The amazingly detailed true story of “The Doolittle Raid” based on the personal account by Doolittle Raider Ted Lawson. Stunned by Pearl Harbor and a string of defeats, America needed a victory – badly. To that end, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, a former air racer and stunt pilot, devises a plan for a daring raid on the heart of Japan itself. To do this, he must train army bomber pilots to do something no one ever dreamed possible – launch 16 fully loaded bombers from an aircraft carrier! Remarkable in its accuracy, this movie even uses film footage from the actual raid.
A very accurate account of a major World War II event.
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo is the most accurate portrayal of the Doolittle Raid on Japan during World War II. Whenever a movie is made from a book, there are usually changes made for “dramatic effect”. However, there does not seem to be any such changes in this movie, as there is plenty of drama in the original story. Most of the dialogue was taken directly from the book by the same name. There are some scenes that may seem to be “propaganda” or “corny”, but one must remember that in 1943, the atmosphere was different in the United States and the rest of the world. All of the characters in the movie were real life people from the Doolittle Raid and from accounts in the book and other sources, they are accurately portrayed by the actors in the movie. The main character, Ted Lawson, was the original technical advisor, but he was replaced by Dean Davenport (Lawson’s co-pilot) after Lawson was re-called to active duty. Most of the flying scenes were done with actual B-25’s accurately marked and even the take-off, which was done on a sound stage, used real aircraft on an aircraft carrier mock-up. The scenes that used miniatures were also well done for the time period (before digital effects). The movie “Pearl Harbor” also has an account of the Doolittle Raid, but it is very, very inaccurate. This movie is worth watching for everyone who has a desire to see historical events and is a must for all aviation and military buffs.