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1941 (1979)

Trailer
1:47 | Trailer
Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Robert Zemeckis (screenplay), Bob Gale (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,484 ( 45)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Aykroyd ... Sgt. Frank Tree
Ned Beatty ... Ward Douglas
John Belushi ... Capt. Wild Bill Kelso
Lorraine Gary ... Joan Douglas
Murray Hamilton ... Claude Crumn
Christopher Lee ... Capt. Wolfgang von Kleinschmidt
Tim Matheson ... Capt. Loomis Birkhead
Toshirô Mifune ... Cmdr. Akiro Mitamura (as Toshiro Mifune)
Warren Oates ... Col. 'Madman' Maddox
Robert Stack ... Maj. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell
Treat Williams ... Cpl. Chuck 'Stretch' Sitarski
Nancy Allen ... Donna Stratton
Lucille Benson ... Gas Mama (Eloise) (as Lucille Bensen)
Jordan Cohen Jordan Cohen ... Macey Douglas (as Jordan Brian)
John Candy ... Pvt. Foley
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Storyline

Hysteria grips California in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. An assorted group of defenders attempt to make the coast defensible against an imagined Japanese invasion, in this big budget, big cast comedy. Members of a Japanese submarine crew scout out the madness, along with a Captain in Germany's Kreigsmarine (Navy). Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Paranoia meets pandemonium. See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | German | Spanish

Release Date:

14 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Night the Japs Attacked See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,701,898, 16 December 1979

Gross USA:

$31,755,742

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,455,742
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Stereo (Todd-AO)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his autobiography Lee talked about filming his scenes in German opposite Mifune, who could only speak Japanese, describing the scenes as amusing since the the two are communicating in separate languages. Rather than use a translator in the scene it was decided that the two characters could understand one another perfectly but refused to converse in the other's language to "for fear of losing face". Lee added "Some of the language I used in that film did not spare the ears of the German audiences." See more »

Goofs

Ward loads a 4 round clip in the 40 mm anti aircraft gun. He then fires one round. Yet, before firing again, he loads another 4 round clip. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: On December 7, 1941, the Naval Air Arm of the Imperial Japanese Fleet, in a surprise attack, struck the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and hurtled an unsuspecting America into World War II.
Title Card: American citizens were stunned, shocked and outraged at this treacherous attack. On the West Coast, paranoia gripped the entire population as panic-stricken citizens were convinced that California was the next target of the Imperial Japanese Forces.
Title Card: Major General Joseph W. Stilwell, ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the closing credits shooting explosions are seen. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove a groin kick during the scene where Wally confronts Sitarski and Betty. Later releases were uncut. See more »

Connections

References Buck Privates (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Be Home for Christmas
(uncredited)
Written by Kim Gannon, Walter Kent and Buck Ram
Performed by Bing Crosby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An incredible comedy spectacle! My favorite Speilberg.
1 October 1999 | by baconoSee all my reviews

This entire film is absolutely insane. Wonderful, extremely over the top, but maintaining an artistic sense... So many great actors, such a ridiculous plot. My one recommendation. As with all early Speilberg's, view ONLY the widescreen (letterbox) version of this film... I can't imagine seeing less than that, in this film, Speilberg crams so many hysterical jokes into the single frame. Fantastic


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