. Gladly it doesn't, however for a fantasy / Sci-fi film that's impressively ambitious, and grand in scope. Talk about a cop-out for an ending! Or was it? The novelty of the concept flourishes with intelligence and vision, but it felt like something you would find in an episode of "The Twilight Zone". Maybe it would've been better suited so. The story begins with a freak storm transporting a modern American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier back to 1941, just before the Japanese fleet bombed Pearl Harbour. Now the question is should they get involved, and fear changing the face of history. Tough call. Too bad the film doesn't really take up that challenging stance with much aplomb, and somewhat takes an easy way out.

On an ethical note, the question raised is do we really have the right to change what has already happened. The paradox brings up many interesting possibilities, and drums up unimaginable suspense. It's an anxious waiting game for the decision, and that's what its all about. After deciding, it suddenly changes and leaves you hanging there with what could've been. The final note to me, made it all the forgettable. The material might not have been wholly satisfying, but technically it mainly came off with dazzling results. What was spectacularly done was the work they managed to get while filming on the actual U.S.S Nimitz. It feels, and looks authentic… because it is. They filmed at sea on the boat, at certain intervals. The background features at times seemed to be more interesting, than the actual story. Watching the crew going through their manoeuvres was magnetically displayed. Also the aircraft scenes were remarkably done, and excitingly high powered. The special effects are dated, but managed to be atmospherically eerie and moodily colourful.

Figure heads Kirk Douglas (in a durably solid turn), Martin Sheen and at a lesser extent Charles Dunning give the film some stalwart class. Also showing up in the profound cast were Katherine Ross, James Farentino and Ron O'Neal. John Scott's heavy handed music score, was hit-and-miss, but Victor J. Kemper's expansive cinematography was professionally executed. Don Taylor's direction feels automatic, but breezy.

This boy's own adventure is an enjoyably, attention-grabbing "what if" predicament.


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