Friday, May 10, 2013

Movie Review: Tora, Tora, Tora

This is the 1970 depiction of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It includes both the depiction from the side of the Americans and the Japanese.  Much of it is with subtitles.  This is a very good movie.  It depicts the failure of the Japanese ambassadors to deliver documents declaring war before the attack was started.  As a result, Japan attacked a country with whom they were attempting to negotiate peace.  This was a major point of President Roosevelt's address the following day. 
This movie does a very good job of explaining the failures of intelligence and other systems of communication to give warnings of the impending attack.  Instead, the telegram message arrives after the attack as it was not marked urgent.  The report from the newly mounted radar equipment is ignored.  The report of a submarine being sunk is down played awaiting confirmation.  It seems people doing routine horse rides and golf games effected their ability to respond.  Tora, Tora, Tora (complete surprise) was achieved as a result.
The film does not portray the stories of individual in the fighting very well, but we do see the USS Arizona blow up and burn, and the USS Nevada make for an escape, and then ground itself so as to not block the channel.
It concludes with the famous line of Japanese Yamamoto, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

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