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Pearl Harbor (2001)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, History | 25 May 2001 (USA)
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A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.

Director:

Michael Bay

Writer:

Randall Wallace
Popularity
663 ( 150)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Affleck ... Capt. Rafe McCawley
Josh Hartnett ... Capt. Danny Walker
Kate Beckinsale ... Nurse Lt. Evelyn Johnson
William Lee Scott ... Lt. Billy Thompson
Greg Zola Greg Zola ... Lt. Anthony Fusco
Ewen Bremner ... Lt. Red Winkle
Alec Baldwin ... Lt. Col. James Doolittle
Jaime King ... Nurse Betty Bayer (as James King)
Catherine Kellner ... Nurse Barbara
Jennifer Garner ... Nurse Sandra
Jon Voight ... President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Petty Officer Doris Miller
Michael Shannon ... Lt. Gooz Wood
Matthew Davis ... Joe (as Matt Davis)
Mako ... Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto
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Storyline

Pearl Harbor is a classic tale of romance set during a war that complicates everything. It all starts when childhood friends Rafe and Danny become Army Air Corps pilots and meet Evelyn, a Navy nurse. Rafe falls head over heels and next thing you know Evelyn and Rafe are hooking up. Then Rafe volunteers to go fight in Britain and Evelyn and Danny get transferred to Pearl Harbor. While Rafe is off fighting everything gets completely whack and next thing you know everybody is in the middle of an air raid we now know as "Pearl Harbor." Written by shoppingurl3

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

December 7, 1941 - A day that shall live in infamy See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sustained intense war sequences, images of wounded, brief sensuality and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | French

Release Date:

25 May 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tennessee See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,177,654, 27 May 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$198,542,554

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$449,220,945
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS-8 (70 mm print) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| DTS (as dts) (DTS HD Master Audio 5.1) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| Dolby Digital (as Dolby Digital) (Dolby Digital 5.1) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| SDDS (as Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) (8 channels) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| Dolby Atmos (Dolby Atmos) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)| D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1 (D-Cinema prints) (5.1 Surround Sound) (5.1)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene when Danny (Josh Hartnett) returns the handkerchief to Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale), was suggested and written by Robert Towne, after seeing a rough cut of the film several weeks after principal photography had wrapped. See more »

Goofs

When Rafe's Spitfire crashes into the water, the preceding shot shows it to be diving nose first, In the next shot however, it lands virtually flat. See more »

Quotes

Rafe: You are so beautiful it hurts.
Evelyn: It's your nose that hurts.
Rafe: I think it's my heart.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Unusually, Pearl Harbor started without showing the opening Touchstone and Bruckheimer logos; they only showed up after the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Vista Series DVD release includes a Director's Cut of the movie with additional material/footage. The most notable differences from the theatrical version are as follows:
  • Some of the dialogue has been trimmed in the scene where Rafe (Ben Affleck) arrives in London.
  • The scene where Betty (Jaime King) talks about not liking church has some new dialogue, and some pre-existing dialogue appears to be from different takes.
  • The scene where Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) and Danny ('Josh Hartnett' ) are swimming in the ocean has a couple of different camera angles and has been shortened, removing the conversation in Danny's convertible.
  • The "Spine-tingling feeling" scene with Capt. Thurman (Dan Aykroyd) has been expanded to contain some extra dialogue about the Navy's concern over the missing Japanese fleet.
  • There are some additional ethnic slurs during the Dorie Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr.) boxing match.
  • The main attack footage is more graphic. When people are blown out of sand bag barricades instead of whole bodies you see bloody limbs and torsos go flying. Also during the film's many strafing scenes we now see huge chunks of meat and body parts being blown off the falling people. If you look closely during the "nurse strafing" scene, when Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) and Sandra (Jennifer Garner) are ducking down by the fountain, you can see a man get cut in half by the 20mm rounds coming from the strafing Zeros.
  • There are several new scenes on Battleship Row where we see sailors on fire, getting shot, and brutally dismembered by shrapnel. This includes a extremely graphic shot of a severed head.
  • The scene with Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and Capt. Bennion (Peter Firth) now includes a brutal shot of Bennion moaning and crying as he holds his intestines in his hands. We also see Miller try to put them back in his stomach.
  • The hospital scenes now include graphic shots of battlefield surgery and amputations, as well as close-up shots of severed limbs laying on the floor.
  • New non-graphic shots throughout the attack basically making it longer and more complete.
  • Dialogue during the attack includes more profanity.
  • The scene around the campfire with Rafe and Danny before they start training for the Dolittle raid is completely removed.
  • A whole new scene with Dolittle (Alec Baldwin) addressing the troops on the ship the night before the mission has been added.
  • During the raid sequence some new dialogue and profanity has been added.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Heaven Is for Real (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Brown Jug
Written by Joseph Winner
Arranged by Bill Finegan (as Willian Finnegan, Jr.)
Performed by Glenn Miller
Courtesy of The RCA Music Group, a Division of BMG Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Don't watch it solely for history's sake
9 July 2001 | by diggerblueSee all my reviews

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has been a source of both pride and outrage for Americans for decades and, in part, justified our use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A movie based on these events, then, would need to be handled carefully in its attempt to stir patriotism without inflaming wounds from the past. In the rush of quasi-historical movies that have come in the past five years (reaching a box-office high with 1997's Titanic), the moviegoing public has demonstrated a willingness to sit through films they may have suffered through in grade school in order to get a better sense of what it was actually like to be there, to see the things that happened, to hear the whistles of bombs dropping in the air, and, above all, to experience what really happened.

Michael Bay's presence can be seen throughout the entire movie's content. The special effects worthy of his previous endeavors (Armageddon; The Rock), but the character development is traditionally Bruckheimer-ish/Bay-ish. These are people who fall in love for no other reason than the fact that they're both young and in dangerous circumstances; the lead roles are bursting with machismo; the leading ladies manage to be both tough and feminine at the same time, without really being either. The major problem with these movies is that too much attention is dumped into the action and not enough into the characters performing the action, and this movie is no exception. Although it manages to stir the blood and capture our attention (the almost-three hour duration is hardly even noticed), in the end you get the feeling you were watching something between a football game and a soap opera.

Ben Affleck plays Rafe, an aspiring hotshot pilot dying to get into World War II at a time when most of the U.S. was sitting uneasily on its haunches, watching the war with eyes askance. Josh Hartnett plays Danny, Affleck's friend from childhood and wingman (the two apparently followed their childhood dreams and enlisted together) while cruising in fighter planes. Typical for a Bruckheimer film, there is a deep connection between these two that the audience is left to infer rather than observe. The blooming romance between Affleck and Evelyn (Kate Beckinsall), his duty nurse during combat training, begins with a humorous and touching effect, but sooner or later we have to acknowledge the fact that they're in love because there's a war going on rather than any heartfelt connection made within three weeks' time. The secondary characters are memorable and their presence is not just to fill up a bunker with cadets, but rather to show us the unsung heroes of the war--the ones who weren't necessarily dashing and good-looking, but were called upon to fight, and did so with mettle and guts. Alec Baldwin and Jon Voight both give outstanding performances as Col. Doolittle and Franklin Roosevelt, respectively, but Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s performance is undeservedly short. The most grief we see in him is when he visits his commanding officer's coffin after the attack, a man he speaks perhaps three lines with on-screen. This type of pathos demands a lot of feeling for scarcely-viewed characters, and it gets in the way of many of the film's better points.

The actual attack on Pearl Harbor is conveyed brilliantly. The opening shots depict scene after scene of idyllic island life marred by the roar of approaching enemy planes, and the assault on the military bases leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination as far as what conditions were like on the island that day. The tension, pacing and internal climax of each mini-story leaves you open-mouthed, waiting to see who will survive and who will make it through to fight back. The last third of the movie chronicles the redress to the Japanese and its effects on the country and the rest of the war. Sadly enough, at that point much of the tension established throughout the movie's depiction of the attack is diminished, but there is enough going on to keep you guessing as to whether or not Affleck and Hartnett are going to be able to survive not only the war, but the war's effects on their friendship.

The historical and patriotic scope of this movie is not to be understated (although Yamamoto's lines seem scripted for this day and age and not for 1941), but the leading roles seem incidental compared with the scope of what really happened. It's unfortunate that Bruckheimer sees it as so necessary to rely on stunning visual and dramatic visual effects (for example, the fingers of the trapped soldiers in the slowly-sinking shift is too powerful for my poor words) while placing so much character development secondary. Learning to balance the two could transform a stunning movie into a truly timeless film.


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