The year is 1941 and diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan are at an all-time low. Diplomatic means are attempted through Washington, but they fail. Isoruko Yamamoto (So Yamamura – Gung Ho) is named commander of the Japanese Navy and is to execute a surprise attack on the United States. The attack is planned for the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Some Intel about the coming attack is decoded by the U.S., but they do not believe it. Plus they have no idea where the Japanese will attack. The days leading up to the attack are depicted along with the actual attack that brought the U.S. into World War II.
Though this attack has been seen largely as an evil attack on a nation which was not engaged in war, the film tells the story from both sides is surprisingly fair. We learn that the Japanese believed that they had no choice due to the fact that the U.S. would not let them at the raw resources the needed in the Pacific. Japan had attacked without warning before and used their strong air force coupled with brilliant plans to pull off the attack. It even depicts how some Japanese leaders who originally believed in the attack now saw it as an error as it awoke the sleeping giant that was the U.S. The U.S. is shown to have contributed to the disaster as they made mistake after mistake beforehand. Each side comes off as human and fallible.
The film itself is an epic in every sense of the word. It is incredibly huge in scale and long in length. With director Richard Fleischer’s (Conan the Destroyer, The Jazz Singer – 1980) desire to show every aspect, the film is sometimes slow, but never not educational. Once the attack begins, however, the action is fast and furious. The technical and cinematographic quality during the attack scenes certainly are of a high caliber. The shots at this point really add to the tension. It basically is an historic recreation of the event which tries to be as accurate as possible while entertaining at the same time. It is a good war film which still looks good today.
-Day of Infamy
-History vs. Hollywood – Tora! Tora! Tora! A Giant Awakes
-Tora! Tora! Tora!
-Fox Movietone News
-Behind the Scenes Gallery
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Collectible Hardcover Book