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The Final Countdown (1980)

PG  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi  |  1 August 1980 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 14,938 users  
Reviews: 140 user | 45 critic

A modern aircraft carrier is thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Laurel Scott
James Farentino ...
Cdr. Richard Owens / Mr.Tideman
...
Cdr. Dan Thurman
...
Senator Samuel Chapman
Victor Mohica ...
Black Cloud
James Coleman ...
Lt. Perry (as James C. Lawrence)
...
Simura (as Soon-Teck Oh)
Joe Lowry ...
Cdr. Damon
...
Lt. Kajima
Mark Thomas ...
Marine Cpl. Kullman
Harold Bergman ...
Bellman
...
Navy Doctor
...
LCdr. Kaufman
Edit

Storyline

An American nuclear aircraft carrier and its crew are caught in a classic dilemma when a supernatural storm sends them back in time just before the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On December 7, 1980 --- The nuclear carrier USS Nimitz disappeared in the Pacific...and reappeared December 7, 1941...the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1 August 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der letzte Countdown  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 2,722,598 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lead actor Kirk Douglas' son, Peter Douglas, was the film's producer and the main force behind the movie, his first credit as a producer at age 25, he had been working on the film since he was 23. See more »

Goofs

It should have been very obvious to Senator Chapman that something was out of place once he met the Nimitz's executive officer, Commander Thurman, who is African American. The armed forces would not be integrated until 1948, so there would be no way there could be an African American line officer in any capacity on a ship in 1941. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
F-14 Pilot: [voice over radio] Pearl Tower, Tomcat two-zero-zero. requesting clearance for departure runway zero-nine. Over.
Pearl Harbor Tower: [voice over radio] Two-zero-zero, Pearl Harbor Tower. You are cleared runway oh-niner. Winds zero-four-five at eight. SH-three approaching from the right. Have a nice day.
See more »

Connections

Edited from Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I like it even more 18 years later
15 December 2000 | by (planet Earth) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film when I was right out of high school, and I wasn't surprised to see the lobby-card poster hanging in a Navy recruiter's office a few months later when I dropped by. And that's entirely appropriate; the film is, among other things, a love letter to the modern Navy. I mean that as high praise: Where lots of military movies (and plenty of recruiting commercials) overdo the martial aspects of their characters with a gung-ho Sergeant Rock style, the byplay in this movie provided glimpses of the the Navy (and the Marine Corps too, God bless 'em), honestly and simply, as people taking pride in a demanding, sacrificial profession.

To this day I wonder which, if any, sailors and Marines I saw were actual service people. If any were, Don Taylor and his second-unit directorial crew got excellent small performances from them. Here's an example: In a brief scene that probably barely survived the final cut, there's interaction among some sailors: "Christ, Chief, all we wanna know is what's going on," asserts one mildly exasperated rating. "If you need to know, you'll be told," replies the Chief Master-at-Arms curtly. The people who spoke this dialogue definitely weren't Screen Actors Guild types; they looked and sounded pretty much like sailors I've known. And that's a little detail that's done right so seldom that I hardly notice anymore that I'm deliberately overlooking it.

The aerial sequences set a standard that wouldn't be touched until /Top Gun/ hit the screen. To be sure, both movies relied to some extent on stock footage of naval-aviation ops, but as with /Top Gun/, this film's flying was spectacular -- and, in the last of the years before CGI took hold, REAL. (Compare this film's or /Top Gun/'s exteriors of aircraft with, say, /Air Force One/, and you'll see what I mean.

The "name-actor" ensemble of Kirk Douglas et al. performed, perhaps not brilliantly, but serviceably in a film that certainly was more plot-driven than character-focused. The story -- revealed by plenty of other comments here -- though implausible, is still capable of holding one's interest. But after you catch this flick on the tube for the second or third time, pay attention to the enlisted pukes doing their jobs -- to me, they're the real stars.

If it's on the shelf, rent it. If it's on TV again, watch it. At the least, it's an entertaining story. At its best, it's a good study in style and pacing.


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Paradox or plot hole? cartwright33
The Cdr. Richard Owens / Mr.Tideman Paradox DigIt
PLEASE REMAKE THIS FILM!!! mdrnpirate
UFOs... raketex
Richard would have had to rapidly age... ninetymin
Watched 'The Final Countdown' a Second Time asbrand1
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