Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Five Pearl Harbor Day Movies

On the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack that brought the U.S. into World War II, a list of five films that deal with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and its aftermath.

Five Pearl Harbor Day Movies

Montgomery Clift bugle calls.
Montgomery Clift bugle calls.

On the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack that brought the U.S. into World War II, five films that deal with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and its aftermath:

1. From Here to Eternity (1953) -- Famous for its Burt Lancaster-Deborah Kerr kissing-in-the-sand and-surf scene -- and for the Oscar-winning work of Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed, not to mention its Best Picture Academy Award -- Fred Zinneman’s adaptation of the James Jones’ novel follows a group of soldiers stationed on Oahu in the weeks leading up to the attack.

2.Tora! Tora! Tora! (1971) – How’s that Joni Mitchell song go -- ”I’ve looked at global military conflagration from both sides now?”  An all-star take on the December 7 bombing, as seen from Japanese and American perspectives. With So Yamamura, E.G. Marshall, Jason Robards and hundreds of nose-diving kamikaze pilots.

3In Harm’s Way (1965) – Otto Preminger directs John Wayne, Henry Fonda and Kirk Douglas  in the black-and-white WWII epic set on Hawaii in the wake of the historic attacks.

4. Pearl Harbor (2001) – The Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster marshals the mighty re-enacting skills of Josh Hartnett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alec Baldwin and Kate Beckinsale (and Jon Voight as FDR), deploying hundreds of visual effects techies, and going on for 183 minutes -- longer than the actual surprise strike itself.    

5.  The Winds of War (1983) Slow-going TV miniseries, with Robert Mitchum, Jan-Michael Vincent and Ali MacGraw among the throng, culminating with the historic conflagration in the early hours of Dec. 7.  

Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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Consider our Movies blog your essential guide to new movies and classics, interviews with filmmakers and stars, news and views on the latest screen trends, reviews and the occasional rant.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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