Battle of Midway (UK)
DIRECTED BY JACK SMIGHT
PRODUCED BY WALTER MIRISCH
MIRISCH CORPORATION/ UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Information From IMDb
The summer of 1942 brought Naval stalemate to the Pacific as the American and Japanese fleets stood at even numbers each waiting for the other to begin a renewed offensive. "Midway" tells the story of this historic June battle where a Japanese carrier force, in an attempt to occupy Midway island and lure the American fleet to destruction, was meet valiently by US forces operating off of three aircraft carriers and numerous escort ships. It was the first battle in which naval air power was extensivly used, and at its conclusion the Japanese Carrier force had been completly destroyed which lead the way for the US 1943 and 44 offensives which would eventually bring the Pacific War to a close.
Written by Anthony Hughes
Charlton Heston ... Capt. Matthew Garth
Edward Albert ... Ens. Thomas Garth
Henry Fonda ... Adm. Chester W. Nimitz
James Coburn ... Capt. Vinton Maddox
Glenn Ford ... Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance
Hal Holbrook ... Cmdr. Joseph Rochefort
Toshirô Mifune ... Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto (as Toshiro Mifune)
Robert Mitchum ... Vice Adm. William F. 'Bull' Halsey Jr.
Cliff Robertson ... Cmdr. Carl Jessop
Robert Wagner ... Lt. Cmdr. Ernest L. Blake
Robert Webber ... RAdm. Frank J. 'Jack' Fletcher
Ed Nelson ... RAdm. Harry Pearson
James Shigeta ... Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo
Christina Kokubo ... Miss Haruko Sakura
Monte Markham ... Lt. Cmdr. Maxwell F. Leslie
Biff McGuire ... Capt. Miles Browning
Christopher George ... Lt. Cmdr. Clarence Wade McClusky
Kevin Dobson ... Ens. George H. Gay
Glenn Corbett ... Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron
Gregory Walcott ... Capt. Elliott Buckmaster
Pat Morita ... RAdm. Ryunosuke Kusaka
John Fujioka ... RAdm. Tamon Yamaguchi
Dale Ishimoto ... Vice Adm. Moshiro Hosogaya
Dabney Coleman ... Capt. Murray Arnold
Larry Pennell ... Capt. Cyril Simard
Clyde Kusatsu ... Cmdr. Watanabe
Phillip R. Allen ... Lt. Cmdr. John S. 'Jimmy' Thach
Tom Selleck ... Aide to Capt. Cyril Simard
Sab Shimono ... Lt. Tomonaga
Conrad Yama ... Adm. Nobutake Kondo
Robert Ito ... Cmdr. Minoru Genda
Yuki Shimoda ... Officer aboard carrier Hiryu
Alfie Wise ... Dobbs
John Bennett Perry
Steve Kanaly ... Lt. Cmdr. Lance E. "Lem" Massey
Kip Niven ... PBY pilot
Dennis Rucker ... Ens. Manson
and many more....
Donald S. Sanford
* This was the second film to be presented in "Sensurround", a special low-frequency bass speaker setup consisting of four huge speakers loaned by distributors to select theatres showing the film. This system was employed only during certain sequences of the film, and was so powerful that it actually cracked plaster at some movie theaters. "Sensurround" was employed in only three other films released by Universal: Earthquake (1974), Rollercoaster (1977), and the theatrical release of Battlestar Galactica (1978) (TV).
* Most dogfight sequences come from 1942 newsreels, with considerable cropping due to the need to adapt the image to the Panavision framing.
* Most sequences of the Japanese air raids on Midway are stock shots from 20th Century Fox's Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) (for instance, the jeep thrown into a wall by a bomb blast).
* Several action scenes, including the one were a Zero slams into the Yorktown's bridge, were taken from Away All Boats (1956).
* Scenes of Dolittle's Tokyo raid at the beginning of the movie are from Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944).
* Toshirô Mifune's voice is dubbed by American actor Paul Frees.
* Jack Smight replaced John Guillermin as director.
* Almost all the on-board scenes were filmed on the USS Lexington. Lexington was an Essex-class "fast carrier" commissioned in February, 1943. Even some of the "Japanese carriers" shown in birds-eye views were actually Lexington (with the film reversed to put the island superstructure on the port side whereas all US carriers had them on the starboard side) Lexington, decommissioned in 1991, was the longest serving carrier in history. Lexington is now a museum ship at Corpus Christi, Texas.
* The credits at the end of the movie play over a loop of film. The sailor on the flight deck railing repeats the same movements several times over.
* The clip showing "Tom Garth's" plane crashing and breaking in two is one of the most used crash sequences from WWII. In the actual crash, the pilot was hardly even shaken up and immediately climbed out on his own.
* When Matt Garth was making his landing approach after the battle, the number 34 can be clearly seen on the carrier's stern. This is the U.S.S. Oriskany (Big O). The Oriskany was sunk off Pensacola, FL in May, 2006 to become an artificial reef and dive site. The cost was $20,000,000 and is expected to generate revenues, as a tourist/dive site, of over $9,000,000 per year.
* Robert Mitchum filmed his cameo in a day.
* Henry Fonda played Admiral Chester Nimitz twice, in this film and in In Harm's Way (1965). In the earlier film, Fonda's character is never referenced by name, only as "CINCPAC", the acronym for his post--Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet. It is an old Naval tradition that a captain, and by extension any commanding officer, is not just himself, he is his command and, on certain occasions, such as when arriving or departing a naval warship, is always identified as the command, never by name.
* According to "The Big E: The Story of the USS Enterprise," by Edward P. Stafford, the real cause of the loss of almost all of the torpedo planes was caused by problems with radio frequencies. The torpedo planes lost contact with the fighters and dive bombers. As they attacked the Japanese carriers first, the Zeros came down to attack them. All attention was focused on the torpedo bombers. When the U.S. dive bombers arrived over the carriers, there was no air cover. Had the attack been synchronized, as planned, it is possible that the end results would have been quite different.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: While officially sanctioned kamikaze attacks did not begin until late 1944, more than 2 years after the battle of Midway, there are reliable reports of this tactic used earlier, including at Midway.
* Revealing mistakes: In virtually every shot of the flight deck looking up at the fighters and bombers overhead attacking the U.S. ships, the anti-aircraft guns show the red paper caps of the blanks rather than pointed bullets.
* Continuity: During the Japanese bombing of Midway you clearly see, briefly, battleship masts in the background. (Recycled footage from _Tora. Tora. Tora. (1970)_ .
* Anachronisms: Admiral Nimitz's office at Pearl Harbor includes a Navy Department flag (blue with the department seal in the center). The setting is 1942, but that seal wasn't adopted until 1957, and the flag not until 1959.
* Continuity: Ensign George Gay is shot in the right hand and arm. But, when he is swimming in the water, he is favoring his left arm, and reaching for his flotation device with his right hand. Later, when he is in the water watching the attack, the wounds are gone.
* Continuity: Ensign George Gay flies a torpedo plane but when his plane crashes, stock footage of a Grumman Hellcat is used to depict the crash.
* Revealing mistakes: During some of the shots showing Hornet's torpedo squadron, the planes in the background have no torpedoes loaded.
* Factual errors: When some of the torpedo squadrons are shown, the planes are actually Vindicator dive bombers.
* Continuity: In the shot of the Japanese plans about to attack Midway for the first time it clearly shows torpedoes slung beneath the planes, not bombs. In the immediately preceding scene the Japanese officers discuss whether their remaining planes should be armed with torpedoes (to attacks ships) or bombs (to attack Midway).
* Continuity: When Tom Garth lands his plane after the attack on the Japanese carriers, his face is blackened from the fire in the cockpit. When the crew takes him out of the plane and places him on the stretcher, his face is dirty, but not blackened.
* Revealing mistakes: Just before the gunner on Ensign Gay's plane is shot, the spots where the "bullets" will hit the plane can be clearly seen. The skin of the plane is rough and slightly discolored in those spots.
* Factual errors: The jeeps owned by the U.S. Navy are shown with the I.D. letters "USA", this was the army's designation. The Navy jeeps were lettered with "USN" (US Navy), they are portrayed correctly in "Tora! Tora! Tora!"
* Anachronisms: When the cockpit of one of the planes catches fire, the pilot pulls out a fire extinguisher. It is a more modern one, not a fire extinguisher that would have existed in the 1940s.
* Continuity: The actor portraying the radio operator aboard the Soryu search plane trying to radio back the location of the Yorktown is also in the group of Japanese sailors aboard the Hiryu watching the other three Japanese carriers burn. These two events are supposed to be happening simultaneously.
* Errors in geography: When USS Enterprise returns to Pearl Harbor at the end of the film, southern pine and oak trees surround the port. The landscape clearly is not Hawaii, but Pensacola, Florida, home port of USS Lexington at the time.
* Anachronisms: As we pan along the Akagi's flight deck before the launch of the Midway strike, telephone poles and lines are clearly visible at the top of the frame.
* Errors in geography: As planes are taking off from Midway, mountains can be seen in the far background. There are no mountains on Midway, as it is a small atoll only 2.5 miles square miles.
* Factual errors: When the Yorktown is under attack, the carriers are shown shooting at the Japanese with Quad 40mm and 20mm. At this time Enterprise, Yorktown and Hornet were still armed almost "as built." Their armament was composed of 5"/38s, 1.1" and 50 cal. water cooled.
* Factual errors: Tom Garth tells his father that hes been assigned to VF-8 (Fighter Squadron 8). When his dad (Capt. Garth) sees him reporting to the USS Yorktown he is shocked and says he wasn't supposed to ship out for a week. This can't be since VF-8 was assigned to the USS Hornet and would have shipped out before the elder Garth did.
* Anachronisms: The telephone poles are Radio Aerials and the footage is from I Bombed Pearl Harbor. The Aerials would be lowered for flight operations.
* Continuity: As Torpedo Sqn. 8 turns to attack the Japanese carriers, it can be clearly seen that they have no weapons underneath the aircraft.
* Miscellaneous: In the beginning of the scene where USS Enterprise and USS Hornet are leaving Pearl Harbor, it has a shot panning across Pearl Harbor showing an aircraft carrier marked "3" (meaning CV-3 USS Saratoga). But it is not a Lexington class ship (the class of ship that the USS Saratoga belonged to) it appears to be an Essex class carrier that someone has changed the number on (probably CV-9 USS Essex).
* Factual errors: In all the overhead shots of the carriers, angled flights decks are clearly visible. Angled flight decks weren't added until the USS Midway's refit, and Japanese carriers were never retrofitted with them.
* Continuity: When Tom Garth takes off from the aircraft carrier to attack the Japanese, he's taking off in an F4F Wildcat, but when he returns from the attack, burned and shot up, he lands in an F6F Hellcat.
* Factual errors: When the last Japanese carrier is being attacked, Japanese anti-aircraft fire destroys a bomber which explodes in mid-air. The bomber is twin engined (attacking aircraft are all single engined) and German markings are visible on the wingtips. It's unlikely that German bombers took part in the battle of Midway and certainly not attacking allied Japanese shipping.
* Anachronisms: Some of the Jeeps in this movie have one piece windshields. These Jeeps were not produced until after WWII.
* Factual errors: Kamikaze attacks did not happen at the battle of Midway. Kamikaze attacks, beginning in 1944, followed several very significant and critical military and strategic defeats for Japan, its decreasing capacity to wage war along with the loss of experienced pilots, and the increasing industrial capacity of the United States as well as Japan's reluctance to surrender at near the very end of Pacific War.
* Factual errors: When footage shows the American fighters returning to the carrier deck, after the successful strike on the three Japanese carriers, they still have their bombs.
* Anachronisms: In the final scene where a crowd has gathered at the dock to welcome Admiral Spruance and Enterprise back to Pearl Harbor, many of the extras are dressed in contemporary clothing not found in 1942.
* Factual errors:When Matt Garth crashes on the flight deck at the end of the movie, it is actually footage shot during Korea, showing a SB2C "Helldiver" striking the ramp before turning into an F9F "Panther" jet fighter bomber as it explodes.
Los Angeles, California, USA
(Terminal Island Naval Base)
Pensacola, Florida, USA
U.S. Naval Station, Long Beach, California, USA