DECEMBER 7TH: THE PEARL HARBOR STORY" UNCUT AND UNCENSORED. DVD video. Over 5 hours total viewing. Produced in 1943 by the United States government and co-directed by John Ford and Gregg Toland. When Ford and Toland completed their film, their U.S. Government producers were uneasy about the 82-minute edition, believing its depiction of the catastrophic loses during the Japanese attack would damage wartime morale. The film was promptly cut to 34 minutes. While the truncated version earned an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject, the full-length version remained censored by the government for nearly 50 years.
The full-length version of "December 7th: The Pearl Harbor Story" offers an unusual approach to documentary filmmaking by presenting Walter Huston as Uncle Sam. The film opens in Honolulu on the day before the Japanese attack and Uncle Sam is vacationing complacently in Hawaii, concerned with the on-going war in Europe. On Sunday morning, December 7th, air squadrons appear, "swooping down like flights of tiny locust," and jolt Uncle Sam into the raging world war. The film incorporates the dramatic newsreel footage from the day of the attack, and Ford and Toland took the unusual approach of recreating the Japanese plans for the attack, complete with Japanese language dialogue. While the Japanese sequences were cut for the film's initial release, they have now been restored with new English subtitles.
In addition to the film, this new presentation also includes 20 bonus minutes of Pearl Harbor footage from both the celebrated Universal Newsreel and Movietone News. Additionally, this presentation includes news footage from 1995 Japanese TV when the uncensored version of "December 7th: The Pearl Harbor Story" was first shown in Japan.
For this 300+ minute (over 5 hours) special DVD edition, special features include a full commentary by four actual Pearl Harbor survivors, plus a brief documentary on the film's rocky history and a compare-and-contrast feature offering both the censored and uncensored versions. Also on the DVD is Frank Capra's infamous "Know Your Enemy: Japan" (1945), a 56-minute U.S. Army propaganda piece combining authentic newsreels, captured enemy films, scenes from Japanese feature films, plus re-enactments filmed in Hollywood. The DVD version is also close-captioned for the hearing impaired.
-Universal Newsreel: Pearl Harbor first films
Movietone News Extra! - First actual battle films.
Includes comments by Al Brick- the Movietone cameraman who filmed the footage
-Japan's Reaction! - When this "uncensored" version was first shown in Japan in 1995 it was treated as a major news story. See the actual newscast
-Commentary by 4 actual Pearl Harbor survivors
-Compare the "cut" and "uncut" versions
-Frank Capra's infamous "Know Your Enemy" (1945) 62-minute documentary
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