Midway (1976)

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    There are 14 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Midway (1976)

      Battle of Midway (UK)


      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      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
      Seth Sakai
      Kurt Grayson
      Alfie Wise ... Dobbs
      Beeson Carroll
      John Bennett Perry
      Steve Kanaly ... Lt. Cmdr. Lance E. "Lem" Massey
      Kip Niven ... PBY pilot
      Dennis Rucker ... Ens. Manson
      Michael Richardson
      James Ingersoll
      and many more....

      Writing credits
      Donald S. Sanford

      Original Music
      John Williams

      * 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.

      Filming Locations

      Los Angeles, California, USA
      (Terminal Island Naval Base)
      Pensacola, Florida, USA
      U.S. Naval Station, Long Beach, California, USA
      USS Lexington
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Midway (1976)

      Midway, released in the United Kingdom as Battle of Midway,
      is a 1976 American Technicolor war film directed by
      and produced by Walter Mirisch from a screenplay by Donald S. Sanford.
      The film features an international cast of stars including
      Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford,
      Hal Holbrook, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson,
      Robert Wagner, James Shigeta, Pat Morita, Robert Ito and Christina Kokubo, among others.

      The music score by John Williams and the cinematography by Harry Stradling, Jr.
      were both highly regarded.
      The soundtrack used Sensurround to augment the physical sensation of engine noise,
      explosions, crashes and gunfire.

      Despite mixed reviews, Midway became the tenth most popular movie at the box office in 1976.

      I thought Midway, or The Battle of Midway as it is known in the UK,
      was a good, solid war movie.
      As in many movies of this type,
      we had to put up with the interwoven, love, personal interest
      storyline as well!!
      Charlton Heston, was well chosen, and Henry Fonda,
      played an Admiral, as only Fonda could, with sheer
      credibility and conviction.
      Great film footage, although most of it was 'borrowed'
      from the less popular Tora! Tora! Tora!

      All in all, really good movie.

      User Review

      inspiring, in a way
      20 October 2003 | by ghogr Baltimore, MD)
      I can't help but agree with most of the other comments: the sloppy production values, the scenes "borrowed" from better movies, the countless anachronisms, the distracting subplot about Lt. Garth and his Japanese girlfriend, and so on. But for me, this movie has two strong points in its favor. One, when they get around to the actual battle, they follow the history with surprising accuracy. (The "Pearl Harbor" makers could have learned something from this one.) So the movie's hard to follow? So was the actual battle! Personally, I think they did a pretty good job of keeping the flow coherent while still remaining faithful to its source material.

      The second thing in its favor is that, from the moment I first saw it in the theater as a 10 year old, it ignited in me a passion for the Battle of Midway that remains to this day. I can't think of any other movie that even comes close to getting me as hooked on its subject as this one. Maybe it's a good thing I first saw it when I was young, when I was much less discerning about production values, etc. That way, I could concentrate on the story itself.

      If you have even the slightest interest in military history or even in important historical events in general, do yourself a favor. Watch "Midway" to get an overview of the event (fast-forward over the love-story scenes if you like), then go read "Incredible Victory" by Walter Lord (which is a better book than the one for which he is most famous, "A Night to Remember"). You won't be sorry.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Midway (1976)

      I remember seeing this when it first came out in "Sensurround." Shook the body to no end during roaring engines and explosions and such. Pretty good war movie but was burdened with love interest subplot which slowed down the forward progress of the movie. I recently purchase the widescreen DVD of this and found it to be pretty good.
      Cheers - Jay:beer:
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Midway (1976)

      Midway is a favorite of mine. I liked the larger amount of time that Charlton Heston had on-screen. I wish that others like James Coburn and Glann Ford would have had more screen time. I disliked seen Heston die as he tried to land his damaged Dauntless Divebomber on the deck of a Carrier. It was refreshing to see a younger Eric Estrada-as a fighter pilot who was in Edward Alberts Squadron.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Midway (1976)

      This is another one I don't get tired of seeing when played or when I decide to pull out the DvD. I'd also like to see a stick true to the story re-make of it as long as gEORGE cLOONEY and actors like him are not involved with the movie.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Midway (1976)

      DukePilgrim wrote:

      The DVD release also contains the promotional movie for Midway which gives a nice history of the development and use of aircraft carriers upto WW2.

      Ill have to rewatch my copy-I don't remember there being any extras on it-but ill definately look at it this evening to see.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Midway (1976)

      Hi All,
      I saw this film on cable TV a short while ago. I found that there was a lot of "borrowing" from other films like "Tora Tora Tora" and "Away All Boats". There was too much emphasis on the love interest, although a lot of the action shots were well done. There should have been more of Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda but otherwise a classic action film.
      RACMP - For the troops With the troops
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Midway (1976)

      Redcap wrote:

      Hi All,
      I saw this film on cable TV a short while ago. I found that there was a lot of "borrowing" from other films like "Tora Tora Tora" and "Away All Boats". There was too much emphasis on the love interest, although a lot of the action shots were well done. There should have been more of Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda but otherwise a classic action film.

      I agree completely-too much soap opera. It seemed to setup Ford and Fonda for more scenes, but nada.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Midway (1976)

      Also for interest here is

      Classic Real War Movies-The Battle Of Midway (1942)

      Watch the Full Documentary

      The Battle Of Midway
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 5 times, last by ethanedwards ().