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Topic: Question on thoughts on movie aircraft & ships, was the movie accurate?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 11
MCarlo5 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2002,7:42  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well I've read all the posts about this "cartoon", Pearl Harbor, and especially the one about people's interest in the event being "peeked".
 But the underlying thing to me was that the producer and the marketing genius behind this piece of garbage was that it was presented as more historical fact than actually came out in the film and now folks all over are apologizing for it!  Unbelievable.
 Doolittle's raiders, for instance, hit Japan individually, not in some dramatic, low-flying formation of B-25s (and I'm sure Bruckheimer (sp) has no idea, and never will have, that their were B-25s and there were B-25s, and that there is actual film of the CV-8 Hornet available everywhere of the launch).
 The shots of the ships moored in the harbor is laughable, not even worrying about the atrocious insertion of modern vessals into the movie.
 The research, while maybe impressive to the uninformed viewer, was actually an excercise in laziness and ineptitude.  Sorry.
 The formations of Japanese aircraft was a wonderfully idyllic interpretation of men flying to their destiny in this wide ranging assemblage of multiple aircraft types, all winging their way to Paradise, when in fact the flights were tight elements of five, each of which had a specific target.  God, what a mess.
 I think the biggest diservice done in this "film" though is the impression(s) left on so many people who knew little if anything about what actually happened that morning.  It will take years of research on their own to undue all the Bad History pawned off on the unsuspecting movie goer.  But what the hey, you pays your money and you takes your chances and guys like Bruckheimer (sp) laugh all the way to the bank.
 Between guys like him, Brokaw, Spielberg (sp), Hanks and Ambrose we are all doomed.
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 Post Number: 12
Edward Chen
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2002,2:24 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi, all,

Feel free to accuse me of going seriously overboard here.
y wife and I saw this film on opening day last year, on May 25, 2001, in the Battery Park City Cineplex Odeon multiplex (which has been closed down indefinitely as it is right next to the World Trade Center). And while my wife was squirming in her seat from the laughable dialogue attempting to flesh out a paper-thin romance plot, I was sitting up in my seat paying attention to all the details, or lack thereof, regarding ships, planes and the dramatization of the attack itself.

IMO, attention to historical accuracy in PH was uneven, sloppy, and in some cases, probably the result of Bay deliberately ignoring the advice of historian advice for the sake of "the look." How else could they have used GREEN-painted Zeroes when just about every history book, painting and the movie "Tora Tora Tora" (T3) shows them in the historically correct light gray?

In other cases it seems as if the budget for computer graphics somehow dried up. There were numerous scenes that could have used CGI to produce a historically accurate look, but didn't. In addition, there wasn't constant liaison between the historical advisors and the CGI technicians generating the scenes, with the result that inaccuracies appear in the CGI-generated scenes. CGI IS hard work, and the companies involved (e.g., ILM) should be commended for their work, but I wished the PH production team had some Dale-Dye kind of advisor insisting on historical accuracy (though chances are he'd be the first one to be fired from the PH production team).

To indulge, let's start with what the movie PH got right:

- the IJN flagship Akagi did have its island to port. This was correctly depicted using CGI but in just one scene (and was marred with the inclusion of THREE(!;) Takao-class cruisers in the background).

- the assault on Battleship Row did start off with a torpedo attack, followed by a level bombing attack that hit and destroyed the battleship Arizona.

- the battleship Oklahoma did capsize (this was about the only original technical achievement in the movie, as it was not depicted in T3).

- the Arizona was destroyed by a bomb dropped from a Kate level bomber, and the bomb's shape, if not colors, as it appears in the film is correct. According to historian David Aiken, the forty-nine "Kate" level bombers each dropped one Type 5 800kg armor-piercing bomb, which were adapted from the 16-inch gun shells of the Japanese Navy's Mutsu-class battleships (a specialized bomb-casing was added over the warheads). The memorable bomb-dropping scene is accurate (more so than in T3) until the bomb strikes the ship, after which it gets ridiculous.

- the forward half of the Arizona (after her fatal explosion) looks hauntingly accurate.

- two American fighter pilots did drive from the main fighter base at Wheeler Field to a satellite strip (Haleiwa) to take off from there and intercept the second wave of Japanese planes

- Doolittle's raiders did take off from the carrier USS Hornet (CV-8), and did crashland in China.

Best Regards,
Edward Chen

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2002,2:57 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I dont want to sound stuck up or mean but I think some people here are being a bit arrogant!

Its because that movie was released that people like me are actually here and more people are interested in the subject.

So the movie was not intended to represent historical fact in every teeny, tiny detail, it was a story reflecting the emotions of the people who were involved. A love story set in the time and place.

So shoot Bruckheimer for having the wrong class cruiser or a fightere with the wrong markings - the pointi s he actually bothered to make a movie about it which is more than you can say for others!!

I think people should stop being so padantic about accuracy and think what we are really here for - to remember the event, not to critiscise someone for making a movie so interest grows!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2002,3:02 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

P.S I think it was a good film!!!

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 Post Number: 15
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2002,6:14 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi, all,

The topic of this thread concerns historical accuracy, emphasizing details of ships and planes. It's not a rhetorical question about "why bother with historical accuracy", or whether you enjoyed the movie or not.
Does it hurt to know the truth, to know where the makers of the film erred and where they shined? This information may be enlightening.
However, historical facts are facts, and these cannot be changed b/c the events already happened.
So my sincere apologies beforehand, if these messages sound "arrogant", b/c that's not my intent.
Besides, the movie has already been made. These comments won't lead to any scene changes. I don't believe any major scene changes will be made (as was done in the re-releases of "Star Wars" episodes IV-VI). The director's cut of PH coming out in May will include more scenes which were cut out from the initial theatrical release, not changes in existing scenes.
But, personally, it can't hurt to know what the facts are, does it? Better here, than in a library?

Best Regards,
Edward Chen

P.S. Spielberg & Hanks weren't perfect either with their production "Band of Brothers", but IMO in terms of historical acccuracy they were much, much better...
Oh, yes. I did enjoy this movie enough, and had my interest piqued, to go through and generate this list, part of which appears below. These were observations made from the second theatrical trailer and were originally posted on www.pearlharborfilm.com (corrections are included):

- The A6M2 (Model 21, which entered service in mid-1941) Zeros were painted light gray, not green. For the PH movie three authentic replicas of the A6M5 (Model 52, which entered service in late 1943 and in the green color that became standard for Imperial Japanese Navy carrier planes after October 1943) Zero were contracted, IIRC, from a Russian company specializing in building WW2 replica planes. (If anyone knows more about this detail, I'd love to know!;)

- The real Dorie Miller fired a watercooled .50-caliber machinegun which was the standard light antiaircraft weapon on US capital ships in 1941, not twin .50-caliber MGs (which BTW in the movie were mounted on pedestal mounts for 20mm Oerlikon light AA cannon;  these mounts weren't used on US battleships until mid-1942).

- The forward tripod mast of the USS Arizona is correct for 1941, but the aft mast represents the ship as she was built in 1919 (replaced by a tripod mast in her 1929 refit).

- The capsized hull of the USS Oklahoma shows four propeller shafts, whereas the Nevada-class battleships only had two.

- Dorie Miller, who served aboard the West Virginia, is shown in a fight scene on the stern of a battleship with a triple turret (the scene was filmed on the USS Missouri, which was built in 1943). The West Virginia had twin 16"-gun turrets.

- Wire-catching bridles (a feature of contemporary US carriers such as the USS Constellation used in the movie, but were not present on WW2 carriers) can be seen during the B-25 launch scene.

- In one overhead shot, Japanese planes are shown flying off the stern-end of the Essex-class WW2 carrier USS Lexington (now preserved as a museum in Corpus Christi, TX), in order to simulate the Japanese flagship Akagi which has a port-side island. They got the orientation right, but some CGI would be appropriate here to mask the actual island (which includes the smokestacks) with a Japanese-style smaller island (which doesn't). [In the actual movie, CGI was used to properly disguise the Lexington as the Akagi in an earlier scene showing Japanese preflight preparations, but with the three Takao-class cruisers in the background].

- Contemporary Spruance-class destroyers appear in the scene showing four ships moored together and wracked by explosions. These were not disguised with CGI in the final film.
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