Sunday 29 November 2015

Storm Over the Pacific 1960

AKA Hawai Middowei daikaikûsen: Taiheiyô no arashi

AKA I Bombed Pearl Harbor (US release)

This movie recreates, in miniature, the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Battle of Midway.The special effects are by Eiji Tsubaraya famous for the effects on the original and subsequent Godzilla movies. In terms of the miniature shots this can be seen as a colour re-creation of his earlier black and white work on The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malaya in 1942.

I find the Japanese style of miniature work compared to the American work, lacks a certain level of realism, probably due in some part to much lower budgets, but in its place there is an exuberance in the staging of the action particularly in the use of pyrotechnic effects that makes up for it. There is a strange joy in the execution of all the miniature explosions, tracer fire, flak bursts, torpedo hits and general destruction that perhaps sometimes American miniature shots can lack. There are a lot of nice details in the miniature shots, like the trees being buffeted by the passing aircraft and all the mechanical miniature waving figures on the aircraft carrier as the aircraft take off.

The miniature photography in this film was deemed so successful that many shots were re-used in a number of subsequent movies, Admiral Yamamoto in 1968, the American film Midway in 1976 and another Japanese film, The Imperial Navy, in 1981.

Once again thanks is due to Roger Todd for supplying the visual material for this post.


1 comment:

  1. I had always wondered where so many frames from MIDWAY came from. I realize that with all the stars, Heston, Fonda & others, it cost the studios major funds from their films budget so they were basically forced to scavenge effects scenes from other older films....some foreign. Thank you!!!


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