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 he and Evelyn and Rafe hook up. Then Rafe volunteers to go fight in Britain, and Evelyn and Danny get transferred to Pearl Harbor. While Rafe is off fighting, suddenly one morning comes the air raid we now know as "Pearl Harbor."Written by
Despite being the sole credited screenwriter, Randall Wallace claimed that he was not involved with changes made to the script during filming. See more »
When Doris Miller starts firing the anti-aircraft gun about the USS West Virginia, there are several mistakes. First the ship seen alongside the West Virginia is a Knox class fast frigate, which did not enter the fleet until 1965. Second, the Knox class frigates do not even closely resemble a battleship of the time, and the only ship alongside the West Virginia in Battleship Row during the attack was her sister ship, the USS Tennessee. Third, the Knox frigate appears to be the outboard ship in the row. The West Virginia was the outboard ship which is why she took so many torpedo hits, and this had also been established several times in the torpedo attack sequences. See more »
Some people frown on the Yanks for not being in this war. I'd just like to say that if there are any more back home like you, God help anyone who goes to war with America.
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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.
Michael Bay's World War II is entertaining, yet deeply flawed
For the past two decades now, Michael Bay has been known littering his films with countless explosions, and with this heavy special effects, garners wide success at the box office. Here, Michael Bay steps into the war genre with this intense, dramatic retelling of the fateful event that pulled America into World War II in the 1941. Set near the dawn of World War II, Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett play Rafe McCawley and Danny Walker, two Airforce soldiers who have been best friends since childhood. As they grow up, they are caught in a love triangle when they both fall in love with beautiful nurse named Evelyn (played by Kate Beckinsale). Things get pretty complicated when Danny and Evelyn are transferred to Pearl Harbor where Rafe returns from fighting overseas in Great Britain to find the two are in a relationship. Next morning, December 7, Danny and Rafe wake up to find hundreds of Japanese fighter pilots dropping bombs on Pearl Harbor. The two friends arm themselves with the F-51s in attempt to fight off against the Japanese fleet. With the U.S naval base devastated and thousands of innocent lives lost, the U.S declares war against war. From there on, Dafe and Rafe and their army lead by Lieutenant Colonol James Dolittle (played by Alec Baldwin) prepare for a fight against Japan to overcome their country's catastrophic defeat. This film also features Cuba Gooding Jr. who plays Captain Dorie Miller, the first African- American in history to be awarded the U.S Navy Cross.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor was one of the most shocking moments in the history of America, and it makes interesting subject matter to be told on on screen. Although this movie does manage to paint the horrors that took place during that fateful day, this film does suffer from some flaws that director Michael Bay is often known. Now with a war movie being directed by Bay, audience should go into this movie expecting abundance of explosions and this film plenty of these during the 40-minute action sequences that takes place during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The entire scene is very well done and the special effects are great. The scene really captures the grim details of what the civilians of Pearl Harbor suffered through as we watch countless of people killed from gunfire and drowning, as well as others who suffer some gruesome injuries. This entire scene is quite difficult to watch and it really pulls at your heart strings. Now here is where the film falters. Along with the whole Japanese attack and its aftermath, audiences are treated with a romantic subplot involving Josh Hartnett, Ben Affleck, and Kate Beckinsale that takes up a good portion of the film. What we get from this is poor acting and cheesy dialogue between Affleck and Beckinsale, including a line "I love you so much it hurts", a line that is highly laughable and far too corny, especially when dealing with a war flick. The whole love story is not terrible, but definitely takes more than what is needed of the film. With the whole story, the film ends up running 183 minutes.
Pearl Harbor is certainly not one of the best war movies in Hollywood and definitely not the best of what Michael Bay has to offer. I feel that this could have done better if it was handled someone like Steven Spielberg who has been masterful with the World War II genre (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List). Overall, this is film is not terrible. Despite some of its flaws, it still works and is entertaining to watch.
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