In 1980, the assistant of the Department of Defense Warren Lasky is assigned by his mysterious chief Richard Tideman to visit the aircraft carrier USS Nimtz commanded by Capt. Matthew Yelland as an observer of the routines. Lasky finds that Wing Commander Richard T. Owens has a great knowledge of history. Out of the blue, the vessel faces a weird storm and they find that they have traveled back in time to the eve of the attack of Pearl Harbor on 06 December 1941. When the two Japanese Zeros attack the motorboat of Senator Samuel Chapman, the crew of the Nimitz rescues the senator and his assistant Laurel Scott. But sooner Lasky learns that the senator had disappeared on that day and Capt. Matthew Yelland is planning to attack the Japanese. Will these actions create a time paradox? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The date that the aircraft carrier went missing was 7th December 1980. The date that it materializes on was 6th December 1941 - one day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. See more »
While flying out to the ship, the Russian trawler- isn't. Real trawlers were larger ships designed to shadow our fleet units for long period of time, monitoring our radio spectrum as well as our procedures, and frequently reporting data via radio circuits; this requires an extensive antenna system for SIGINT and ELINT, and RFDF, of which the little fishing boat has none. The average 'trawler' was 300 feet in length, over 3000 tons, and carried a crew of about 150. See more »
[voice over radio]
Pearl Tower, Tomcat two-zero-zero. requesting clearance for departure runway zero-nine. Over.
Pearl Harbor Tower:
[voice over radio]
Two-zero-zero, Pearl Harbor Tower. You are cleared runway oh-niner. Winds zero-four-five at eight. SH-three approaching from the right. Have a nice day.
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I first saw this film when I was right out of high school, and I wasn't surprised to see the lobby-card poster hanging in a Navy recruiter's office a few months later when I dropped by. And that's entirely appropriate; the film is, among other things, a love letter to the modern Navy. I mean that as high praise: Where lots of military movies (and plenty of recruiting commercials) overdo the martial aspects of their characters with a gung-ho Sergeant Rock style, the byplay in this movie provided glimpses of the the Navy (and the Marine Corps too, God bless 'em), honestly and simply, as people taking pride in a demanding, sacrificial profession.
To this day I wonder which, if any, sailors and Marines I saw were actual service people. If any were, Don Taylor and his second-unit directorial crew got excellent small performances from them. Here's an example: In a brief scene that probably barely survived the final cut, there's interaction among some sailors: "Christ, Chief, all we wanna know is what's going on," asserts one mildly exasperated rating. "If you need to know, you'll be told," replies the Chief Master-at-Arms curtly. The people who spoke this dialogue definitely weren't Screen Actors Guild types; they looked and sounded pretty much like sailors I've known. And that's a little detail that's done right so seldom that I hardly notice anymore that I'm deliberately overlooking it.
The aerial sequences set a standard that wouldn't be touched until /Top Gun/ hit the screen. To be sure, both movies relied to some extent on stock footage of naval-aviation ops, but as with /Top Gun/, this film's flying was spectacular -- and, in the last of the years before CGI took hold, REAL. (Compare this film's or /Top Gun/'s exteriors of aircraft with, say, /Air Force One/, and you'll see what I mean.
The "name-actor" ensemble of Kirk Douglas et al. performed, perhaps not brilliantly, but serviceably in a film that certainly was more plot-driven than character-focused. The story -- revealed by plenty of other comments here -- though implausible, is still capable of holding one's interest. But after you catch this flick on the tube for the second or third time, pay attention to the enlisted pukes doing their jobs -- to me, they're the real stars.
If it's on the shelf, rent it. If it's on TV again, watch it. At the least, it's an entertaining story. At its best, it's a good study in style and pacing.
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