Even with its lack of dramatic tension and its surplus of wooden, two-dimensional characters, the film Tora! Tora! Tora! was reasonably accurate in its portrayal of the 7 December 1941 Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. To be sure, the film did contain some minor historical errors. For example, in the first shot of Washington, D.C., from the air, probably set sometime in 1941, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is clearly visible, even though it did not open until 1964. During the launch sequence, the slant deck of the USS Yorktown (CV-10) is clearly masquerading as the flight decks of the Japanese carriers. And in scenes from the Japanese side, the film dates the attack on Hawaii as 7 December, although the calendar on board the Japanese ships should have read 8 December.
'A Terrible Resolve'
By Lawrence H. Suid