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Midway, May 1941. After the Doolittle Raid Japan aims to expand its territory in the Pacific, to make such raids less likely. Their next target: Midway Island. However, the US Navy is intercepting their messages and has partially cracked their encryption code, forewarning them of Japan’s intentions. Two US aircraft carrier task groups are sent to Midway, resulting in the one of the most important battles in history.

It’s overall what counts

Midway, This was one of my favorite movies when I was growing up and building models of land, sea, and air craft of the WWII period. Of course we all could have done without the romantic interest, but what counts is the overall telling of the story accurately (even if that includes sideline dramatizations etc.). In a nutshell Midway was a gamble and even though we knew where they’d be, we still took it on the chin with the loss of most of the aircraft and the Yorktown (which left only 2 effective carriers in the pacific and 1 in drydock). In the end we were lucky enough to be able to inflict sufficiently more damage on them than they did on us. This is the story that is told so well. It doesn’t matter that the special effects were less than stellar (e.g., view of the fleet from the sealevel – obvious miniatures) or that they showed Essex class carriers which did not yet exist getting hit by a kamikaze. The film is true in its depictions of gambles, gaffs, and good fortune which in the end allowed us to be victorious and end Japanese expansion. So quit knocking it and enjoy it for what it is!

Ignore the bad press. This is a good film


Again I am forced to say this. History is impossible to film as it happened. Everything is based on someone’s memory and rarely on the facts, whatever they happen to be. With the possible exception of Charlton Heston being over cast for what should have been a lessor role with a lessor actor, this film has nothing…I repeat nothing to be ashamed about. The viewing of the events leading up to Midway, just as in the equally watchable “Tora! Tora! Tora!” is helped by being viewed from both sides. It makes it easier, for one thing to understand the motivations of both sides.

I am always entrusted in the music, and the music here was excellent as always. Very fitting to the film. I have to say I am not one for war movies usually, so it takes something special to interest a history major like myself.

Sands Of Iwo Jima

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