Pearl Harbor (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Bay|
|Produced by||Michael Bay
|Written by||Randall Wallace|
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Editing by||Roger Barton
Jerry Bruckheimer Films
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Running time||183 minutes|
Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American epic war film directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and written by Randall Wallace. It features a large ensemble cast, including Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Colm Feore and Alec Baldwin.
Pearl Harbor is a dramatic reimagining of The Blitz, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent Doolittle Raid. Some special prints were made from the color negatives using the recently re-introduced Technicolor dye imbibition printing process. Pearl Harbor became a major box office success, earning nearly $450 million worldwide and won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing.
In 1923 Tennessee, two young boys, Rafe McCawley (Jesse James) and Danny Walker (Reiley McClendon), are playing together in the back of an old biplane, pretending to be soldiers fighting the Germans in World War I. After Rafe's father (Steve Rankin) land his biplane and leaves, Rafe and Danny climb into the plane and Rafe accidentally starts it, giving the boys their first experience at flight. Soon afterward, Danny's father (William Fichtner), comes to take him home, and beats Danny. In an effort to protect Danny, Rafe hits Danny's father with a two-by-four, and calls him a "dirty German". Danny's father's reacts by saying he fought the Germans in the trenches during World War I, and that he prays the two boys never have to see the things he saw. He then walks into the wheat fields, and Danny tells Rafe that he is his best friend, before joining his father.
Eighteen years later, in January 1941, Danny (Josh Hartnett) and Rafe (Ben Affleck) are both First Lieutenants under the command of Major Jimmy Doolittle (Alec Baldwin). The two men get into trouble when they use Air Corps P-40 fighters to play a game of chicken at Mitchel Field, Long Island. Afterwards, Doolittle gives Rafe the news that he has been accepted into the Eagle Squadron (an RAF outfit for American pilots to fight during the Battle of Britain). Rafe lies to Danny, though, saying that Doolittle had assigned him.
While on a train ride to New York, a nurse named Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) tells her fellow nurses Sandra (Jennifer Garner), Betty (Jaime King), Martha (Sara Rue) and Barbara (Catherine Kellner) the story of how she had met Rafe four weeks earlier after passing his medical exam, even though Rafe suffers from dyslexia. The two had begun a relationship and Evelyn is looking forward to seeing Rafe in the city that night. Rafe and Evelyn enjoy an evening of dancing at a nightclub and later a spin in New York harbor in a borrowed police boat. Later, Rafe shocks Evelyn by saying that he has joined the Eagle Squadron and is leaving the next day. He asks her not to see him off, but when he leaves the following morning, he is pleased to see that she has come anyway, as it means she loves him.
Meanwhile, Danny, Evelyn and the rest of their fellow pilots and nurses are transferred to Pearl Harbor, where there is little action going on; meanwhile, Rafe flies in numerous dogfights with the RAF against the Luftwaffe. During one battle, Rafe is shot down over the English Channel and presumed to be killed in action. Danny gives Evelyn the news and she is devastated. Three months later, Evelyn runs into Danny at a movie theater, after they both leave after they see a news reel of British planes being shot down into the English Channel. They get coffee at a nearby diner and talk about Rafe. They soon realize they are developing feelings for each other. Danny later takes Evelyn for a sunset flight over the harbor, and afterwards it is implied that they have sex in the parachute hangar, and begin a relationship of their own.
On the night of December 6, Evelyn is relieved to discover Rafe, alive and well, standing outside her door. He explains that he survived his plane crash and was rescued by a French fishing boat, and was stuck in occupied France ever since. Danny comes soon afterward holding a telegram from Western Union stating that Rafe is in fact alive. Rafe realizes that Danny and Evelyn are now together, and feeling hurt and betrayed, leaves. Rafe and Danny soon get into a fight at the Hula Bar. When the police arrive, the two drive away and after talking, the two eventually fall asleep.
Early the next morning, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese navy begins its attack on Pearl Harbor. The two drive away in search of a still standing airfield, while Evelyn and the other nurses rush for the hospital, where they struggle to give emergency treatment to hundreds of injured, some of whom must be turned away because they cannot be saved. Rafe and Danny manage to get in the air in two P-40s, shooting down seven Japanese Zeroes. After landing, Danny and Rafe return to the hospital where a bedraggled and exhausted Evelyn draws blood from the two men for the hundreds of wounded men and women, but is interrupted when a man comes in and asks Danny and Rafe to assist in rescuing men from the harbor. The next day, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Jon Voight) delivers his Day of Infamy Speech to the nation and asks the US Congress to declare a state of war with Empire of Japan.
In the aftermath, the survivors attend a memorial service to honor the numerous dead, including Betty. Later, Danny and Rafe are assigned to travel stateside under Major Doolittle for a secret mission. Before they leave, Evelyn goes to see Rafe. She reveals that she is pregnant, though she does not want Danny to know. She tells Rafe that she will stay with Danny, but she will also love Rafe for the rest of her life.
Upon their arrival in California, Danny and Rafe are both promoted to captain and are awarded the silver star. Doolittle asks them to volunteer for a top secret mission, which they both immediately accept, despite knowing that it is quite likely they will never return. While sitting at a bonfire on a beach, Rafe pleads to Danny to not go on the mission, that he has nothing to prove, but Danny decides to go anyway, thinking that Rafe is just trying to protect him. During the next two months, Rafe, Danny and other pilots train with specially modified B-25 Mitchell bombers, learning how to launch them with only 467 feet of runway. In April, the raiders are sent towards Japan onboard USS Hornet, and are informed that their mission will involve bombing Tokyo and then landing in China. However, the Japanese discover them early, forcing the raiders to launch from a longer distance then planned. After a successful bombing against Tokyo, the raiders crash land on Japanese-occupied territory in China on a rice paddy. The Japanese Army have the members of Rafe's plane pinned down and when they are about to get shot, Danny's plane flies over and shoots the Japanese forces before crashing.
Rafe runs to Danny's side and attempts to pull a sharp piece of metal from Danny's neck, but they are once again attacked by Japanese patrols. Rafe is hit over the head by a two-by-four, and Danny is tied to an ox yoke. Rafe picks up a pistol and shoots the Japanese holding Danny, but runs out of ammunition. He is about to get shot when Danny hits the Japanese with the ox yoke. The remaining patrols shoot Danny, and the other pilots Red (Ewen Bremner) and Gooz (Michael Shannon) kill off the remaining Japanese forces. Holding a dying Danny in his arms, Rafe tells Danny that he can't die because he is going to be a father, but Danny replies by saying, "No, you are", before dying in Rafe's arms. The remaining pilots are rescued by the Chinese, and when returning home, a pregnant Evelyn sees Rafe getting off the plane, and hopes that Danny is alive, until she sees Rafe carrying his coffin.
Afterward, both Evelyn and Rafe are awarded medals. Evelyn's voice narrates that Dorie Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr.) was the first black American to be awarded the Navy Cross, but that he would not be the last. Rafe meets President Roosevelt, and he and Evelyn are discharged from the army. A few years later after the war ends, Rafe and Evelyn, now married, are visiting Danny's grave with their son, also named Danny, after his biological father. Rafe asks little Danny if he would like to go flying, and two fly off in the sunset in an old biplane.
- Ben Affleck as First Lieutenant (later Captain) Rafe McCawley
- Josh Hartnett as First Lieutenant (later Captain) Daniel Walker
- Kate Beckinsale as Nurse Evelyn Johnson
- Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Petty Officer Second Class Dorie Miller
- Tom Sizemore as Earl
- Jon Voight as President Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Colm Feore as Admiral Husband E. Kimmel
- Mako as Kaigun Taishō (Admiral) Isoroku Yamamoto
- Alec Baldwin as Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Jimmy Doolittle
- William Lee Scott as First Lieutenant Billy Thompson
- Greg Zola as First Lieutenant Anthony Fusco
- Ewen Bremner as First Lieutenant Red Winkle
- Jaime King as Nurse Betty Bayer (credited as James King)
- Catherine Kellner as Nurse Barbara
- Jennifer Garner as Nurse Sandra
- Michael Shannon as First Lieutenant Gooz Wood
- Matt Davis as Joe
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Kaigun Chūsa (Commander) Minoru Genda
- Dan Aykroyd as Captain Thurman
- Scott Wilson as General George Marshall
- Graham Beckel as Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
- Tom Everett as Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox
- Tomas Arana as Rear-Admiral Frank J. 'Jack' Fletcher
- Peter Firth as Captain Mervyn S. Bennion
- Glenn Morshower as Vice Admiral William F. 'Bull' Halsey Jr.
- Madison Mason as Admiral Raymond A. Spruance
- Sara Rue as Nurse Martha
- Reiley McClendon as Young Danny
- Jesse James as Young Rafe
- Kim Coates as Lieutenant Jack Richards
- Michael Shamus Wiles as Captain Marc Andrew "Pete" Mitscher
- William Fichtner as Mr. Walker (Danny's father)
- Steve Rankin as Mr. McCawley (Rafe's Father)
- Andrew Bryniarski as Joe the Boxer
- Leland Orser as Major Jackson
- Michael Milhoan as Army Commander
- Eric Christian Olsen as gunner to Captain McCawley
- David Kaufman as young nervous doctor
The proposed budget of $208 million that Bay and Bruckheimer wanted was an area of contention with Disney executives, since a great deal of the budget was to be expended on production aspects. More inflammatory was the effort to change the original film rating from an R to PG-13. Bay wanted to graphically portray the horrors of war and was not interested in primarily marketing the final product to a teen and young adult audience. Budget fights continued throughout the planning of the film with Bay "walking" on several occasions with the final $140 million budget that was "green lighted", the largest in Hollywood history at the time.
In order to recreate the atmosphere of pre-war Pearl Harbor, the producers had the advantage of staging the film in Hawaii and using the current Naval facilities. Many active duty military members stationed in Hawaii and members of the local population served as extras during filming there, although for the sake of expediency and due to the present use of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, the set at Rosarito Beach in the Mexican state of Baja California was utilized for scale model work. Formerly serving as the set for Titanic (1997), Rosarito served as the ideal location to recreate the death throes of the battleships in the Pearl Harbor attack. A large-scale model of the bow section of the USS Oklahoma mounted on a gimbal produced an authentic rolling and submerging of the doomed warship. Production Engineer Nigel Phelps realized that the sequence of the ship, rolling out of the water and slapping down would involve one of the "biggest set elements" to be staged. Matched with computer generated imagery, the action had to reflect precision and accuracy throughout. In addition, to emulate the ocean, a massive, stadium-like "bowl" was filled with water. The bowl was built in Honolulu, Hawaii and cost nearly $8 million. Today the bowl is used for training for scuba diving and deep water fishing tournaments.
Pearl Harbor grossed nearly $200 million at the domestic box office and $450 million worldwide. The film was ranked the sixth highest-earning picture of 2001. It is also the third highest-grossing romantic drama film of all time.
Despite the box office success, the critical response to Pearl Harbor at the time of its release tended to be mixed to very negative, and the film earned only a 25% approval rating according to review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 166 reviews with an average rating of 4.4/10, making it Bay's third worst reviewed movie to date, next to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and behind Bad Boys II. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 44 out of 100 based on 35 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews." While it earned praise for its technical achievements, the screenplay and acting were popular targets for critics.
Roger Ebert gave the film one and a half stars and wrote, "The film has been directed without grace, vision, originality, and although you may walk out quoting lines of dialogue, it will not be because you admire them" and criticized its liberties with historical facts: "There is no sense of history, strategy or context; according to this movie, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because America cut off its oil supply, and they were down to an 18-month reserve. Would going to war restore the fuel sources? Did they perhaps also have imperialist designs? Movie doesn't say". In a similar vein, A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote, "Nearly every line of the script drops from the actors' mouths with the leaden clank of exposition, timed with bad sitcom beats". USA Today gave the film two out of four stars and wrote, "Ships, planes and water combust and collide in Pearl Harbor, but nothing else does in one of the wimpiest wartime romances ever filmed."
In his review for the The Washington Post, Desson Howe wrote, "although this Walt Disney movie is based, inspired and even partially informed by a real event referred to as Pearl Harbor, the movie is actually based on the movies Top Gun, Titanic and Saving Private Ryan. Don't get confused." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine wrote, "Affleck, Hartnett and Beckinsale - a British actress without a single worthy line to wrap her credible American accent around - are attractive actors, but they can't animate this moldy romantic triangle". Time magazine's Richard Schickel criticized the film's love triangle: "It requires a lot of patience for an audience to sit through the dithering. They're nice kids and all that, but they don't exactly claw madly at one another. It's as if they know that someday they're going to be part of "the Greatest Generation" and don't want to offend Tom Brokaw. Besides, megahistory and personal history never integrate here".
Entertainment Weekly was more positive, giving the film a "B-" rating, and Owen Gleiberman praised the Pearl Harbor attack sequence: "Bay's staging is spectacular but also honorable in its scary, hurtling exactitude ... There are startling point-of-view shots of torpedoes dropping into the water and speeding toward their targets, and though Bay visualizes it all with a minimum of graphic carnage, he invites us to register the terror of the men standing helplessly on deck, the horrifying split-second deliverance as bodies go flying and explosions reduce entire battleships to liquid walls of collapsing metal".
In his review for The New York Observer, Andrew Sarris wrote, "here is the ironic twist in my acceptance of Pearl Harbor-the parts I liked most are the parts before and after the digital destruction of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese carrier planes" and felt that "Pearl Harbor is not so much about World War II as it is about movies about World War II. And what's wrong with that?"
Like many historical dramas, Pearl Harbor provoked debate about the artistic license taken by its producers and director. National Geographic Channel produced a documentary called Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor which covers some of the ways that "the film's final cut didn't reflect all the attacks' facts, or represent them all accurately."
Many Pearl Harbor survivors dismissed the film as grossly inaccurate and pure Hollywood. Historian Lawrence Suid's review is particularly detailed as to the major factual misrepresentations of the film and the negative impact they have even on an entertainment film. Historical inaccuracies found in the film include the early childhood scenes depicting a Stearman biplane crop duster in 1923: the aircraft was not accurate for the period, the first commercial crop-dusting company did not begin operation until 1924,and indeed the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not purchase its first cotton-dusting aircraft until April 16, 1926. [N 1]
The inclusion of Affleck's character in the Eagle Squadron is another jarring aspect of the film, since active-duty U.S. airmen were prohibited from doing so, though some American civilians did join the RAF.[N 2]. Ben Affleck's Spitfire has insignia "RF" - this is an insignia of No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron. Countless other technical lapses rankled film critics, such as Bay's decision to paint the Japanese Zero fighters green, even though he knew that was historically inaccurate, because he liked the way the aircraft looked and because it would help audiences differentiate the "good guys from the bad guys".
The harshest criticism was aimed at instances in the film where actual historical events were altered for dramatic purposes. For example, Admiral Kimmel was not on a golf course on the morning of the attack (he had been planning to meet General Short for a regular game, but cancelled when news of the attack came in), nor was he notified before the attack that the Japanese embassy staff was leaving Washington, D.C.. Also, General Short did not receive the report that an enemy midget submarine was being attacked until after the bombs began falling, and did not receive the first official notification of the attack until several hours after the attack ended.[N 3]
Critics decried the use of fictional replacements for real people, declaring that Pearl Harbor was an "abuse of artistic license." The roles that the two male leads played by Affleck and Hartnett have in the attack sequence are analogous to the real historical deeds of U.S. Army Air Forces Second Lieutenants George Welch and Kenneth M. Taylor, who took to the skies during the Japanese attack and, together, claimed six Japanese aircraft and a few probables. Taylor, who died in November 2006, previously declared the film adaptation "a piece of trash... over-sensationalized and distorted."[N 4] Additionally, the combat scenes between the P-40s and the Zeros would not have been fought at wave-top height or with the aircraft darting around various obstacles as seen in the movie as such tactics would have been suicidal for both participants.
Attacks against Battleship Row and Pearl Harbor have been further dramatized. The movie depicts the four other battleships that survived the attack with severe damage, Maryland, Nevada, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania being sunk and rendered irreparable. These ships managed to escape further damage during the attack, although Tennessee herself was seen trapped in a listing manner during the attack, and Nevada being beached after the attack. Utah was not depicted.
There are some minor inaccuracies with the portrayal of Dorie Miller. In the film, Petty Officer Second Class Miller comforts Captain Mervyn S. Bennion who has been mortally wounded by a torpedo that strikes the West Virginia, and is with him when he dies. Miller is depicted as delivering the Captain's last orders to the ship's executive officer, and then mans a twin .50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun. In actuality, Petty Officer Third Class Miller was first ordered to carry injured sailors to places of greater safety, and later ordered to go assist the Captain. The Captain refused to leave his post on the bridge and continued to direct the battle until he died of his wounds just before the ship was abandoned. Ensign Victor Delano actually comforted the Captain in his final moments. Miller was then ordered to help load a machine gun, but assumed control of the unmanned weapon instead. Delano showed Miller how to fire the weapon, saying later that Miller did not even "know how to shoot a gun." In the movie, as in real life, Miller shot down at least one enemy plane before he ran out of ammo and was ordered to abandon ship with the rest of the ship's crew.
There are also some minor inaccuracies with the Doolittle Raid. Jimmy Doolittle and the rest of the Doolittle raiders had to launch from the USS Hornet 624 miles off the Japanese coast. In actuality, the Doolittle raiders had to launch 650 miles off the Japanese coast. In the film, all of the raiders are depicted as dropping their bombs on Tokyo. In actuality, the Doolittle raiders did bomb Tokyo, but also targeted three other industrial cities.
A scene in New York involved the backdrop of the RMS Queen Mary in her commercial colors but by 1940, had actually been repainted grey, for refit completion to serve as a troopship already serving the Royal Navy, mainly in the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Pearl Harbor was also criticized for the way it, "distinguished Americans from Japanese, including the wearing of black clothes, the lack of a social life, family or friends, and the devotion to warring, juxtaposing these with the portraits of Americans".[N 5]
Awards and nominations
|Academy Award||Best Sound Editing||George Watters||Won|
|Best Sound||Greg P. Russell||Nominated|
|Peter J. Devlin||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Eric Brevig||Nominated|
|Best Original Song ("There You'll Be")||Diane Warren||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Original Song ("There You'll Be")||Nominated|
|Best Original Score||Hans Zimmer||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Award||Best Action Sequence||Japanese bombing attack||Won|
|Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Actor||Ben Affleck||Nominated|
|Worst Screen Couple||Nominated|
|Worst Screenplay||Randall Wallace||Nominated|
|Worst Picture||Jerry Bruckheimer||Nominated|
|Worst Remake or Sequel||Nominated|
|World Stunt Taurus Award||Best Aerial Work||Nominated|
The soundtrack for the 2004 film Team America: World Police contains a song entitled "End of an Act" whose lyrics describe the emotion of longing for someone as well as panning the hapless Pearl Harbor. The song's chorus recounts, "Pearl Harbor sucked, and I miss you" equating the singer's longing to how much "Michael Bay missed the mark when he made Pearl Harbor" which is "an awful lot, girl". The ballad contains other common criticisms of the film, concluding with the rhetorical question "Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?"
Satirical newspaper The Onion commemorated the 10th anniversary of Pearl Harbor's release with an article comparing what is viewed as the poor quality of the film to what is viewed as the terror of the actual Pearl Harbor attacks.
"The truth is, we were never prepared for an atrocity of this magnitude, and I guess it all happened so quickly that we never had a chance. Even now, all these years later, it makes me sick just thinking about it."
— The Onion satirically quoting Josh Hartnett on the film.
Home media 
A Commemorative 60th Anniversary Edition was released on December 4, 2001. The feature was spread across two videotapes in letterbox format, and tape two also included Unsung Heroes of Pearl Harbor, a 50-minute documentary on little-known heroes of the attack, and a Faith Hill music video.
Around the same time a two-disc DVD of the Commemorative 60th Anniversary Edition was released. This release included the first two hours of the feature on disc one, and on disc two, the last hour of the feature, Journey to the Screen, a 47-minute documentary on the monumental production of the film, Unsung Heroes of Pearl Harbor, the Faith Hill music video and theatrical trailers.
A Pearl Harbor DVD gift set that includes the Commemorative Edition two-disc set, National Geographic's "Beyond the Movie" feature and a dual-sided map was released concurrently on December 4, 2001.
A deluxe Vista Series edition of the film was released on July 2, 2002. It contained an R-rated director's cut of the film, with numerous commentaries from the cast and crew alongside a few "easter eggs". The director's cut of the film included the reinsertion of graphic carnage during the central attack (including shots of eviscerated bodies being torn apart by strafing, blood, flying limbs and so forth); small alterations and additions to existing scenes; Doolittle addressing the pilots before the raid; and the replacement of the campfire scene with a scene of Doolittle speaking personally to Rafe and Danny about the value of friendship. It runs at 184 minutes compared to the 183 minutes of the theatrical cut.
This elaborate package, which DVDtalk.com called "the most extensive set released comprising of [sic] only one film" includes four discs of film and bonus features, a replication of Roosevelt's speech, collectible promotional postcards and a carrying case that resembles a historic photo album. The bonus features include all the features included in the commemorative edition, plus additional footage. There are three audio commentaries: 1) Director and film historian, 2) Cast and 3) Crew. Other features include: "The Surprise Attack", a multi-angle breakdown of the film's most exciting sequence (30 minutes), which includes multiple video tracks (such as previsualization and final edit) and commentaries from veterans/ Also included is the "Pearl Harbor Historic Timeline", a set-top interactive feature produced by documentarian Charles Kiselyak (68 minutes). The "Soldier's Boot Camp" follows the actors as they take preparation for their roles to an extreme (30 minutes)), "One Hour Over Tokyo" and "The Unsung Heroes of Pearl Harbor", two History Channel documentaries along with "Super-8 Montage", a collection of unseen Super-8 footage shot for potential use in the movie by Michael Bay's assistant, Mark Palansky; "Deconstructing Destruction", an in-depth conversation with Michael Bay and Eric Brevig (of Industrial Light and Magic) about the special effects in the movie and "Nurse Ruth Erickson interview" complete the extra features component.
On December 19, 2006, a 65th Anniversary Commemorative Edition high-definition Blu-ray Disc was released.
|Pearl Harbor: Music From The Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by Hans Zimmer|
|Released||May 22, 2001|
Trevor Horn & Byron Gallimore ("There You'll Be")
|Hans Zimmer chronology|
The soundtrack to Pearl Harbor on Hollywood Records was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score (lost to the score of Moulin Rouge!). The original score was composed by Hans Zimmer. The song "There You'll Be" was nominated for the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
- "There You'll Be" - song performed by Faith Hill
- Tennessee - 3:40
- Brothers - 4:04
- ...And Then I Kissed Him - 5:37
- I Will Come Back - 2:54
- Attack - 8:56
- December 7 - 5:08
- War - 5:15
- Heart of a Volunteer - 7:05
- Total Album Time: 46:21
- The "mischievous" Stearman flight is also unlikely, and not only because Stearman did not produce his first aircraft until 1926. More jarringly, the engine starts, not by having someone swing the propeller – the boys were sitting in the cockpits and so could not have done it themselves, but at the flick of a switch, which would have required the engine being fitted with an electric switch, historically most unlikely.
- The later series canon armed Spitfires that were used in this film were also inaccurate, as the RAF only had Spitfires Mk I/IIs during the Battle of Britain.
- President Roosevelt did not receive the news of the Pearl Harbor attack from an aide or advisor who ran into the room. Rather, he was having lunch with Harry Hopkins, a trusted friend, when he received a phone call from Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox. (Hopkins refused to believe the report, but the President believed it.)
- Ben Affleck's character claims: "P-40s can't outrun Zeros, we'll just have to outfly them". This contradicts the standard tactics of P-40 squadrons to "outrun" Zeros because of the P-40's far faster dive rate. "Outflying" a Zero in a dogfight was considered next to suicidal because of the Zero's high maneuverability.
- No acknowledgement was given in the film to the fact that approximately 250,000 Chinese civilians were massacred by the Japanese Army in eastern China in retaliation for Chinese assistance of the attacking American aviators in participation of the Doolittle Raid.
- "Pearl Harbor (2001)." Box Office Mojo, 2009. Retrieved: March 25, 2009.
- Cagle,Jess. "Pearl Harbor's Top Gun." Time, May 27, 2001. Retrieved: August 17, 2010.
- Sunshine and Felix 2001, p. 135.
- "Romantic Drama Movies at the Box Office." Box Office Mojo: IMDb. Retrieved: January 5, 2013.
- "Pearl Harbor (2001)." rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved: March 23, 2012.
- "Pearl Harbor Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic" Metacritic Retrieved: March 23, 2012.
- Ebert, Roger. "'Pearl Harbor'." Chicago Sun-Times, May 25, 2001. Retrieved: June 25, 2009.
- Scott, A.O. "Pearl Harbor: War Is Hell, but Very Pretty." The New York Times, May 25, 2001. Retrieved: June 25, 2009.
- Clark, Mike. " 'Pearl Harbor' sputters — until Japanese show up." USA Today, June 7, 2001. Retrieved: June 25, 2009.
- Howe, Desson. "Pearl Harbor: Bombs Away." Washington Post, May 26, 2001. Retrieved: June 29, 2009.
- Travers, Peter. "Pearl Harbor." Rolling Stone, June 29, 2001. Retrieved: June 29, 2009.
- Schickel, Richard. "Mission: Inconsequential." Time, May 25, 2001. Retrieved: June 25, 2009.
- Gleiberman, Owen. " 'Jarhead'." Entertainment Weekly, June 1, 2001. Retrieved: June 25, 2009.
- Sarris, Andrew. "Shrek and Dreck? Well, Not Quite." The New York Observer, June 10, 2001. Retrieved: June 25, 2009.
- "Mitsubishi A6M "Zero-Sen". warbirdsresourcegroup.org. Retrieved: November 20, 2010.
- "Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor." National Geographic Society, 2001. Retrieved: March 26, 2009.
- "Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor (2001) (TV)." IMdB Profile, 1990–2009. Retrieved: March 26, 2009.
- Suid, Lawrence. "Pearl Harbor: Bombed Again". Naval History (United States Naval institute), Vol. 15, No. 4, August 2001, p. 20.
- Hanson, Dave. "Boeing/Stearman Model 75/PT-13/N2S." daveswarbirds.com. Retrieved: June 22, 2010.
- "Monday, January 01, 1900 - Sunday, December 31, 1939." National Museum of the United States Air Force. Retrieved: January 18, 2011.
- "Eagle Squadrons", rafmuseum.org.uk. Retrieved: June 22, 2010.
- Cagle 2001, p. 51.
- Sullivan 2001, p. 54.
- "Our Heritage in Documents: FDR's "Day of Infamy" Speech: Crafting a Call to Arms." Prologue, Winter 2001, Vol. 33, No. 4. Retrieved: 23 May 2010.
- Padilla, Lyle F. and Raymond J. Castagnaro. "Medal of Honor Recipients/Nominees Portrayed On Film: Hollywood Abominations, Pearl Harbor (2001)." History, Legend and Myth: Hollywood and the Medal of Honor, 2009. Retrieved: March 26, 2009.
- Sullivan, Patricia. "Kenneth Taylor; Flew Against Pearl Harbor Raiders." Washington Post, December 12, 2006. Retrieved: March 26, 2009.
- "Cook Third Class Doris Miller, USN." Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved: June 20, 2012.
- Mackie, Ardiss and Bonny Norton. "Revisiting Pearl Harbor: Resistance to Reel and Real - Events in an English Language Classroom." Canadian Journal of Education, 29, 1, p. 8. Retrieved: March 26, 2009.
- Craig 2004, p. 162.
- "The 74th Academy Awards (2002) Nominees and Winners." oscars.org. Retrieved: November 20, 2011.
- "Awards for 'Pearl Harbor' (2001)." imdb.com. Retrieved: November 28, 2010.
- "Team America: End of an act lyrics." lyricsbox.com. Retrieved: March 25, 2009.
- "Josh Hartnett Returns To Pearl Harbor For First Time Since Film" The Onion,Issue 47, no. 2, January 10, 2011. Retrieved: August 27, 2011.
- Arroyo, Ernest. Pearl Harbor. New York: MetroBooks, 2001. ISBN 1-58663-285-X.
- Barker, A.J. Pearl Harbor (Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II, Battle Book, No. 10). New York: Ballantine Books, 1969. No ISBN.
- Cohen, Stan. East Wind Rain: A Pictorial History of the Pearl Harbor Attack. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1981. ISBN 0-933126-15-8.
- Craig, John S. Peculiar Liaisons: In War, Espionage, and Terrorism in the Twentieth Century. New York: Algora Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-0-87586-331-3.
- Golstein, Donald M., Katherine Dillon and J. Michael Wenger. The Way it Was: Pearl Harbor (The Original Photographs). Dulles, Virginia: Brassey's Inc., 1995. ISBN 1-57488-359-3.
- Kimmel, Husband E. Kimmel's Story. Washington, D.C.: Henry Regnery Co., 1955.
- Prange, Gordon W. At Dawn we Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books, 1981. ISBN 0-14-006455-9.
- Sheehan, Ed. Days of '41: Pearl Harbor Remembered. Honolulu: Kapa Associates, 1977. ISBN 0-915870-01-0.
- Sunshine, Linda and Antonia Felix, eds. Pearl Harbor: The Movie and the Moment. New York: Hyperion, 2001. ISBN 0-7868-6780-9.
- Sullivan, Robert. "What Really Happened." Time, June 4, 2001.
- Thorpe. Briagdier General Elliott R. East Wind Rain: The Intimate Account of an Intelligence Officer in the Pacific, 1939–49. Boston: Gambit Incorporated, 1969. No ISBN.
- Wilmott, H.P. Pearl Harbor. New York: Bison Books, 1981. ISBN 0-9936554-3-8.
- Wilmott, H.P. with Tohmatsu Haruo and W. Spencer Johnson. Pearl Harbor. London: Cassell & Co., 2001. ISBN 0-304-35884-3.
- Winchester, Jim, ed. Aircraft of World War II (The Aviation Factfile). London: Grange Books, 2004. ISBN 1-84013-639-1.
- Wisiniewski, Richard A., ed. Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial: A Pictorial History. Honolulu: Pacific Basin Enterprises, 1981, first edition 1977. No ISBN.
- Pearl Harbor at the Internet Movie Database
- Pearl Harbor at allmovie
- Pearl Harbor at Rotten Tomatoes
- Pearl Harbor at Metacritic
- Pearl Harbor at Box Office Mojo
- Interview with Ben Affleck
- Interview with Michael Bay
- Cinemenium site
- Hollywood Abominations