This dramatic retelling of the Pearl Harbor attack details everything in the days that led up to that tragic moment in American history. As United States and Japanese relations strain over the U.S. embargo of raw materials, Air Staff Officer Minoru Genda (Tatsuya Mihashi) plans the preemptive strike against the United States. Although American intelligence agencies intercept Japanese communications hinting at the attack, they are unwilling to believe such a strike could ever occur on U.S. soil.Written by
The United States had drawn up plans to bomb Japan in 1940 using military bases in China. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor the US was setting up to heavily bomb Japanese cites. Light bombers did not work so the air force switched to the B-29 heavy bombers designed (in 1943) to be based in China (see Operation Matterhorn). They did arrive in China but those bases were captured by the Japanese army, so the B-29s were moved to the Pacific in 1944. The B-29s bombed Japan very heavily as per the original 1940 plan. See more »
When the Japanese aircraft are taking off from the carriers to bomb Pearl Harbor, several of the aircraft that would have carried a crew of two or three (representing Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers and Aichi D3A dive bombers) are seen with a pilot and without the other crewmembers (gunner, radio operator, etc) See more »
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The Japanese release runs roughly ten minutes longer and contains two sequences not included in other versions: Admiral Yamamoto visiting the Imperial Palace and talking with Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Kido, and a comical scene between two cooks about the carrier Akagi that explains how the International Date Line works. Also, for obvious reasons, the Japanese characters' dialogue is not given on-screen English subtitles. See more »
This is one of my favorite war films. What makes it so great is that just like "The Longest Day" this film looks at the events that led up to and during one of the most momentous moments in the history of not only this country, but Japan as well. I also loved the acting in it. Martin Balsam and Jason Robards should have been nominated for their performances as Admiral Kimmel and General Short, respectively. Also, I wonder how much different it would have been if Akira Kurosawa had directed the Japanese scenes as he originally was supposed to. I also wonder if the fact that it dealt with one of the darker chapters in American history had something to to with its poor box office showing on this side of the Pacific (ironically, it was a box office smash in Japan). However, it is still a great film and I especially loved it at the end when Yamamoto made his famous comment "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with terrible resolve." How right he was.
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