A film review of blockbuster Pearl Harbor and its social consequences.

Essay by taiwangelUniversity, Bachelor'sB, December 2002

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Pearl Harbor (the film) : Compromise Between Fact and Fiction

With its heartdrenching romance interweaved in its heartpounding action, movie critics have hailed Pearl Harbor as the summer blockbuster of the year and the second coming of Titanic. Pearl Harbor, a movie about the 1941 surprise aerial attack on the U.S. Pacific fleet, is seen as movie which is less of a history lesson, and more of a love story. However, despite booming box office sales and rave reviews, some say the movie distorts reality and is not a World War Two role model movie. This is an issue which is debatable. Indeed, many are dismayed to see the attack that provoked the U.S. entry into the second world war serving as a backdrop to a Hollywood-style love triangle. Some even wonder why the film - one which spans from the war in Europe to James Doolittle's raid on Tokyo in 1942 - is even named "Pearl Harbor."

World War Two veterans are dying by the thousands every month. For the four to five million veterans that are still alive, this may be the last time they witness Hollywood trying to tell their story, and that may partly account for why the film is being held to a high standard of accuracy. While nobody claimed colossal misrepresentations in Pearl Harbor, critics of the film, mainly historians, say the movie's battle scenes contain many inaccuracies. The scene which Japanese torpedo bombers are attacking the American airfields, is especially reaping criticism since a war zone like that was never recorded into history. The most obvious Hollywood versus history conflict comes about in actor Jon Voight's shiniest moment, when he portrays Franklin D. Roosevelt struggling out of his wheelchair in order to show his cabinet that the impossible can...