September 23, 1970

Tora! Tora! Tora! (Japanese: トラ・トラ・トラ!) is a 1970 epic war film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The film was produced by Elmo Williams and directed by Richard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, and stars an ensemble cast including Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, So Yamamura, E.G. Marshall, James Whitmore, Tatsuya Mihashi, Takahiro Tamura, Wesley Addy, and Jason Robards. It was Masuda and Fukasaku's first English-language film, and first non-Japanese film.

The tora of the title is the two-syllable Japanese codeword used to indicate that complete surprise had been achieved. Japanese being a language with many homophones, it is a coincidence that tora also means "tiger" (虎).

Storyline

This dramatic retelling of the Pearl Harbor attack details everything in the days that led up to that tragic moment in American history. As United States and Japanese relations strain over the U.S. embargo of raw materials, Air Staff Officer Minoru Genda plans the preemptive strike against the United States. Although American intelligence agencies intercept Japanese communications hinting at the attack, they are unwilling to believe such a strike could ever occur on U.S. soil.

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