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Tora! Tora! Tora!
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"Tora! Tora! Tora!" is a dramatic re-enactment of the events of December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, thereby drawing the United States into World War II. Released in 1970, this is a very good film that's written and produced along the same lines as several other war movies that seek to re-create significant battles with historical accuracy.

The first half of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" recounts how relations between Japan and the United States became increasingly strained, and how this led the militaristic leaders of the Japanese Imperial Government to view the United States Navy as a threat to Japan that must be "dealt a fatal blow."

A central section of the film recounts the brilliant detective work of two American military intelligence officers. They analyzed intercepted and decoded messages from the Japanese government to its embassy in Washington DC and deduced that Japan was about to attack the United States. The scenes in which they arrived at their logical conclusions, and then tried to convince their superiors to act upon their findings, are among the best in the film - taut, suspenseful, and filled with a low-key but palpable tension.

The last forty-plus minutes of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" dramatize the actual attack on Pearl Harbor with stunning realism and historical accuracy. On a warm, sunny Sunday morning in December 1941, Japanese "Zero" fighters and torpedo bombers wreak havoc upon the American fleet, leaving in their wake four battleships sunk and over 2,200 American military men and women dead. The scenes that depict the aerial assault are almost frighteningly realistic, without ever becoming gratuitously violent.

One unique aspect of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" is how it attempts to tell the story of Pearl Harbor from the standpoint of both the American and Japanese sides of the conflict. Japanese sequences are written, produced, and directed by Japanese filmmakers, and acted by Japanese actors speaking in their own language. (English subtitles are provided.) American writers, producers, directors and actors were responsible for all American sequences.

"Tora! Tora! Tora!" is a surprisingly good movie imbued with good writing and acting, well-executed battle scenes, and high entertainment value. How well did "Tora! Tora! Tora!" convey what actually happened on December 7, 1941? Very well indeed, I'd say. It's a pretty good history lesson on the events of that fateful "Day of Infamy. " Highly recommended.
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on April 30, 2015
As a movie, it isn't very good -- too much exposition, not enough drama. For special effects, it's somewhat outdated -- 1970 models as opposed to 2011 CGI imagery.

But for telling the story -- from both the Japanese and American sides -- of how Pearl Harbor happened and what happened that day, this film is hard to surpass. Instead of an insipid love triangle, it offers ranking officers wrestling with difficult decisions. Instead of an air battle lifted from "Star Wars," it offers a fairly realistic depiction of air warfare. Instead of stock fictional characters from wartime World War II movies, it offers the real people who fought the battle.

If I'm going to watch a movie about Pearl Harbor, this is the film I'm going to watch. This tells me what happened. Michael Bay did not.
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on December 7, 2016
One of the last Big-Budget Blockbusters with the integrity to present both sides of the Pearl Harbor attack in the native languages. Watch it today on the 75th anniversary of the day that will live in infamy.

When you see the formation of Army B-17 bombers flying in to Pearl, those are actual air-worthy planes flying, not CG models. This movie would not be possible today except with heavy CG special effects and everyone speaking English.
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on August 2, 2014
I was very proud to include this version of TORA! TORA! TORA! on Bluray to my library of movies! I think the first time I saw this was on TV in the mid to late 1970s. I have to say that if you are going to get this on Bluray, you may as well get the Digital Book version. It includes pics of the movie and some of the men that were in charge during the attack on both sides. There are mini bios of some of the actors and real men that were involved and is worth reading. The Bluray itself is well done, looks and sounds great. For a 1970 pre CGI movie, this one is certainly a classic for all ages. I really like the layout of the menu as well. I have to give credit to Fox for having some of the best menus there is on Bluray. For me, the worst menus are MGM, if there are any. All you have is a "pop up menu" by pushing your remote key and it's basic at that.

You have the option for viewing the American Version or the Extended Japanese Version (which has a few added scenes with characters).

We all know the story. A surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941 that sent us to WWII with Japan.
Japan would eventually realize, that indeed, they did awaken a "Sleeping Giant" and fill him with angry resolve. They would go on to lose at the Battle of Midway and ultimately surrender after not only one, but two Automic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The "Enola Gay" and the "Bocks Car" Bombers would effectively end hostilities with Japan.

Special Features are:

Theatrical Trailer
Commentary by Director Richard Fleischer and Japanese Film Historian Stuart Galbraith IV (Theatrical Version only)
Documentary:Day of Infamy
History VS. Hollywood: Tora! Tora! Tora! A Giant Awakes
AMC Backstory: Tora! Tora! Tora!
Behind the Scenes Gallery
Production Gallery
Fox Movietone News...Several are here. Word of warning for the audio on the first one, there is lots of snapping noises. I can't believe they put this one on here without cleaning it up to at least get rid of the noise. The others seem to be fine.

5 Stars! Highly recommended to all!!
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on July 21, 2017
Serious retelling of the Pearl Harbor Attack. A few historical inaccuracies (for example US ships are shown in light gray paint, they were in reality already painted in darker colors as war was expected.). Also shows the Japanese planning and their reasoning behind the raid, without attempting to justify it, as this film was made in the days before political correctness took precedence over reality in Hollywood.
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on July 9, 2014
I appreciated the attention to detail especially after watching the documentary on how the film was put together. Next to being an eyewitness I thought that the film was an excellent portrayal of the tragic and brutal attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan. I would also recommend some of the other documentary material that is included which illustrates the devastation of the attack not only on our military installations in Hawaii but also upon the civilian population (a factor often overlooked). I believe this is a highly accurate portrayal that is historical and reveals our level of preparedness, the bureaucratic malaise within the military chain-of-command and government, and also the manipulative nature of diplomacy between Japan and the United States at the time. Finally, the quality of the film is excellent as well even though the film was made over forty years ago.
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on February 28, 2016
I've seen my fair share of war movies... from old 1940s black-and-white croon-and-dance-and-maybe-fight-a-little to the 2000s HD color blast-as-many-people-in-as-gruesome-ways-as-possible type war movies... and I walked away from this movie surprised and impressed.

This movie is long (2.5 hours), and when you are used to modern quick-and-constant action films, it can seem a little slllloooowwww. But I found that this also gave me time to process - mentally and emotionally - what was going on. I usually want to watch a modern movie 2-3 times to catch all the nuances missed in the scenes flashing by. I felt like I only needed to watch this once and I got everything. (Doesn't mean I won't watch it again just because it was so well done!)

I was very impressed by the fairness in showing both sides accurately. In much of the '40s movies, the Japanese are always stupid and mean and the equivalent of suicide bombers, while the Americans are always top notch and amazing in every way. Here, you see Japanese who didn't want to go to war, but had to do so and thus did it well. While you also see American generals who let down their men by not taking warnings seriously. There were good and "bad" men on both sides, skilled and dumb, wise and fools. And this shows it all with great attention to historical detail.

Very well done. Highly recommended for any WWII buff.
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on May 18, 2016
The quintessential Pearl Harbor movie. As a U.S. History teacher, I use this film every year to help students answer the question, "Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?" I prefer this film over Pearl Harbor (2001) because of the dialogue and special effects. This movie does an extraordinary job at fleshing out the circumstances that lead to the United States being unprepared and the wave of nationalism that lead the Japanese into following through with their mission (even if the Japanese command appear to be hyper aware of their eventual demise).
The miniature sets blend perfectly well with live explosions and adds to the realism of the film, whereas Michael Bay's 2001 film was more concerned with epic moving shots. With all that being said, the pacing has not aged well and can be difficult to follow along with, especially for some teenagers and young adults and probably for some adults as well. When I show this in class, I show it in 15 minute installments, usually of parts of the movie that capture motivations and action. Highly recommend inside and outside of the classroom.
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on August 16, 2015
I'm writing this review,having just watched the 1970 Video version by 20th Century Fox.It has excellent sound and picture quality.This movie was a joint effort by the United States and Japan,and tells the story of Pearl Harbor from the viewpoint of both sides.
This classic Pearl Harbor epic of 145 minutes is one of the most spectacular action/history films ever made,and details the stunning attack on America by Japan.It was nominated for 5 Academy Awards.This version of the movie includes a twenty minute documentary featuring archival news,photographs and interviews with military and political leaders and historians.Many of the questions surrounding who was at fault as well as conspiracy theories about warnings are answered as well as historians are able to.
On December 7,1941 Japan secretely attacked the US Fleet at Pearl Harbor,killing 3000,1100 alone on the Arizona.Several ships ,including the Arizona,the Okaloma and the Uta were destroyed.Several others were severely damaged ,but later repaired.200 aircraft were also destroyed.However;to the chagrin of Japan,the Aircraft Carriers of the Fleet were not found ,as they were at sea.
On December 8 th ,the United States declared war on the Empire of Japan as a response to this attack.On December 10,The United States declared war on Germany and Italy.
The words of the Japanese Admiral,after the attack on Pearl Harbor proved to fortell the impact that the attack on Pearl Harbor would be;

" I FEAR THAT ALL THAT WE HAVE DONE IS TO AWAKEN A SLEEPING GIANT AND FILL HIM WITH A TERRIBLE RESOLVE."

Har
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on March 24, 2017
I saw this with my dad in 1970 (in La Jolla) when I was 10 and he was 43. He saw it for real himself in 1941 in Honolulu when he was 13.
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