Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), directed by Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, and Toshio Masuda.

The emphasis is on historical accuracy in this joint US-Japanese production, a meticulous retelling of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As documentary it is quite well done, but is less satisfying as drama. Nothing wrong with the actors, but they have to speak the plot every step of the way and this makes it wooden. Critics found the film dull but history buffs in both countries have liked it better.

We get a sense of the risky gamble the Japanese were taking, and of their luck in finding the Americans so poorly prepared. The last aspect is really hammered: one poor decision after another.

The air battle and ground attack are tremendous. The model work on the ship explosions is not as good, and for some reasons movie recreations never match the colossal scope of the disaster as shown in the original newsreels:

The wikipedia article has a section on errors; they are all the sort of details that fly right by me.

Akira Kurosawa put quite a lot of time in on this but was replaced and little of his film used. It really wasn't his sort of project.

Jerry Goldsmith score with a variety of martial themes. For DC he brings up the Copland-esque music traditional in American political thrillers.

Available on Blu-ray with a fine image and natural color.