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The Battle of Midway (1942)

The Japanese attack on Midway in June 1942, filmed as it happened.

Director:

John Ford (as Lt. Cmdr. John Ford U.S.N.R.)
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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A look at America's infamous attack against the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Henry Fonda ... Narrator (voice)
Jane Darwell ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Logan Ramsey Logan Ramsey ... Himself
James Roosevelt James Roosevelt ... Himself - US Army Major (as Major Roosevelt)
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Storyline

On June 4-6, 1942, a large Japanese force attempted to capture Midway Island in the North Pacific, but was defeated by U.S. forces with a loss ratio of 4:1 in favor of the Americans. On hand was a crew of naval photographers directed by John Ford; their documentary footage was edited together with narration by Hollywood actors. The film covers the attack on Midway, some limited aerial footage, the search for survivors, and aftermath of the battle. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Short | War

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Batalha de Midway See more »

Filming Locations:

Midway Islands

Company Credits

Production Co:

United States Navy See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Footage of James Roosevelt, not taken by John Ford's crew, was added after the rest of the editing had been finished. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Why that's young Will Kenny. He's from my hometown - Springfield, Ohio. He's not going to fly that great big bomber?
Narrator: Why yes, ma'am. That's his job. He's a skipper.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Wing and a Prayer (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Red River Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Celebrated WWII short from the great John Ford
11 March 2011 | by rick_7See all my reviews

John Ford's celebrated 19-minute documentary about America's first major victory of World War Two earned him a shrapnel wound, a Purple Heart and an Oscar. The first 10 is impressive without being that interesting - hard-won battle footage that largely consists of some stuff setting on fire, the camera shaking, the film cutting, then something else setting on fire - though the raising of the flag is a lovely moment, narrator Irving Pichel intoning: "Yes, this really happened". The second half is more obviously Fordian, the elegiac tone reinforced by hymns, slanting shadows and Jane Darwell's frenzied, corny, but effective narration. Audiences wept and fainted during the passage where she urges ambulance-men to rush injured soldiers to a hospital. Ford would make his definitive statement on the war, and the nature of heroism, with 1945's They Were Expendable, but this short is well worth a look.


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