Midway

( 9 )

Overview

Midway was a good idea for a movie that, at least in its feature film release, was very poorly executed. The notion probably didn't seem bad -- take newsreel footage, shots from old Hollywood films, and integrate a story about a past event with a current all-star cast. Irwin Allen, who'd broken box office records around the world with The Poseidon Adventure, had been doing it for years on television and in movies, He had become a respected producer, and Universal had practically secured the patent on all-star ...
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Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook 08/05/1998 DVD New 1976 Run time: 132. Still Sealed in Plastic. Never used! Buy with ... confidence-Satisfaction Guaranteed! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Midway was a good idea for a movie that, at least in its feature film release, was very poorly executed. The notion probably didn't seem bad -- take newsreel footage, shots from old Hollywood films, and integrate a story about a past event with a current all-star cast. Irwin Allen, who'd broken box office records around the world with The Poseidon Adventure, had been doing it for years on television and in movies, He had become a respected producer, and Universal had practically secured the patent on all-star blockbusters at the dawn of the 1970s with Airport. The problem was that, apart from a handful of performances, everyone in the film is so straitjacketed by their roles that they're mostly left parroting hopeless war movie cliches. Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, and Hal Holbrook do well enough, but the rest of the big-name cast is practically sleepwalking. The "drama" surrounding Charlton Heston in the theatrical version of the film (the one on this DVD) is a pale rewrite of the John Wayne/Brandon De Wilde subplot from In Harm's Way, with a racial
omantic twist included. Between trying to recreate events spread over an entire ocean and four months of interlocking decisions, Midway comes off as virtually a TV movie when compared to In Harm's Way. Even John Williams' score is laden with little musical clichés. Ironically, there is a better version of this film -- the network television cut, which includes ten minutes of footage from the Battle of the Coral Sea (which takes place offscreen in this version) and a performance-enhancing romantic subplot for Heston's character (a totally fictional officer) and that of Susan Sullivan (which appears nowhere in this edition). The only thing that saves the shorter version of the film is the import of the subject itself -- the film offers a good measure of suspense once the Japanese launch their planes; the pacing picks up, and the plot rests with those planes rather than with the actors. The DVD itself is a decent job. The 2.35 aspect ratio preserves the Panavision theatrical image, and the sound even in the dramatic scenes is not only loud (though the original release's "Sensurround" is nowhere in evidence), but has a pleasing dimensionality about it. The image quality is excellent, and only the relative blandness of the military aircraft keeps this from being one of the easier-on-the-eye blockbusters of its period. The clarity of the image is a major drawback in one respect, because it is amazingly easy to spot the footage lifted from Tora! Tora! Tora! and inserted into scenes of the attack on Midway's air field. No trailer or any other special features are present, and the movie starts automatically unless one goes to the menu, which is lively enough, with boxes containing moving images from the relevant opening scenes of each chapter.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/5/1998
  • UPC: 014381429220
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Mono / Dolby 5.1
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:11:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlton Heston Capt. Matt Garth
Henry Fonda Adm. Chester W. Nimitz
James Coburn Capt. Vinton Maddox
Glenn Ford Rear Adm. Raymond A. Spruance
Hal Holbrook Cmdr. Joseph Rochefort
Toshiro Mifune Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto
Robert Mitchum Adm. William F. Halsey
Robert Wagner Lt. Cmdr. Ernest L. Blake
Christina Kokubo Haruko Sakura
Monte Markham Cmdr. Max Leslie
Kevin Dobson Ensign George Gay
Glenn Corbett Lt. Cmdr. John Waldron
Gregory Walcott Capt. Elliott Buckmaster
Edward Albert Lt. Tom Garth
Phillip Richard Allen
Beeson Carroll
Dabney Coleman Capt. Murray Arnold
Larry Csonka Cmdr. Delaney
Erik Estrada
John Fujioka
Christopher George Lt. Cmdr. C. Wade McClusky
Kurt Grayson
James Ingersoll
Dale Ishimoto Vice Adm. Moshiro Hosogaya
Robert Ito
Steve Kanaly
Lloyd Kino
Clyde Kusatsu
David Macklin
Biff McGuire Capt. Miles Browning
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita
Ed Nelson Adm. Harry Pearson
Kip Niven
Bennett Ohta
John Bennett Perry
Michael Richardson
Cliff Robertson Cmdr. Carl Jessop
Dennis Rucker Ens. Mansen
Seth Sakai
Tom Selleck
James Shigeta Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo
Yuki Shimoda
Sab Shimono
Robert Webber Rear Adm. Frank J. "Jack" Fletcher
Alfie Wise
Conrad Yama Adm. Nobutake Kondo
Technical Credits
Jack Smight Director
John M. Dwyer Set Decoration/Design
Richard Hashimoto Asst. Director
Robert Martin Sound/Sound Designer
Jack McMasters Special Effects
Walter Mirisch Producer
Leonard Peterson Sound/Sound Designer
Donald S. Sanford Screenwriter
Harry Stradling Jr. Cinematographer
Robert Swink Editor
Walter Tyler Art Director
Frank J. Urioste Editor
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Midway
0. Chapter Index
1. Main Title; Hiroshima April 18, 1942 [9:24]
2. Father and Son [4:01]
3. Battleship Yamato [2:59]
4. Nimitz Is Notified [3:26]
5. Operation K. [9:38]
6. Very Bad Luck [6:38]
7. A Replacement for Admiral Halsey [2:16]
8. War Room Strategy [3:43]
9. Preparing for Battle [10:19]
10. The Element of Surprise [9:35]
11. Northeast of Midway [4:56]
12. Battle Stations [6:35]
13. Dog Flight [18:19]
14. Suicide Attack [4:30]
15. The Battle in the Air [9:46]
16. Lady Luck [6:36]
17. The Tables Are Turned [5:16]
18. The Last Air Strike [4:39]
19. Victory and Defeat [6:37]
20. End Credits [2:02]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Midway
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    INCOMPLETE MOVIE VERSION

    Would give it 5 stars if the whole thing were there!!! Certainly a turning point in the war in the Pacific, Midway was a monumental battle that is inspiring to all those who study history. The movie does a very good job of accurately depicting most of the battle scenes and superb performances by the likes of Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Glenn Ford, and of course, Charlton Heston, make this a real keeper for the video library. The DVD bosts bonus scenes from the network television version, but buyer beware! You may be familiar with the network version that is, in fact, the full length movie. This DVD or VHS that is 2 hrs, 12 min is NOT the full movie! It is missing approximately 45 minutes of scenes showing the Battle of the Coral Sea which happened about 3 weeks before Midway that ARE in some versions. I have written the movie producers twice complaining about it, but alas, I, like you, am a peon who is ignored. I was even dumb enough to buy it on DVD and VHS thinking I would get the whole thing. Wrong! If enough people would write and DEMAND the full version of the movie (which I have recorded from network TV, so I KNOW it exists), maybe they would make it! ??

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Terrific Historical movie

    This movie is the perfect way to watch history

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Battle of Midway-1970's Hollywood Style

    The battle of Midway was an important turning point in the Pacific during World War II. There was enough human drama to go round, without having a contrived love story taking up precious flim. The internment of Japanese-Americans was a horrible blight in American history. The love story between the navy flier (Edward Albert) and the Japanese-American woman (Christina Kokubo), could have been made into its own feature film. The movie barely scratches at the loss of an entire navy torpedo squadron based off the USS Hornet, and the effect that had. Other film flubs are the use of documentary footage shot during World War II, spliced in with footage taken from the movie "Tora Tora Tora". To me if your going to make a film on war, any war it has to be visually and historically accurate. The footage shot to represent Midway Island, looked like 100 feet of California beach. That was suppose to represent all of Midway Island. As for the performances, Charlton Heston's over the top performance is what you would expect from him. Henry Fonda's performance as Admiral Nimitz was very good, and enjoyable to watch. The other actors, seemed a little stiff in their performances (some had very little dialogue). If you do not know anything about the battle of Midway, this would be a good starting point, but I suggest reading about it and also look for documentaries about it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2001

    Great film of an important point of WW II

    This is a wonderfully done film about a key point of World War II,and the all star cast makes it better.Without any big push for special effects or rush of story,this film puts the battles of Coral Sea and Midway on the screen in a great way.There is an important ''plot'' to follow(being the factual events) and it is done right.The sideline stories of a love relationship and family members being in the navy together were widespread in wartime back in the 1940's,but the true meaning of the battles is what really wins out.Charlton Heston and the rest of the cast deliver excellent performances and live up to the storyline(and history).The film is longer than a regular theatrical release,but that gives it the right amount of time to present as many details as possible.A great film for any World War II historian,any war buff,any history archivist,any fan of the cast,or anyone who wants to sit back and watch a true classic.We all knew the ending,but how it got to that point is something to respect and this picture does that.A great job.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

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    Posted July 10, 2010

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    Posted August 1, 2009

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    Posted June 16, 2009

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    Posted September 11, 2010

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