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Pearl Harbor

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett) are two friends who grew up like brothers dusting crops in Tennessee. Now both have become pilots in the USA Army Air Corps and Rafe soon falls in love with the courageous Navy nurse Evelyn Stewart (Kate Beckinsale). But as their new romance begins to blossom, Rafe joins Eagle Squadron and leaves for Europe to fight off the Germans in the early stages of World War II while Danny and Evelyn are posted to the Pearl Harbor base in Hawaii.

When word arrives that Rafe has died, Evelyn and Danny cling to each other for comfort and soon fall in love. But Rafe is alive and arrives back causing a rift between all three just as the Japanese attack. In response to the staggering defeat the USA organises a suicide mission to bomb Tokyo, and both Rafe and Danny have been picked to lead the historic raid - bringing their love for Evelyn once again to be the centre of the tale.

Theatrical propaganda posters

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Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film adventure World War II Japan attack USA Pearl Harbor Navy fleet Japan romance love nurse

Persons of interest

  • Ben Affleck .... Rafe McCawley
  • Josh Hartnett .... Danny Walker
  • Kate Beckinsale .... Evelyn Stewart
  • Dan Aykroyd .... Captain Thurman
  • Alec Baldwin .... Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle
  • Ewen Bremner
  • Cuba Gooding Junior .... Dorie Miller
  • Tom Sizemore .... Earl Sistern
  • Jon Voight .... Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Tomas Arana
  • Matt Davis .... Joe
  • Colm Feore .... Admiral Kimmel
  • Peter Firth
  • Jennifer Garner .... Sandra
  • Catherine Kellner .... Barbara
  • James King .... Betty
  • Leland Orser .... Major Jackson
  • William Lee Scott .... Billy
  • Michael Shannon .... Gooz
  • Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa .... Lieutenant Commander Genda
  • Guy Torry .... Teeny Mayfield
  • Scott Wilson
  • Greg Zola .... Anthony
  • Randall Wallace .... Screenwriter
  • Dick Clement .... Screenwriter
  • Ian Lafrenais .... Screenwriter
  • Michael Bay .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


There's a distinct tendency of late for "big" movies to be screened with the volume turned way up (See also The Fast and the Furious). Pearl Harbor was so loud that I left the cinema slightly deaf. Minus 50 points for that one.

On the up side, the film has a great audio track: the 3-d "surround" sound is really, really good - probably the best that I have heard. Plus 30 points.

On the down side, if you look at the posters and you think you're going to get a whole lot of Hollywood hoopla then you're right. Stirring speeches, wholesome heroics and awesome adventure are the bedrock of Pearl Harbor. Minus 40 points.

Josh Hartnett is really cute. Plus 40 points.

Two men love the same woman, one of them dies then comes back to life? And you thought the Titanic romance was obvious! Minus 30 points.

Big explosions! Lots of guns! Dying! Maiming! Killing! Bleeding! Plus 50 points.

Historical reality: Dorie Miller treated like scum because he's got lots of melanin in his skin, assigned to non-heroic position to prevent any thought that he might be a human being as deserving of the chance to fight and die for his country, ends up receiving major award from Navy because he lives like a human being, not like a slave. Plus 50 points (See also Men of Honour).

The trailer shows most of the best bits. Minus 20 points.

Media intelligence (DVD - Director's cut)

  • 24-page Companion Booklet
  • Disc 1:
    • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
    • Commentaries:
      • Michael Bay, Jeanine Basinger
      • Jerry Bruckheimer, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett
      • John Schwartzmann (Cinematographer), Nigel Pelps (Production designer), Michael Kaplan (Costume designer)
    • Pearl Harbor: The Director's Cut movie
    • New scenes: 60
    • Picture: Widescreen 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced)
  • Disc 2:
    • Featurettes
    • Production Diaries: 10
    • Timeline Documentary
    • Super-8 mm footage shot by Mark Palansky (Creative advisor)
    • Historical interview with Ruth Erickson (Nurse)
    • Music video: There you'll be - Faith Hill
    • Documentary: One hour over Tokyo - History Channel
  • Disc 3:
    • Multi-angle, multi-audio interactive attack sequence (4 camera and 6 audio angles)
    • Interview: Deconstruction Destruction - visual effects with Michael Bay and Eric Brevig
    • Animatic Attack scene concepts from Michael Bay
    • Boot Camp segments of actors' preparation
    • Gallery

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Features:
    • Definitive bibliography
    • Historical documentary: Unsung Heroes
    • Journey to the Screen: The Making of Pearl Harbor
    • Music video: There you'll be - Faith Hill
    • Pearl Harbor: The Japanese Perspective
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Languages: English, Turkish
  • Picture: 2.35:1
  • Subtitles: English, Turkish

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence)

Surveillance time

183 minutes (3:03 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD rental: 19 December 2001
VHS rental: 19 December 2001
DVD retail: 24 April 2002
VHS retail: 24 April 2002
DVD retail: 21 August 2002
DVD retail: 2 August 2006 - Director's 3-disc version
DVD retail: 13 September 2006 - Double pack
Blu-ray retail: 18 April 2007

Cinema surveillance images

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