Screen legends Charlton Heston, Toshirô Mifune, Robert Mitchum and Henry Fonda band together for this sprawling war film that depicts the U.S. and Japanese forces in the naval Battle of Midway, which became the turning point of the Pacific War. Using real battle footage, director Jack Smight’s dramatization illustrates how America found success after a string of disappointments in the Pacific, despite being outnumbered by the Japanese.
Emmy Award-winning director Jack Smight was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 9, 1925, the offspring of Irish immigrants. After graduating from the unfortunately named Cretin High School, where he was a classmate of Peter Graves, he served in the US Army Air Force during World War Two, where he flew combat missions in the Pacific Theater. After the war he attended the University of Minnesota, where he again met up with Graves—both were matriculating in the theater department as drama students. After graduation they hooked up in Hollywood, where they rented a room and made the rounds, looking for work as actors while Jack worked as a carhop and Peter drove a cab, ignoring the advice of Graves’ older brother, James Arness to head straight back to Minneapolis.
Unlike his friend, Smight did not achieve success as an actor and became a stage manager and then turned to directing. Graves later said of his friend that his acting background helped him understand actors. “He was… read more