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Tora! Tora! Tora!

On today, December 7th, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the attack on our country at Pearl Harbor, we watched the epic 1970 film recreation, TORA! TORA! TORA!

Filmed in tandem with a Japanese crew and cast, this big budget drama details the week leading up to the attack from both sides.

A classic 70's cast including Martin Balsam, EG Marshall and Joseph Cotten play real life characters in this historically accurate depiction of the near destruction of our Pacific Fleet in 1941.

It's fascinating as a co-production with the Japanese, offering a fair portrayal of the war from both sides, showing the glaring failures on both sides that led to the sneak attack on that early Sunday morning and the aftermath.

Director Richard Fleischer (Fantastic Voyage, Soylent Green) lets the first hour unwind the history at a pretty slow pace, letting the suspense build slowly and really kick in at the 80 minute mark as the Japanese fighters take off for the attack.

The recreation of the massive assault on Pearl Harbor is very well done, especially considering this was long before CGI, with full scale explosions and models doing the heavy lifting, along with some very brave stuntmen.

In 2001, Michael Bay unleashed his mega-budget, explosive take on the real story with his huge hit '"Pearl Harbor". The special effects in that version no doubt dwarf this 1970's take, but this film treats the history with classroom-like respect and reverence, versus wrapping it in a splashy soap opera as Bay did.

For old-fashioned, respectful war movie style, TORA! delivers, especially in its final 40 minutes.

Along with "Hello Dolly", it nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox when audiences didn't turn out in 1970, but its gained respect over the years and remains a war classic. It gets a B.

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