Rate the movie "Midway"

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    Votes: 1 25.0%
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    Votes: 2 50.0%
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    Votes: 1 25.0%
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  • Total voters


Well-known member
[sarcasm] Makes me wonder why we even bothered losing all those men defending and taking them back. [/sarcasm]
We didn't, we came up with "island hopping"; bypassed the heavily defended Japanese major bases like Rabaul & Truk, sometimes our intel was wrong and we invaded Peleliu or vanity got in the way and we invaded the Phillipines [instead of Formosa]

Alternate realities are fun to bandy about.

I imagine SOMEONE thought that unchecked, there was enough of a possibility. I don't think our defensive policy relied on the geography seeing how WE at one time took control of those islands.

There's more than one way to take territory. One way is to make the costs to keep it or get it too high. Didn't work out so well for Chamberlin but Japan might still have tried it under the right conditions. If Japan had won Midway and been able to hurt our Navy to the point of non-response (not knowing the existence of the bomb), they would have continued East as a means to keep us out of China. I can see a war weary US being done with Europe saying a few people in TERRITORIES not worth the lives to take and keep them, if we could get peace.

There was a lot of internal strife in the US towards the end of the war. Only so much political capital to expend. Midway is called "critical" for a reason I suppose.
Even if we lost our entire navy at Midway, it would have not made a difference in Japan's ability to take Midway, they didn't have enough troops, [3,000 Army and Naval Landing troops were facing over 5,000 US troops supported by tanks] they didn't have any way for those troops to call in air support[the airstrike on Midway killed 5 soldiers and did not disable one artillery, or AA gun] and the Navy had no doctrine on shore bombardment. They detailed 4 cruisers to support the landing, none of them had any training in fire support; contrast that with the US Navy
The Japanese only had a few contested amphibious assaults during WW2,, only one of which was successful [ 2nd Wake, first Wake was a disaster] the others were disasters like Battle of the Points on Bataan when 2000 Japanese attacked a beach area defended by Phillippine police company, 300 US sailors and 150 US Army Air force ground personnel, all but 43 Japanese died.
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Well-known member
If we had lost our entire Navy, it might have occurred to the Japanese to drive around. ;) They didn't need the islands for an airstrip. They could have sent back postcards from Hawaii. If Midway had gone that disastrously, I've no doubt they would have went on to Hawaii.

Now if it did play out as I said and Turtledove had been writing the script, he'd have had Truman nuke Hawaii.

I feal that Japan needed Hawaii as hostage to keep us out of their real interests closer to home and to keep an eye on us. They might have even gone on to Panama. Now that I've said it, it makes sense. At least to start striking deals with countries in that region, who had no love for the West.

Whether Japan would have tried to strike some deal with a communist USSR to guard the Kurils to Bering? Russia also being free of Europe might have felt a need to defend China and see an opportunity for oil and and land grab themselves. Japan, what was their relationship with India? Freeing India from Great Britain might have made for a heck of an ally.


Well-known member
Copied from my comments on the November Movie thread:

For someone who knows something about the battle, or someone who wishes to know about it (that should be every American), Midway is an outstanding film. That is why the critics' Rotten Tomato score is in the 40's while the movie goers' score is in the 90's. What the critics do not get is that sometimes a film should simply tell a compelling story well and doesn't need novelty to make it entertaining. One critic wrote "It's hard to imagine, if you've already seen a film like Pearl Harbor, why you would need to see Midway." Yeah, you know WWII battles, they're all alike. So, I guess learning about one of the most unlikely, I dare say miraculous, conflicts in American history is a waste of time.

The movie has a surprising span of time, running from 1937, through Pearl Harbor, through the Doolittle Raid and through the battle of Coral Sea, in order to set the table for Midway. This allows some character development for a number of characters but crowds out others who will become important later in the film. What it lacks in wider character development it makes up for with historical accuracy and a good understanding of what was at stake at Midway, along with the actions that resulted in the USN's ultimate success.

My two complaints are relatively minor. The first is that everyone in the film is just too dawn good looking. Where are the Spence Tracy/Jimmy Stewart "everyman" types. It would have benefited from a couple of palookas for sure. The second criticism is in depicting a dive bomb run. For dramatic purposes, as if it needed it, they had the dive bombers diving almost to the deck of the Japanese aircraft carriers buzzing the bridge on a couple of them.

Something else noteworthy is the respect paid to the heroics of many of the Japanese seamen and sailors and the wisdom of the Japanese Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Yamamoto, even while showing the brutality of several Japanese in strafing downed Americans and drowning one.

The performance of Harrelson as Nimitz and Dennis Quaid as Halsey were surprisingly good.