In 1941 the Japanese are at odds with the United States on a number of issues which they are attempting to resolve via their Washington embassy. In case this diplomacy fails, the military are hatching plans for a surprise early Sunday morning air attack on the U.S. base at Pearl Harbour. American intelligence is breaking the Japanese diplomatic messages but few high-ups are prepared to believe that an attack is likely, let alone where or how it might come. —IMDb
The son of famed animator Max Fleischer (Popeye, Betty Boop et. al.), Richard O. Fleischer was a psychology student at Brown University when he dropped out in favor of the Yale Drama Department. At age 21, Fleischer organized a campus theatrical troupe called the Arena Players. In 1942, he went to work for RKO-Pathe in New York, editing the company’s weekly newsreels before producing and directing his own short-subject projects, including the March of Time-like This is America and a series of gagged-up silent-film vignettes titled Flicker Flashbacks. In 1946, he headed to Hollywood, there to direct feature films for Pathe’s parent studio, RKO Radio; his last short-subject effort was the Oscar-winning Design for Death (1948). At first limited to “B” pictures, Fleischer gained a loyal critical following with such topnotch films as Follow Me Quietly (1949) and The Narrow Margin (1952).
Perhaps sensing that RKO was on its last legs, Fleischer moved on to MGM, then to Walt Disney… read more
Known primarily in the West for directing such features as Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and the controversial Battle Royale (2000), maverick Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku established himself early on with a series of Toei Studio yakuza movies before gaining international recognition after taking over for Akira Kurosawa when the legendary director abandoned Tora! Tora! Tora!. Fukasaku was born in Mito, Japan, in 1930, and made his film debut with 1961’s High Noon for Gangsters.Taking a cue from Italian neorealism, Fukasaku continued to craft a unique style that would flourish throughout the 1960s. Later helming the visually explosive Black Lizard, it soon became apparent that Fukasaku was a director whose talents were limited by the suffocating restraints of the Japanese studio system. Exploring the dark underworld of crime and continually blurring the line between good and evil in his “Battle series,” (which began with 1973’s Battles Without Honor and Humanity) the director’s brutal… read more
Toshio Masuda (舛田 利雄 Masuda Toshio?, born October 5, 1927 in Kobe, Japan) is a Japanese film director. He developed a reputation as a consistent box office hit-maker. Over the course of five decades, 16 of his films made the yearly top ten lists at the Japanese box office—a second place record in the industry. Between 1958 and 1968 he directed 52 films for the Nikkatsu Company. He was their top director of action films and worked with the company’s top stars, including Yujiro Ishihara with whom he made 25 films. After the breakdown of the studio system, he moved on to a succession of big-budget movies including the American-Japanese co-production Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and the science fiction epic Catastrophe 1999: The Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974). He worked on such anime productions as the Space Battleship Yamato series. His corporate drama Company Funeral (1989) earned him a Japanese Academy Award nomination and wins at the Blue Ribbon Awards and Mainichi Film Awards. In Japan… read more
This was my first favorite film; the film that got me into film. I love it, the acting (with the exception of Martin Balsam) is pretty dated, but the action sequences are ten times better than anything Michael Bay could shit out. If only Kurosawa had stayed on the project to direct the Japanese episode!