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The American side of the story centers on two childhood friends from Tennessee with the standard-issue screenplay names Rafe McCawley () and Danny Walker (). They enter the Army Air Corps and both fall in love with the same nurse, Evelyn Johnson ()--first Rafe falls for her, and then, after he is reported dead, Danny. Their first date is subtitled "Three Months Later" and ends with Danny, having apparently read the subtitle, telling Evelyn, "Don't let it be three months before I see you again, okay?" That gets almost as big a laugh as her line to Rafe, "I'm gonna give Danny my whole heart, but I don't think I'll ever look at another sunset without thinking of you." That kind of bad laugh would have been sidestepped in a more literate screenplay, but our hopes are not high after an early newsreel report that the Germans are bombing "downtown London"--a difficult target, since although there is such a place as "central London," at no time in 2,000 years has London ever had anything described by anybody as a "downtown." There is not a shred of conviction or chemistry in the love triangle, which results after Rafe returns alive to Hawaii shortly before the raid on Pearl Harbor and is angry at Evelyn for falling in love with Danny, inspiring her timeless line, "I didn't even know until the day you turned up alive--and then all this happened." Evelyn is a hero in the aftermath of the raid, performing triage by using her lipstick to separate the wounded who should be treated from those left to die. In a pointless stylistic choice, director and cinematographer John Schwartzman shoot some of the hospital scenes in soft focus, some in sharp focus, some blurred. Why? I understand it's to obscure details deemed too gory for the PG-13 rating. (Why should the carnage at Pearl Harbor be toned down to PG-13 in the first place?) In the newsreel sequences, the movie fades in and out of black and white with almost amusing haste, while the newsreel announcer sounds not like a period voice but like a Top-40 deejay in an echo chamber.
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Washington ordered a 'War Warning'. The US feared a Japanese attack, not on America, but on the Philippines. American military leaders took little or no precautions upon the issue of warning. Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. General Walter C. Short of Pearl Harbor had done nothing to make the fleet or its defenses ready for Japanese attack . The commanding officers believed the warning to be no more than a possible threat of sabotage from the Japanese living on the island of Oahu. As a result, the officers…
Essay: Attack on Pearl Harbor - Online Essays
with a large American fleet in the Pacific stationed at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, war was going to be difficult if Japan was on the defensive. It would have been to Japan's advantage if they were the ones to pick the time and place of battle, as they went on to do. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto came up with the idea of annihilating the entire American pacific fleet in one single blow (Essential Pearl Harbor). Beginning in the early months of 1941, Japanese aircraft…