December 7th (film)

December 7th (film)

December 7 was a propaganda film produced by the US Navy and directed by John Ford in 1943, about the events of that date in 1941. As indicated by its title, the film was a presentation about the attack on Pearl Harbor, the event with sparked the Pacific War and American involvement in World War II generally.

The film begins with a chronological breakdown of the events of December 7, starting with the town of Honolulu gradually waking up and coming to life in the morning. A young private is credited with intercepting some vital information which his superiors dismiss; other sailors play baseball or attend religious services.

Then, "like locusts", the Japanese planes start humming over the air above Oahu, and begin the now infamous attack on American military installations on the island, including the sinking of the Arizona, and the bombing of Hickam Field. All the while, back in Washington, Japanese diplomats are still talking with Secretary of State Cordell Hull.

An animated sequence is shown, with a large radio tower over Japan, broadcasting a fictional speech by Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. The narrator contradicts most of the "facts" that the Japanese leader tells his listeners in Tokyo, Kobe, and Nagasaki.

After the attack Honolulu isn't quite the same; the island is put under martial law, barbed wire and other protective barriers are set up in case of invasion and even children have to be evacuated and given gas masks. The film is notable for its sympathetic depiction of the Hawaii Japanese, and the difficulties they now had to go through.


The film won an Academy Award in 1944 for Documentary Short Subject.

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