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December 7th (1943)

Unrated | | Action, History, War | 1943 (USA)
"Docudrama" about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and its results, the recovering of the ships, the improving of defense in Hawaii and the US efforts to beat back the Japanese reinforcements.

Directors:

John Ford, Gregg Toland
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Walter Huston ... Uncle Sam 'U.S.'
Harry Davenport ... Mr. 'C'
Dana Andrews ... Ghost of US Sailor Killed at Pearl Harbor
Paul Hurst ... World War I Ghost Soldier
George O'Brien ... Single Voice of the Dead Servicemen (voice)
James Kevin McGuinness James Kevin McGuinness ... Narrator (voice) (as James K. McGuiness)
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Storyline

In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, director Gregg Toland is tasked by producer John Ford, both now serving in the navy, to film a documentary about that infamous day. What Toland provided was an 82 minute documentary that featured not only the attack but focused heavily on the local Japanese population's supposedly large role as spies providing information to the homeland. Ford took over the direction of the film and the military eventually released a 34 minute version focusing on the attack. The longer version features Uncle Sam telling the audience how naive America was before Pearl Harbor with recreations of Japanese people collecting information in preparation for the attack. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | History | War

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | Hawaiian

Release Date:

1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

December 7, 1941 See more »

Filming Locations:

Oahu, Hawaii, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored) | (war workers') | (Academy Award) | (original theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Other reasons this film was cut to 32 minutes was that it asked embarrassing questions about the military's preparedness - the lack of long-range reconnaissance flights and air patrols, for instance, which were considered damaging to the moral of the country, and it had a segment dealing with the Japanese-American population in Hawaii and how they responded to and were affected by the attack - at a time when Japanese-Americans were being evacuated and interred on the west coast of the USA. See more »

Goofs

Showing the events of the Sunday morning attack, the priest at Mass (at Kaneohe, I believe) announces incorrectly that it is the 1st Sunday of Advent. Actually it was the 2nd Sunday of Advent. See more »

Quotes

World War I Ghost Soldier: Six will get you twelve that fifteen to twenty years from now they'll be opening up new sectors in here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The War and Navy Departments, producers of the movie, are credited orally by a narrator. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints carry an additional title card at the beginning that reads "John Ford's December 7, 1941." See more »

Connections

Edited into The Winds of War (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
Traditional 18th century tune
Played as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"You know that I know that you know that this is an attack by Japan."
20 December 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Docudrama about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, that led to the US entering World War II. The version I have seen twice now on TCM is the unedited 82-minute version. The shorter version, which runs 34 minutes, is the one that won the Oscar for short subject documentary. The first part of the film is amusingly corny. Uncle Sam (Walter Huston) is vacationing in Hawaii, where he is interrupted by his conscience (Harry Davenport) the day before the attack. They discuss the history of Hawaii, the loyalty of Japanese-Americans, and America's complacency. From there we have the Pearl Harbor attack and the entry into the war. These scenes are a combination of stock footage and recreations shot by famed cinematographer Gregg Toland. It's not hard to differentiate between the two. Dana Andrews plays the ghost of a sailor who died at Pearl Harbor and Paul Hurst plays the ghost of a soldier who died in WWI. The credit for this film seems to go to John Ford, although it appears all he may have done is edit down Gregg Toland's longer version. I haven't read up on the film's history so I can't say for sure. I will say that very little about this screamed John Ford to me, stylistically speaking. Like I said, it's corny and maybe a little offensive if you want it to be, but I found it pretty fascinating. It's a nice window into the mindsets of Americans at the time and how they felt about these issues and events. The attack itself is excitingly recreated. WWII buffs should find a lot to chew on here. Everybody else, how you'll feel about it likely depends on the baggage you bring with you. Some will like it, some will hate it, and some will like to hate it. Hopefully most of you will find it interesting and your blood pressure will be unaffected.


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