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December 7th, 2015 marks the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Throughout the years, there have been several films that portray the tragic day. Here’s a collection of films about the bombing of Pearl Harbor worth checking out.
1. December 7th (1943):
This film is part of the allied propaganda collection that was produced by the U.S. Navy. This documentary was started within just days of the attack. Originally, the film was 82 minutes long and actually focused on the culture and response of the 160,000 Japanese people living in Hawaii. Interestingly, the longer version of the film was censored for several decades and only the 32-minute version was released. Ironically, the film won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject at the 16th Academy Awards in 1944.
2. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970):
Tora literally means “tiger”, however, in this context; it was an acronym for the Japanese word totsugeki raigeki meaning “lightning attack”. This American–Japanese war film dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor concentrating on the series of American mistakes that allowed it to happen. The title is the Japanese code-word that was used to indicate that complete surprise had been achieved. The movie was intentionally cast with actors who were not stars. This was done to place the emphasis on the story instead of the actors who were in it and the cast list had included many Japanese amateurs.
3. In Harm’s Way (1965):
Here, we see Kirk Douglass alongside John Wayne in the epic war film. The reason this film is worth mentioning is because it was not only the last black-and-white World War II epic, but the last black-and-white John Wayne film. The movie was based on the novel Harm’s Way by James Bassett and the title comes from a quote from an American Revolutionary naval hero named John Paul Jones: “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.”
4. This Is the Army ( 1943):
This musical comedy was adapted from a wartime stage musical by the same name. It was designed to boost morale in the U.S. during World War II. This film is worth seeing, none other than Ronald Reagan, but also features U.S. Army soldiers who were also actors and performers in civilian life.
5. From Here to Eternity (1953):
This film was based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. The picture is about the troubles of three soldiers who were stationed in Hawaii during the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The film starred Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra, who are all at their swoon-worthy best. The film won 8 Academy Awards out of 13 nominations and the title comes from a quote from Rudyard Kipling’s 1892 poem “Gentlemen-Rankers”, about soldiers of the British Empire who had “lost [their] way” and were “damned from here to eternity”.