The Final Countdown 1980 (1980) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A modern aircraft carrier is thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Runtime: 103 mins Release Date: 01 Aug 1980
All-timer great movie, fantastic flying, top acting, themes for men & women (by dc747)
This film is one of the great ones. Having served on an aircraft carrier for 2.5 years, I'm familiar with aircraft carrier excitement. But the movie was more than just wonderful shots of the U.S. Nimitz. The cast was top drawer, and their acting was as good as it gets. Standing above all the great performances was a Japanese actor portraying a shot-down, highly competent, captured Japanese Zero pilot. While racism understandably raises its ugly head during wartime, with epithets and insults hurled in both directions, in fact this Japanese actor portrayed a Japanese warrior at his <more>
finest--someone whom Japanese viewers would be proud of. Played equally well were American military personnel, including some Marines. One of the candid themes of the movie is the tragedy of such fine people going to war against each other, whatever their race.The film is undeniably top drawer, far more mature than than "Top Gun," with even better flying scenes. So I've often wondered why it isn't widely known and not kept in stock in widescreen format. Perhaps the answer is today's wimpy trend towards "politically correct" dialog. In one scene, Kirk Douglas refers to the captured Japanese pilot as a "yellow bastard." In the video version, this was sanitized. However, sanitized or not, the original racial comment, by itself, may have doomed the film from greater video distribution.I saw the film when it came out in wide-screen format and saw it several times before it left town. Thereafter, the only other versions available in video were "fit-to-TV-screen" size. That was tragic! Though still exciting in "box" format, the widescreen original was breathtaking. I cannot imagine why producers haven't released this in DVD in original wide-screen format. It makes a huge difference with this film! Aircraft carriers are huge! One interesting comment to add about the F-14 flying scenes. I was awed by one particular F-14 maneuver, which I didn't think airplanes were capable of doing. A couple of years later, I talked with a Navy fighter pilot and brought this up. He was very familiar with that scene and personally knew the pilot who flew the F-14 in the movie. He told me that the F-14 almost crashed in that scene, stalling while trying to fly too slow, diving for the ocean to pick up speed, and barely recovering just above the wave tops. This near-accident was caught on film and added immensely to the exhibition of flying skill. An exception had been granted to the Navy's policy of not allowing "dissimilar aircraft" to fly together in movie scenes. The result of that granted exception was almost the loss of an F-14.This is an incredibly good drama. I found that the various twists and turns, and particularly the call-it-off ending, all contributed to the drama and moral dilemmas. This is a fine, great movie. Like others who commented here, it seems tragic that this film is not available in widescreen DVD format. Everyone I've shown it to loves it, male and female. Feminism and romance are included, along with a collie dog for the kids.
I love this movie. Every time I hit it channel-surfing I think I'll watch it for just a minute and I end up watching the whole damn thing. Some of the best movies take one or two freak things and then play them out absolutely straight e.g., Big, Back to the Future, Groundhog Day . Modern aircraft carrier encounters bizarre storm and finds itself between the Japanese fleet and Pearl Harbor a day before the infamous attack. What to do, what to do... What happens which isn't actually much takes a back seat to 1 an Oscar-caliber performance by Kirk Douglas as ship captain, and also <more>
fine performances by Sheen, Durning and others; and 2 the wonder of tactical operations on a modern carrier. For war buffs just the idea of the U.S.S. Nimitz prowling near the Jap fleet with Douglas at the helm is enough. Enchanting musical score and satisfying wrap. 10 out of 10
A classic science fiction time travel paradox flick. (by Skybird1125)
This is a really great fun film that deals with some of the aspects of time travel into the past. If one does anything to alter the past while there, what will be the effects on the future you knew? No hint of an explanation is give as to what could have caused the, I guess you could call it, 'time storm.' But the film does have has some very interesting twists and a cool ending. Not only that, but the flight sequences of the F-15s and the dogfights between them and Mitsubishi Zeros are just plain fun from a modern day American perspective . Someone said that they are the best shots <more>
of an F-15 in action prior to Top Gun. Ever since I was a youngster, I wondered what would happen if you could transport a battleship or aircraft carrier back to say, the Revolutionary War era. Final Countdown comes about as close to playing with that idea as I expect to see.
Best "time travel"-movie of all time! (by Dressed)
This is not a war-movie, but a movie about traveling through time. And the best of its kind in my opinion.So other recommendations should rather be sci-fi movies of the same kind, and not just war movies.The great thing about this one in the genre of time travel, is that its made in a so epic and serious way. I know first time seeing it on the screen and it looked to be a huge drama, action-thriller or something in the beginning, and then suddenly the most unexpected thing happens. It was awesome.I never get tired of this movie. Only wish there had been much more of it.
Nimitz by minute by minute (by xbrad68)
The Final Countdown is a great Aircraft Carrier movie. I really like Kirk Douglas as an actor. Imagining F-14 Tomcats shooting down Japanese Zeroes shows that America is still grouchy about the surprise attack at Pearl Harbour. Well it turns out that I have some Japanese DNA and that makes me neutral on the Battle of Pearl Harbour. Imagine if the day after President Jack Kennedy was supposed to have been assassinated, on November 23, 1963 when Captain Morrison took command of the Bonhomme Richard aircraft carrier it was really a still alive President Jack Kennedy. In 1963 the Boney carried <more>
nuclear weapons. I am sure that JFK had a super cruise. Then in 1964 according to the book Who Shot JFK? President Jack Kennedy was spotted at author Truman Capotes birthday Party still alive. No word of a lie it turns out that President Jack F Kennedy is my Great Uncle. A big hi to Clive Cussler in the bunker. I heard that the Secret Service agents had to carry you to the transportation. Now you know that my Great Uncle the American Shadow President Jack F Kennedy like lifeguarding like former President Reagan. I hope you are coping with the fact that we Democrats saved your republican behind. Remember that freedom of speech still exists so have fun writing or don't if you choose that course of action. It is rumored that the original creator of the Universe reads your books and is in our Solar system. If you look at the names Ki and Et aliens you can get the word kite, like they are someones kite, but do not be misled, the Care Rank Ki and others are highly likely to be some of the top sentient species in the Universe. If they encountered other aliens, the thought that they were someones kite might give the other guy a moment of pause. The other movies of Kirk Douglas are also good.
Had never heard of this film and literally stumbled across it. What a pleasant surprise, excellent concept and given the limits of 1980 technology, it stand the test of time well, with great turns by Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen. I will watch this again. Most entertaining.
I really enjoyed it (by Idocamstuf)
This was a highly entertaining sleeper about a naval ship that happens to go through a time warp and end up at Pearl Harbor just hours before the attack in 1941. Realistic acting, special effects and air scenes really make this movie stand out from other similar movies. I'm really surprised that this film is not more popular, because this was a very unique and fascinating concept for a movie, especially back in 1980. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good science-fiction film. I'm also surprised that it has such a low rating, I was expecting it to be rated at least a <more>
7. Ill give it an 8 out of 10. Well worth viewing.
When the Propmaster is the Chief of Naval Operations (by lawprof)
Making a military movie without official cooperation can be difficult. If the story doesn't require major air or naval assets, a script disapproved of by the top brass can be convincingly brought to the screen. Two examples - both true stories that the Pentagon didn't want to support - are "Men of Honor" reflecting the epidemic racism of the not-that-long-ago Navy and "Sgt. Bilko," a film portraying what some noncoms do to earn extra income trust me, it's a true story: a real Sgt. Bilko worked officially but not actually for me when I was an Army officer.But <more>
when you need lots of planes and ships, you gotta have official help. And few movies have gotten more assistance than the producer, director and cast of "The Final Countdown," now available on DVD,a sci-fi recruiting spectacular that features - on loan at taxpayer expense - the huge carrier U.S.S. Nimitz complete with crew. Now that's cooperation!Kirk Douglas skippers the supercarrier which is on Pacific Fleet maneuvers. On board as some sort of efficiency consultant is a young Martin Sheen, not yet ready for the West Wing. A mysterious and never explained weather phenomenon grips the mighty floating air base and to the unfolding amazement of captain, officers and crew dawns the realization that the Nimitz in sailing not that far from Pearl Harbor on 6 December 1941.Meanwhile a U.S. senator, played by one of Hollywood's deservedly decorated war heroes, Charles Durning, is enjoying his yacht, also near Pearl, while dictating to his lovely secretary, Katharine Ross. A brace of Japanese Zeroes sink the yacht, killing two passengers which then prompts the carrier C.O. to order trailing F-14 Tomcats to "splash" the "enemy." Durning and Ross are rescued. Without a word, this talented actor's face does a comical double-take when introduced to the ship's executive officer who just happens to be black in 1941 a black navy man could only serve as a steward in the officers mess. That was it. Period. The dilemma facing Douglas, of course, is a classic time-travel conundrum. To interfere with the course of history the carrier's air wing can make instant teriyaki of the six Japanese carriers or to let events take their known and disastrous course.A chaste incipient romance between the nearly drowned damsel and the carrier's Commander Air Group competes with the white knuckle decision-making struggle of the C.O.So much for the plot. What is on offer here is a demonstration of every aircraft type, fixed-wing and rotary, deployed on the vessel as well as demonstrations of shipboard activities ranging from retrieving a damaged jet to going to General Quarters to...you name it. The technical advisers knew they had a film crew pliant to every suggestion. The result is a genuinely exciting show- a great warship going through its paces. And, unlike "Tora Tora Tora" it doesn't appear that any genuine sailors were harmed in the making of the movie.There's one big problem. A science fiction story is usually utterly improbable, indeed impossible, but its internal logic is vital: it must be consistent. Spielberg understands that very well. Watch the first couple of minutes when Sheen is greeted by his employer's lackey and the last minutes when he debarks from the Nimitz. Something is very, very off-kilter. Could the CEO of a great military-industrial conglomerate have used top secret technology to send the carrier back to 1941 for...So what. This is a beautifully filmed adventure story, not a great film. The cast probably relished taking over the carrier for a while and the real captain, never shown, surely wished that the Navy hadn't banned hard spirits from our ships in World War I. But all emerge unscathed in a genuinely entertaining romp through time.8/10
I saw this film before I joined the Navy and again before I served on Nimitz CVN 68 . Kind of a nice feather in my cap experiencing the world's largest 'time machine' in person! On to the movie... A very interesting premise which should have merited a more detailed analysis! Executed well enough for 1980, but could be remade into one hell of a motion picture today! I'd love to see it. One thing the story does well is get one thinking about the 'what-if' scenario having the most modern carrier in the today's fleet taking on the Japanese Navy almost 40 years <more>
prior... Hmm. What a mismatch that would be in much the same way that **** SPOILER ALERT **** Combat Air Patrol CAP Tomcats rendered the 'Zeroes ' splashed handily! But, the very nature of Paradoxes would have rendered intervention potentially destructive to Nimitz and all aboard! Which would have made profound changes to MY naval career as well. And that was the dilemma faced; Do we change history because we feel a conscious duty to tilt the war in our favor At least in the short term. ? Or do we choose to let nature take its course knowing full well the outcome if nothing is done? 4 more years of war and millions of lives? Or win a decisive victory and save all of the agony yet to come at the possible expense of destroying the fabric of space/time... or at the very least causing the U.S. and the Allies to lose in the long run because the U.S. would have delayed entering the war? Thorny, eh? As it turns out, history in this film was changed in a minor way but then again... was it? Possible predestination paradox, meaning events were supposed to happen the way they did. ***SPOILER ALERT*** If the Nimitz had stayed to fight, logistically it would have been possible... for a short time. Without access to spare parts, jet fuel and other means of support, the ship would have been nearly useless. True, this vessel class can steam for over 20 years on a fresh set of plutonium rods, but jets can't fly without fuel or spare parts! And just imagine trying to provision that ship with its crew of 5000 plus with 1940's technology! This ignores what the U.S. Government would have done once they got their hands on Nimitz and her technology back then! The debriefing would never end for those people! And imagine the changes to history then! Could be a whole other movie! All in all, I think it was a great piece of science fiction and a very enjoyable 'what if'... I recommend anyone see it who can! It has its flaws and is dated but the concept is still very valid. The movie's big strength is not so much what is said, but what is not. The important stuff is left to the viewer's imagination, and this is what makes it very entertaining and provocative! This is the movie that made the USS Nimitz a household word and I am very proud to have served on a piece of science fiction history no pun intended ! The ship is very distinguished and far more impressive 'in the steel' than she is on film. I give this film a 7.9/10. Mostly for the powerful premise.