Two Second World War Movies Involving Japan

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The Bridge on the river Kawai

This 1957 war movie is a classic. It has an eternal tune ‘colonel Bogey’ that has become the marching tune for thousands of soldiers. As the years roll by this movie like old wine has matured with taste. It is an eternal classic and starred the top stars from England like Sir Alec Guinness and Jachk Hawkins. Directed by the legendary David Lean the film recounts the use of allied POW’s by the Japanese to construct a bridge in Siam. The  British true to their ethos do what the Japanese ask them before they realize the enormity of what they have done in furthering the war for the Japanese. This movie made nearly 64 years back is one of the all time classics and one cannot be a loser if he or she watches it whatever his age.

There have been many other English war movies but these are the ones that I rate highly in my book.

Tora ! Tora ! Tora!

This movie saw the screen in 1970 and is one of the eternal English war movies. It recounts the story of the attack by the Japanese Armada on Havaii that launched the USA into the war on the sides of the allies. The attack on 22 December 1941  was a water shed in military history as the Japanese armada struck without warning achieving complete surprise, yet missed sinking the aircraft carriers which were out to sea and not at Pearl Harbor.

The star cast of the movie consisted of lesser known stars, but it does not detract from the merit of the movie which had 2 directors in Richard Fleischer who directed the American scenes and Kanji Fukasaku who was responsible for the Japanese battle scenes.

The 2 hour movie brings the battle of alive for the viewer and the directors have faithfully tried to create the Japanese fleet and their carriers in action. However the last quotation attributed to Admiral Yamamoto ‘that I fear we have awoken a sleeping Giant’ does not appear to be true. The movie I am told was initially a dud on the box office , but over the decades it has become to be considered a English war classic.

The best part of the movie is the recreated battle scenes and the Japanese fleet at considerable cost.  Certainly I rate this movie very highly.


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