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
15,773

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

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Director:

Jack Smight

Writer:

Donald S. Sanford

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23 July 2007 | bkoganbing
7
| On The Turn Of a Dime
The film Midway shows in graphic documentary style, the battle that did nothing less than save America and ultimately allow us to win World War II. If the Japanese had prevailed at Midway, they might very well have taken Hawaii and been blockading our continental Pacific coast. We might have had to declare a truce and hope that public opinion would allow us to continue the European and North African war. Remember the USA was brought in to the war because of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, not Hitler's attack.

There is a plot of sorts with Charlton Heston as the fictional pilot group commander who's involved in helping his son Edward Albert help a Nisei family who've been interred for the duration of the war because Albert is engaged to the daughter. That's the one weakness of Midway, the story really wasn't necessary and detracted with the very precise telling of the Midway tale. Had they left it out, Midway had the potential to be a classic like The Longest Day.

Without Charlton Heston and his family problems, the story of Midway is told with remarkable historic accuracy. Henry Fonda who played Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in all but name in In Harm's Way, gets to play Nimitz again in Midway. Robert Mitchum and Glenn Ford play Admirals William Halsey and Raymond Spruance who between the two of them won America's Pacific war. A whole lot of fine character actors like James Coburn, Robert Wagner, Robert Webber, Hal Holbrook and many more fill their naval roles to precision.

The story of the Battle of Midway should be told and told again in America's public schools for future generations. Not just because of the sailors and airmen of America's greatest generation who fought and prevailed at Midway, but because of just how close a run thing the Battle of Midway was. One very fateful decision by Admirals Yamamoto and Nagumo turned the tide of battle on a dime. By the way the oriental players in Midway like Toshiro Mifune as Yamamoto and James Shigeta as Nagumo and others also play very well. The American cinema certainly came a long way from when they previously cast the Japanese as bucktooth primates.

When the viewer sees just how much pure luck played a part in winning at Midway, they will come away with one of two impressions. The first might be that a divine providence is guiding and protecting America. If so, who's to say that will always be the case. And if not, the second lesson might be that we as a country might not always be so lucky.

If they could edit out the Heston family story, Midway is a great film for history classes studying World War II.

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Genres

Action | Drama | History | War

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