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The Eagle of the Pacific (1953)
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Toho/Monochrome・ Standard/119 minutes
Released October 21, 1953
Executive Producer Iwao Mori
Producer Sojiro Motoki
Director Ishiro Honda
Screenplay Shinobu Hashimoto
Director of Photography Kazuo Yamada
Art Direction Takeo Kita
Iwao Akune
Lighting Masayoshi Onuma
Sound Masanobu Miyazaki
Music Yuji Koseki
Special Effects Supervisor Motoyoshi Oda
Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Akira Watanabe
Hiroshi Muokyama
Ishiro Honda had strong reservations about making a war film because of his eight years in military service. However, there were some military officers in the Pacific War who opposed the war, and Honda could relate to their feelings. As a result, he embraced the idea of making this film which takes place during the Pacific War era. This is the story of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto who wished for peace in the world until the very end when his plane was attacked and shot down in the South Seas.

Isoroku Yamamoto was the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Despite his position, he was fundamentally opposed to starting war with the United States and European powers, and before the war he had also opposed the war in China. His desire throughout his career was for peace in the world. He also opposed the alliance with Germany and Italy, and as a result he was held in contempt by the power brokers in other branches of the Japanese military.

This film features an all-star cast, with documentary-like direction and special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. After its release, the film led to a series on Showa era history. Eagle of the Pacific was a big hit during its release, earning Toho more than 100 million yen. Shinobu Hashimoto's screenplay pointed out that responsibility for the war lay with all Japanese--the military, the government, and even civilians. Director Honda showed what Isoroku Yamamoto endured during his life as a military man. Archival footage, newly filmed drama, and special effects are all combined in this film. The depiction of the Battle of Midway is especially impressive.
Denjiro Okochi as Isoroku Yamamoto with Director Honda
Open set of the carrier, made at Oe Race Track
The director had deep feelings for this theme, so he made this film with passion
Takashi Shimura as an army colonel
Denjiro Okochi Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Hiroshi Nihonyanagi Commander Furukawa
Masao Shimizu Commander Kashima
Eijiro Yanagi Premier Admiral Yonai
Minoru Takada Prince Fumimaro Konoe
Ichiro Sugai Admiral Koshiro Oikawa
Takashi Shimura Col. A, Staff Officer of Army
Takamaru Sasaki Chief of Staff, Combined Fleet
Bontaro Miake Commander of Task Force
Rentaro Mikuni
Keiju Kobayashi
Hajime Izu

Staff Officers

Toshiro Mifune First Lt. Tomonaga
Minosuke Yamada
Fuyuki Murakami
Heihachiro Ogawa
Yoshio Kosugi
Korenari Senda
Sachio Sakai
Yo Shiomi
Sogi Kiyokawa
Kenjiro Uemura
Nakajiro Tomita
Tadao Ikeda
Katsumi Tezuka
Haruo Nakajima
Honda directing on the set of the carrier Akagi
This story covers the period from the night before the Pacific War until the death of Admiral Yamamoto
Publicity still of Toshiro Mifune (Lt. Tomonaga) and Denjiro Okochi (Isoroku Yamamoto)
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