STARS OF THE BIG SCREEN: Tora! Tora! Tora!

It is now half a century since this Pearl Harbor war epic hit the screens. We take a look back at this ambitious motion picture, its air craft and the legacy it helped create for the US warbird movement 

img_38-1.jpg
A phalanx of T-6-based Zeros dives in to attack the static replica P-40s at Wheeler AFB, formerly Wheeler Field.
ALAMY

There’s a saying in showbusiness that ‘timing is everything’. Well, the timing of Tora! Tora! Tora! could hardly have been worse, as far as box-office returns were concerned. A pessimistic, early-seventies America enduring a struggling economy, anti-war protestors and the quagmire of the Vietnam War simply wasn’t in the mindset for a motion picture depicting the defeat of its own military forces, not to mention the knock to national patriotism.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.