Ten Movies to Honor the Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

 

December 7, 2013 marks the 72nd Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. To avoid WWIII America needs to have the strength and determination to deter those who would consider starting it. These movies show what happens when you lack the necessary resolve before you’re attacked but show incredible resolve once you’ve been attacked. They show the absolutely horrible price the world pays for appeasing tyrants. This list focuses on big budget movies made from 1957 onward. There were many great ones made prior to this, as well as many great smaller movies.
Not necessarily in order of recommendation:

ToraToraTora_200

1. TORA! TORA! TORA!

1970

This 1970 movie deals directly with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tora! Tora! Tora! was the Japanese code for the surprise attack. With tremendous production values, this excellent epic movie shows Japanese Admiral Tamamoto telling his commanders they are about to awake a sleeping giant. He was right. The giant should not have been sleeping. TORA! TORA! TORA! is a first-rate depiction of the attack, from both the American and the Japanese perspective.

Midway_200

2. MIDWAY

1976

A Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum classic about the American defense of a small critical island the Japanese wanted to take as an air base. With great sea battles, America defended the island and turned the tide in the Pacific theater. One of the most patriotic movies of the 1970s, as well as well worth watching.

RiverKwai_200

3. BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI

1957

The Academy Award Winning story of British prisoners in the Pacific theater forced to build a bridge by the Japanese. This is a classic David Lean drama with superb acting by Alec Guinness, William Holden, and others. It’s not to be missed.

TheyWereExpendable_200

4. THEY WERE EXPENDABLE

1945

This is Director/Producer John Ford’s classic war movie about what happened in the Philippines after the Japanese attacked America’s forces there and at Pearl Harbor. As such, it tells the immediate aftermath of those attacks and how the United States struggled to get back on its feet in the wake of Pearl Harbor. It features one of John Wayne’s best performances, as well as one of Robert Montgomery and Donna Reed’s best performances (Donna would go on to make one of the greatest movies of all time, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, as George Bailey’s loving wife, in one of the greatest, most poignant female performances of all time).

TheLongestDay_200

5. THE LONGEST DAY

1962

John Wayne, Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, and Richard Todd head an all-star cast in this 168-minute movie about D-Day. The movie wanders from place to place, telling stories of those fighting different battles that day. THE LONGEST DAY is another first-rate depiction of one of the most important battles in not only American history, but also human history.

MemphisBelle_200

6. MEMPHIS BELLE

1990

MEMPHIS BELLE is the story of the crew of a B-17 bomber stationed at a US airbase in England and its 25th and final mission into Germany. It’s one of the few patriotic war movies made in the 1990s. It’s also a rousing, enthralling movie.

AirForce_200

7. AIR FORCE

1943

AIR FORCE is one of the most exciting, patriotic World War II movies. Like THEY WERE EXPENDABLE, it shows the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, focusing on a brave band of Army Air Force servicemen manning one of the few American planes that escaped destruction. Leading the All-American crew is John Garfield and the inimitable Harry Carey (MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON), with a fun turn by George Tobias of SERGEANT YORK, a great character actor from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

PearlHarbor_200

8. PEARL HARBOR

2001

A spectacular big budget war movie dealing with the “day that will live in infamy.” It stars Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett as two pilots who must fight off the Japanese as they fight each other for the love of the same nurse. It is redemptive, but includes foul language and implied sexual immorality, so caution is advised.

McArthur_200

9. MACARTHUR

1977

Gregory Peck played General Douglas MacArthur who was recalled by FDR from the Philippines and promised to return. The movie chronicles his return and his role in post war Japan and in the Korean War.

Patton_200

10. PATTON

1970

George C. Scott won best actor for the lead role in this story of the controversial general who was both pompous and successful. The movie won seven Academy Awards. It’s masterful filmmaking that turned out to be much more patriotic than the filmmakers originally intended. Has some strong foul language, so caution is advised.

The still-living father of the leading writer of this piece is a World War II pilot who flew on D-Day and at Market Garden (A BRIDGE TOO FAR). He was 23-years-old in 1944 and, like so many young men, was given great responsibility and sent to face grave danger. We owe it to those who risked their lives and those who gave their lives not to let this happen again.
The fight for freedom begins here at home with the fight to maintain a predominantly Christian worldview. Appeasement, socialism, pacifism, and multiculturalism undermine resolve and lead to war; they don’t prevent it.
Watch these movies and ask yourself if you want America’s young men sent in far greater numbers overseas to die fighting tyrants emboldened by weak, self-serving leaders.