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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2005,7:15  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tora! Tora! Tora! seems to be the favorite Pearl Harbor movie among people intrested in the history of the attack. Unfortunally it has two major flaws from Holywood's point of view. It lost money and it wasn't even nominated for any major Oscars, let alone winning them. These are Holywood's marks of sucess, not accuracy.

These problem's with T3 can't be laid on the public and Holywood having an aversion to a movie set in WWII. Patton was made the same year, and it made money, and took home the Oscars for best picture and best actor. We had two big budget WWII movies that year, one was a sucess by Holywood's standards, the other despite praise from Historians was a flop.

Why am I putting so much emphisis on Holywood'd standards? Because they are the ones who will decide if another Pearl Harbor movie is made, not historians.

So the question is why did Patton suceed while T3 flopped?

Personally I think T3 failed because it was TOO accurate. The story of Pearl Harbor is too complex to be told in a single movie. Patton had one man who was the focus of the movie. the average viewer didn't have to have a historian's viewpoint to follow the storyline. Someone who wasn't allready familar with the story of Pearl Harbor got confused trying to follow all of the different people through T3.

My view is a good Pearl Harbor movie would be one that followed the story from the viewpoint of a limited number of people, but which also remained as accurate as possible while doing so. It should get people intrested in Pearl Harbor and not create false impressions.

The very nature of the attack means a Pearl Harbor movie is going to have a lot of expensive special effects. It has to have a wider intrest than historians if it is going to make money.

So here's the question. If a producer contacted you about a Pearl Harbor movie, who are the 4 to 6 people you would make the "stars", the ones who's viewpoints of the day of infamy would be both entertaining to the general public and vital to telling as much of the story of Pearl Harbor as possible in a two hour movie.

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John Dobbins

No government which fails to provide for its own preservation against the assaults of every probable foe is entitled to the support of its people. (Carl Vinson)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2005,2:03 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yammamoto, Kimmel, Genda, Fuchida, Welch, and Finn.
In fact, I already got five of these cast for my historical novel about PH (think "Gods And Generals" meets "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and there is the concept for the novel, btw.)
And speaking of T3, I first saw it as a young kid and while I found the pre-attack part a bit slow (but don't feel so about it now), I was shocked and not a little horrified by the attack sequence.  It truly is a classic historical drama, IMO.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2005,3:37 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Personally, I wouldn't do any of the big name "stars."

The "problem" with the attack on Pearl harbort is that in and of itse'f it's barely longer than a feature film. TTT sought to cover the attack but there was so much to it that it lost most of the audience. Patton worked because you built a rapport or interest in a person.

Any story has a protagonist, an antagonist, and a struggle. Start looking at the major characters, their antagonists, and their struggle and how many of them would be what Hollywood would consider?

Kimmel or Short.... a tradgedy. Yamamoto... a political battle where he gets vindication by radio. Fuchida... the build up... a little battle, and then a lot of time circling around taking photos.

What I would do would be to focus on a ship, or more specifically a sailor or two on that ship. Make the sailor new to the Navy, either a new ensign or enlisted sailor and follow him for a bit as he settles in; this gives you a chance to give some background of Pearl Harbor, the sailor, and to establish a connection with the sailor.

Show him unsure and needing to prove to himself that he's a man. Hey, maybe even have a poingient scene where he meets a nurse and connects with her but ultimately duty tears them apart (get that chick angle in there the studios love).

His struggle for self worth comes to a head during the attack. The build up makes the horror and disorientation connect with the audience more; they feel his confusion and his rage. They are along for the ride as he is put in a dangerous position and conquers his demons and becomes a man. When the attack is over cut to a scene where he demonstrates a quiet confidence that he knows there's a long road ahead but that he will see it through. The end.

And if it's popular you've got four more years of war you can do sequels in ;)

Edited by Tracy White on --

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Let's see what this does...

Tracy White
http://www.ResearcherAtLarge.com
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2005,6:33 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Tracy,

How does this sound for a one person movie, base it on Lt. Clarence Dickinson.

It opens as the Enterprise is returning from Wake giving time to get to know the Dickinson. At the same time the KB is also headed to Pearl Harbor. Tension builds as the Enterprise is due to arrive on the 6th, the storm delays her changing her fate.

The attack on Pearl Harbor starts as Dickinson and the Enterprise planes are flying in. Dickinson is shot down at Pearl Harbor. He makes his way to Ford Island and takes off that afternoon seeking the Japanese fleet, but dosen't get his vengance yet.

6 Months Later, Dickinson is at Midway, again he searches for the Japanese fleet, but this time he finds them, the movie climaxes with Dickinson bombing the Kaga.

You get Pearl Harbor and Midway in one movie. You have the hero suffering inital defeat and comming back to claim victory over the KB.

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John Dobbins

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2005,8:40 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good idea, Dobbins!
Great minds think alike: Lieutenant Earl Gallaher, who remembered vividly the USS [/I]Arizona burning after the raid (and who survived the attack itself, IRRC), is going to be in volume one and volume two of my trilogy because of the moment -to be dramatically and accurately depicted in volume two- at Midway when he scored a direct hit on HIMS Kaga, so great was his elation he thought "Arizona I remember you!" Then I'll probably cut to Fuchida and Genda on [I]Akagi -the leader of the attack that sank Arizona and the man who planned the attack that saw her sunk- getting a good idea of "what goes around, comes around" and how "the paths of glory lead but to the grave" as their own ship gets blown apart too for ironic contrast between victor and vanquished.
Again, good idea you have, Dobbins re: PH film.

Richard
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2005,12:04 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like that one John! I initially shied away from an airplane based theme due to the Disney travesty... but that would work well!

Who wants to work on a script? ;)

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Tracy White
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2005,12:25 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

gag, the Disney PH. It wasn't just bad history it was a stinker of a movie. Ending the movie on an upbeat note rather than the tragedy at Pearl Harbor was a good plot idea, but the way they achived it was so contrived that it defied common sense as well as history. Throughout the movie you could sense the scriptwritters heavy hand shoving the heros into absurd contrived situations. I didn't feel like I was watching people, I was watching puppets being shoved.

My outline for a movie on Dickinson has the good element of the heroic ending without resorting to inane crap like sticking fighter pilots in bombers, and the bonus of not only being a good plot, but also being historic.

Dickinson has one other advantage as the subject of a movie. He wrote a book about his exploits. "The Flying Guns: Cockpit Record of a Naval Pilot from Pearl Harbor. through Midway", published shortly after Midway. That would make it easy to flesh out Dickinson instead of having to rely on dry reports and second hand information about him.

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John Dobbins

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