The best films about naval battles
Films on a military theme always attract the attention of viewers. Some of them tell about the dramatic events that took place during the years of various armed conflicts, others – present to the audience fictional, and often even fantastic stories. But in all cases, such projects are unusually complex. Not only because they require great accuracy and attention to historical details from the creators, but also because of the need to demonstrate real-life models of military equipment as spectacularly as possible. And in this sense, those filmmakers who seek to talk about naval battles or famous ships face the greatest difficulties. And due to the scale of such battles, and because of the complexity of working with water. With a list of some of these paintings, the publication “Cinema News” will introduce its readers.
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Perhaps the most popular Hollywood military blockbuster, partly based on real events, and talking about the Japanese attack on the US Navy and Air Force bases in Hawaii in 1941. In the center of the plot is a heroic love triangle, consisting of two friends, pilots and a beautiful nurse, entering into a romantic relationship with one or the other. The main characters really had real prototypes, but their biographies were greatly distorted. One of them, Kenneth Taylor, who lived to see the premiere, was very unhappy with such a free interpretation of his fate. Pearl Harbor features ships and planes that actually participated in these dramatic events, and the shooting itself took place, including at the current Hawaiian naval base.
Several large-scale decorations were built, including those depicting the battleship “Oklahoma” (USS Oklahoma), torpedoed by the Japanese. The filming involved the aircraft carrier “Lexington” (USS Lexington), which depicted both the American and Japanese aircraft carriers. The US Navy also allowed the use of the USS Constalation aircraft carrier, depicting its “older brother” – USS Hornet, from the deck of which started the bombing of Lieutenant Colonel Doolittle B-25B.
Russia also took part in making the film. So, in Orenburg, according to the surviving drawings, two Mitsubishi Zero aircraft were built that took part in the raid on Pearl Harbor. A few more real Japanese and American aircraft were found in various military museums. The film was successful at the box office and was awarded the Academy Award for special effects.
“Torah! Torah! Torah!” (1970)
The attack on the Hawaiian base in the United States was devoted to several other famous films, including a joint Japanese-American film called “Torah! Torah! Torah!” 1970 release. Unlike the romantic version offered to the audience in Pearl Harbor, in this case the events were reproduced with maximum certainty and from two points of view. The consultants were veterans from both sides who participated in these battles.
The ship of the imperial fleet, from which the strike aviation groups launched, was portrayed by the American aircraft carrier “Yorktown” (USS Yorktown), which took part in many real naval battles during the Second World War. The “roles” of Japanese aircraft were performed by the training T-6 Texan, which were slightly “modernized” with the help of false overlays. Some of the aircraft, including the Curtiss P-40 and Boeing B-17, are real. Because of the name incomprehensible to the American viewer and the not too distinct advertising campaign “Torah! Torah! Torah!” fell at the box office, but was highly appreciated by specialists, including the American Film Academy. True recognition for the picture came already in the era of mass production on VHS cassettes.
The 2019 film Midway, which talks about the decisive battle between Japan and the United States for supremacy at sea, is also dedicated to events at the Pacific Theater of War. As you know, the imperial fleet suffered a crushing defeat and was no longer able to conduct active hostilities, but only to conduct defensive operations. The film, which became one of the most expensive independent projects, was shot by German director Roland Emmerich. Unlike its predecessors, naval and air battles in the movie “Midway” were recreated mainly using computer graphics, which added to the entertainment, but not realism.
As you know, in this battle the Japanese squadron lost four aircraft carriers – Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiru. The losses of the Americans turned out to be much more modest – the aircraft carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann. The filmmakers were accused of historical inaccuracies. So, the Japanese had no Mitsubishi A6M Zero aircraft shown in the picture, and the American Douglas TBD Devastator could not simultaneously carry bombs and torpedoes. The film “Midway” suffered at the box office the same disaster as the Japanese fleet in reality.
The Cruel Sea (1953)
The English film, based on the novel of the same name, and telling about the confrontation of the British and German fleets during the war in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.