Ten WW II Movies to Honor the 70th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

December 7, 2011 marks the 70th 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 1958 on. There were many great ones made prior to this, as well as many great smaller movies.

(not in order by recommendation)

1. 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 star 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 it includes foul language and implied sexual immorality.


2. TORA! TORA! TORA! (1970)

This 1970 also deals with Pearl Harbor. Tora! Tora! Tora! was the Japanese code for the surprise attack. The movie shows Japanese Admiral Tamamoto telling his commanders that they are about to awake a sleeping giant. He was right. The giant should not have been sleeping.


3. 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.


4. 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.


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.


John Wayne, Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, and Henry Fonda 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.


7. 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.



This is the exciting story of the Royal Air Force defending Britain from the German Luftwaffe. The RAF’s success led Prime Minister Winston Churchill to say, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”


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.

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10. A BRIDGE TOO FAR (1977)

Sean Connery, Ryan O’Neal, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, Robert Redford, and John Ratzenberger star in this story of the horrors of overconfidence, undersupply, and bad decisions. It can happen in war and the price is terrible.

The still-living father of the 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.