Midway (1976) is a English movie. Jack Smight has directed this movie. Charlton Heston,Henry Fonda,James Coburn,Glenn Ford are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1976. Midway (1976) is considered one of the best Action,Drama,History,War movie in India and around the world.
May 1941. After the Doolittle Raid Japan aims to expand its territory in the Pacific, to make such raids less likely. Their next target: Midway Island. However, the US Navy is intercepting their messages and has partially cracked their encryption code, forewarning them of Japan's intentions. Two US aircraft carrier task groups are sent to Midway, resulting in the one of the most important battles in history.
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I remember reading that this movie was made primarily because they had excessive footage from when they shot "Tora! Tora! Tora! and some of the shot looks like they did came from that film. But this film also includes old actual shots taken by service men and news people. The movie is based on the American victory off Midway Island. The movie was made 30 years after WWII and a couple of years after Vietnam, so it doesn't have a jingoistic feel to it. It has more of a matter of fact feel to it, more a docudrama than propaganda. The movie is different from most war movies because it shows how Grand battles are won and lost. There isn't much individual heroism from ordinary soldiers shown. Instead we see how commanders, in this case admirals make decisions and take risks usually based on sketchy information. They put their reputations on line, along with the safety of their men, and the security of their nations. We see how the outcome of a battle can hinged on risky decisions or sometimes on indecision. We see how commanders have to sweat out their decisions as History hangs on the balance. Yes! History! This battle after all is considered the turning point of the War in the Pacific. In this movie decisions are made on what certain letters mean, whether enemy carriers are where they are supposed to be. If viewers give it the appropriate attention, they will see that this movie plays like a giant chess match. The outcome determined by gutsy moves and bad decisions, sometimes indecision. The movie boasts an impressive cast which include, Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson, Charlton Heston and they all do fine jobs. They play the typical Grand characters in epic movies, they move the story along but has no personal stories themselves. The one personal story belongs to Edward Albert, who plays Heston's son. He's not very convincing and playing opposite a pro like Mr. Heston, he comes across as being weak almost amateurish. The movie is good but far from great. I love how the filmmakers remained true to the events. But the special effects looked cheap and the use of actual combat footage feels inappropriate and even exploitive. Nevertheless I think it's a good film not to be missed by Military History buffs.
Of course "Midway" is a flawed movie. The subplot about Japanese-Americans is ridiculous and seems like a forced attempt to be PC during the post-Vietnam 1970s when it wasn't in fashion to be completely celebratory of America. Of course it's unsatisfying that the Japanese actors don't speak Japanese and we have to hear Paul Frees dubbing Toshiro Mifune. Of course the stock footage isn't going to please aviation and naval buffs who know these details like the back of their hands, but to me this is a trivial complaint that fails to take into account the limits of 1970s technology or budgeting. "Pearl Harbor" ultimately got those details right through CGI and the end result was a far worse film in the final analysis. Because ultimately, for all the flaws that are in "Midway" it succeeds because it does stick to the essential truths when telling the story of the battle, and I know this because when I first saw this movie on the CBS Late Movie around 1979, I got so hooked that I went out and read every book on the battle I could find including Walter Lord's "Incredible Victory." The movie had given me a starting reference point and while I was sorry that some key aspects of the latter stages of the battle were not depicted (such as the torpedoing and eventual sinking of the Yorktown), I couldn't have asked for anything better in terms of getting me to learn more about this great turning point of World War II. As far as I'm concerned, it's good that Hollywood did tackle this subject in an era when the influence of "Tora! Tora! Tora!", "The Longest Day" etc. still hung over the proceedings because if it hadn't been made back then, we would today be forced to see it given the "Pearl Harbor" and "Titanic" treatment that is pure garbage. John Williams contributes one of his finer pre-Star Wars scores with two great themes, the "Midway March" (which is only heard in the end credits of the theatrical version and became more popular in an expanded concert arrangement by the Boston Pops) and the "Men Of The Yorktown March" which dominates much of the score and offers great foreshadowings of the Throne Room sequence in "Star Wars" and the Smallville music in "Superman."
I can't help but agree with most of the other comments: the sloppy production values, the scenes "borrowed" from better movies, the countless anachronisms, the distracting subplot about Lt. Garth and his Japanese girlfriend, and so on. But for me, this movie has two strong points in its favor. One, when they get around to the actual battle, they follow the history with surprising accuracy. (The "Pearl Harbor" makers could have learned something from this one.) So the movie's hard to follow? So was the actual battle! Personally, I think they did a pretty good job of keeping the flow coherent while still remaining faithful to its source material. The second thing in its favor is that, from the moment I first saw it in the theater as a 10 year old, it ignited in me a passion for the Battle of Midway that remains to this day. I can't think of any other movie that even comes close to getting me as hooked on its subject as this one. Maybe it's a good thing I first saw it when I was young, when I was much less discerning about production values, etc. That way, I could concentrate on the story itself. If you have even the slightest interest in military history or even in important historical events in general, do yourself a favor. Watch "Midway" to get an overview of the event (fast-forward over the love-story scenes if you like), then go read "Incredible Victory" by Walter Lord (which is a better book than the one for which he is most famous, "A Night to Remember"). You won't be sorry.
Saturday night TV is a bit of a dead zone down here so I suppose one should be grateful for the odd watchable movie, even if its 20 years old. This one looks older than it actually is, due to the liberal use of stock footage and a cast that's a retirement counsellor's dream. A relatively youthful Charlton Heston is in the lead, but there's Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum, Robert Webber and even the great Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune. A curious aspect is that every military character with a speaking part is an officer; the grunts just get to grunt. It's very much the view from the bridge (and the pilot's seat). Despite this aspect and the attempt at historical realism it's not made clear quite how it was that the Japanese made the error that cost them the battle, getting caught with their flightdecks full just as the American torpedo bombers arrived. The contribution of the American land-based aircraft is also given scant recognition. Still you do get a bit of a story, though the less said about the silly sub-plot involving the Heston character's son and a Japanese-American girl the better. The director, Jack Smight had extensive T V experience, as did many of the younger actors, and this shows up in the rather static dialogue scenes you get when you aren't allowed to move the cameras much. The Japanese voices are dubbed, so that Paul Free, the voice of Boris Badenov in "Bullwinkle," (and countless other cartoon characters) is Admiral Yamamoto. The music was written by John Williams who a year or so later did the music for "Star Wars" and you can sense the similarities. In the film the military operations side of things abounds with anacronisms, partly due to the liberal use of stock footage as mentioned. I don't think you can be too hard on the producers (the low profile but financially successful Mirisch Brothers) for not using a real Japanese World War 2 aircraft carrier since they are all at the bottom of the sea, but the crashed jet on the Yorktown's flightdeck was a bit sloppy. "Tora Tora Tora," which cost more money, was a better film. Not because it cost more money but because it was more carefully made, more balanced (both side's story told well) and more honest, perhaps also because it dealt with defeat rather than victory from the American viewpoint. "Midway" has some suspense, plenty of action, and the the patriotism drum is not banged to the point of pain.
This was one of my favorite movies when I was growing up and building models of land, sea, and air craft of the WWII period. Of course we all could have done without the romantic interest, but what counts is the overall telling of the story accurately (even if that includes sideline dramatizations etc.). In a nutshell Midway was a gamble and even though we knew where they'd be, we still took it on the chin with the loss of most of the aircraft and the Yorktown (which left only 2 effective carriers in the pacific and 1 in drydock). In the end we were lucky enough to be able to inflict sufficiently more damage on them than they did on us. This is the story that is told so well. It doesn't matter that the special effects were less than stellar (e.g., view of the fleet from the sealevel - obvious miniatures) or that they showed Essex class carriers which did not yet exist getting hit by kamikaze. The film is true in its depictions of gambles, gaffs, and good fortune which in the end allowed us to be victorious and end Japanese expansion. So quit knocking it and enjoy it for what it is!