The Final Countdown (1980)

PG   |    |  Action, Sci-Fi

The Final Countdown (1980) Poster

A modern aircraft carrier is thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.




  • The Final Countdown (1980)
  • Charles Durning and Katharine Ross in The Final Countdown (1980)
  • Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen in The Final Countdown (1980)
  • Kirk Douglas in The Final Countdown (1980)
  • The Final Countdown (1980)
  • Martin Sheen in The Final Countdown (1980)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

5 December 2004 | oldsalt9
Perhaps most realistic carrier film
The film is overall excellent. Good candid image of carrier life at the time. Much footage shot onboard. On the other hand, many details are wrong, most obvious is the wrong base on the wrong side of the U.S. The time travel paradox WRT Tideman is pretty interesting. I disagree with an earlier reviewer WRT this. Quantum theory allows for Tideman to exist in two states at one time since he is not observed at the beginning. The image of carrier life is especially good. I had several close friends who were officers on the Nimitz at the time it was filmed. Much better than most Hollywood movies such as "Top Gun." An interesting aside is that several Navy people got fried because of this film. This was before the "Top Gun" mentality, and Navy Brass were not too thrilled about the level of access given for this film. It was claimed that mid level officers gave approval for use of the Nimitz for this film without proper authority. This was before the Navy woke up to the recruiting potential of such films, so use of the Nimitz was regarded as fraud, waste and abuse. Acting is tacky in many cases...the ship and the aviators are the stars. Most of the effects were shot using real aircraft, again a controversial issue at the time. One of my best friends was a pilot in the "Black Panther" A-6 squadron shown. It really makes one think how average people would react if thrust into a similar situation. In short, there will likely never be a movie like this made again. It's kind of analogous to Frankenheimer's "Grand Prix" where the filmers were permitted to enter their own cars into the races. The staggering expense of producing such films makes them rare. It's too bad that some people suffered professional punishment for making Navy resources available to make this film when the Navy rewarded people involved in "Top Gun," in many ways a much less realistic film.

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Release Date:

1 August 1980


English, Japanese, Russian

Country of Origin


Filming Locations

USS Kitty Hawk

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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