Midway (1976)

PG   |    |  Action, Drama, History


Midway (1976) Poster

A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

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6.8/10
15,765

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  • Midway (1976)
  • Henry Fonda in Midway (1976)
  • Charlton Heston and Hal Holbrook in Midway (1976)
  • Charlton Heston and Edward Albert in Midway (1976)
  • Robert Mitchum in Midway (1976)
  • Pat Morita in Midway (1976)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Jack Smight

Writer:

Donald S. Sanford

Reviews & Commentary

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20 September 2003 | Eric-62-2
Flawed But Still Satisfying
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."

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Genres

Action | Drama | History | War

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