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 Posted:   Dec 23, 2001 - 4:40 AM   
 By:   Spacehunter   (Member)

I just caught about an hour of TORA! TORA! TORA! on cable (including the Pearl Harbor attack), and I must say, it looked like a terrific film. I can't wait to see the whole thing.

I also liked Goldsmith's score, what little I heard of it before the attack sequence. The track while the Japanese fighters are preparing for take-off was particularly thrilling. Is the score available by itself? Amazon.com only had a CD pairing it with PATTON, with just five(!) tracks from TORA! TORA! TORA! I'd love to have a more-complete soundtrack for it.

np BRISCO COUNTY, JR. (yes! finally!!)

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2001 - 5:51 AM   
 By:   JJH   (Member)

um, you DO know FSM has produced a CD of the whole score right?

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2001 - 6:18 AM   
 By:   JJH   (Member)

a link:


https://secure.filmscoremonthly.com/store/detailCD.asp?ID=71


 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2001 - 8:42 AM   
 By:   Originalthinkr@aol.com   (Member)

TORA, TORA, TORA! is, of course, a stunningly beautiful film to watch, with the kind of old-fashioned craftsmanship that one doesn't see in movies any more. I was fortunate enough to be able to prowl the 20th Century-Fox backlot in the summer of 1978, where several of the ship models lay -- and had lain since 1968) bleaching in the sun. Actually, to call them "models" doesn't convey the sheer size and detail of those things -- they had to average sixty feet long; you could have sailed to Hawaii in the belly of one of those things!

Unfortunately, TORA, TORA, TORA!'s greatest dramatic strength is also its greatest weakness. The strength is that the studio and producer Elmo Williams (a former film editor who was Darryl F. Zanuck's son-in-law. Hmmm...I wonder how he got the job?) decided to forgo the kind of sappy fictional story tacked onto the sufficiently fascinating real-life events which earned the recent PEARL HARBOR its well-deserved critical drubbing (as did the same approach in 1976's MIDWAY).

The problem is, this straightforward approach also robbed the film of anything resembling a point-of-view, which made it rather barren, emotionally, despite its meticulous attention to detail. It needed a protagonist, though I'm not sure that either the ill-fated Adm. Kimmel or Gen. Short were quite tragic enough for that purpose.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2001 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   JEC   (Member)

There is one question about this film that I have never been able to get an answer to--What was its original running length? The FSM CD references a track called "Imperial Palace" that was only in the Japanese version, so here is at least once difference. However, I saw the film at its L.A. premiere and definitely remember at least one scene that was not in the version I saw on television years later, or on video.

Anybody know how long this film was originally?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2001 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   Spacehunter   (Member)

um, you DO know FSM has produced a CD of the whole score right?

Yikes! I didn't know. But now I know where to get it. Thanks. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2001 - 7:04 PM   
 By:   Keith   (Member)

The FSM full score version of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" is terrific. Definitely one you should get.

The movie itself tells the basic facts of the story well, but the American half of the film is rather poorly and stiffly acted in my personal opinion. The Japanese half of the film is both told and acted exceptionally well.

The original director, Akira Kurosawa, for the Japanese half of the film was replaced because he drove the studio nuts with things like demanding such attention to detail that he had the set of the small shinto shrine on the japanese warship repainted because it wasn't the proper shade of white. Production was brought to a halt while the entire set was repainted to Kurosawa's standards. In another set there were books in a library, and he insisted the the books on the shelves in the scene were from the era that the scene was set in. He also hired a number of amateur actors in the form of 15 japanese industrialists to play the roles of the admirals, generals, and diplomats instead of professional actors in an attempt to secure their funding for his future film projects. Kurosawa's original japanese script had a run time of four hours and 20 minutes and was 401 pages long! The studio finally had enough and he was replaced shortly after filming started with the cover story that he was "ill." All 8 minutes of the footage Kurosawa managed to shoot was scrapped and filming was redone with professional actors, a trimmed down script and two new directors, Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda.

All the japanese aircraft in the film were actually highly modified US made period ex-army AT-6 "Texan" trainer aircraft. They were turned into the Kates, Vals, and Zeros that you see in the film. They were so highly modified that they had to be reclassified by the FAA as "experimental" and couldn't be flown over populated areas.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2001 - 12:17 AM   
 By:   joec   (Member)

The FSM full score version of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" is terrific. Definitely one you should get.

The movie itself tells the basic facts of the story well, but the American half of the film is rather poorly and stiffly acted in my personal opinion. The Japanese half of the film is both told and acted exceptionally well.

The original director, Akira Kurosawa, for the Japanese half of the film was replaced because he drove the studio nuts with things like demanding such attention to detail that he had the set of the small shinto shrine on the japanese warship repainted because it wasn't the proper shade of white. Production was brought to a halt while the entire set was repainted to Kurosawa's standards. In another set there were books in a library, and he insisted the the books on the shelves in the scene were from the era that the scene was set in. He also hired a number of amateur actors in the form of 15 japanese industrialists to play the roles of the admirals, generals, and diplomats instead of professional actors in an attempt to secure their funding for his future film projects. Kurosawa's original japanese script had a run time of four hours and 20 minutes and was 401 pages long! The studio finally had enough and he was replaced shortly after filming started with the cover story that he was "ill." All 8 minutes of the footage Kurosawa managed to shoot was scrapped and filming was redone with professional actors, a trimmed down script and two new directors, Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda.

All the japanese aircraft in the film were actually highly modified US made period ex-army AT-6 "Texan" trainer aircraft. They were turned into the Kates, Vals, and Zeros that you see in the film. They were so highly modified that they had to be reclassified by the FAA as "experimental" and couldn't be flown over populated areas.



Keith..you must have listened to the DVD commentary closely as all your facts appaer to derive from it!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2001 - 3:33 AM   
 By:   Originalthinkr@aol.com   (Member)

Maybe they should change the film's title to ROTE, ROTE, ROTE! Hmmm?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2008 - 6:07 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

I've now seen this film.

And Goldsmith's theme just took number 2 place among my favourite Goldsmith themes. (Behind Papillon.) My goodness, what a powerful musical representation of an unstoppable train! And so sparely spotted.

Goldsmith's score utterly shames the composers who put together the score for Clint Eastwood's LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, reminding us all what a properly trained composer with eclectic sensibility can do that a sensitive pop-trained artist often can't: (i) structure a film score as a musical work, and (ii) achieve emotional complexity in the writing.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2008 - 8:07 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)


The studio finally had enough and he was replaced shortly after filming started with the cover story that he was "ill."


Donald Ritchie has speculated that Kurosawa was intentionally difficult because he was trying to get fired.

Kurosawa took the job because he was told David Lean would be his opposite number, directing the English language scenes. But when he learned that Richard Fleischer had been hired for the American half, Kurosawa wanted out.

Apparently Toru Takemitsu had been signed by Kurosawa to score Tora, Tora, Tora, but the composer departed with the director. I love Goldsmith, but I would loved to have heard what Takemitsu might have written.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2008 - 8:48 PM   
 By:   AHerrera83   (Member)


The studio finally had enough and he was replaced shortly after filming started with the cover story that he was "ill."


Donald Ritchie has speculated that Kurosawa was intentionally difficult because he was trying to get fired.

Kurosawa took the job because he was told David Lean would be his opposite number, directing the English language scenes. But when he learned that Richard Fleischer had been hired for the American half, Kurosawa wanted out.

Apparently Toru Takemitsu had been signed by Kurosawa to score Tora, Tora, Tora, but the composer departed with the director. I love Goldsmith, but I would loved to have heard what Takemitsu might have written.


Another story has Kurosawa taking some of the budget for Tora, Tora, Tora to help finance his next project as the reason for getting fired, but all these are still part of the film's lore.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2008 - 11:03 PM   
 By:   crogrr   (Member)

Very interesting information - thanks all. TORA! played in a Roadshow presentation in Dallas, Texas in 70mm at the Cine 150, a wonderful curved 'big screen' venue at the time. I remember that the 6 track mag sound was incredibly strong (while waiting to get into a showing you could hear the End Title outside!). While this is not the best of films it still has incredibly impressive moments in the time before CGI - witness the dawn takeoffs of the aircraft.

I know that FSM always gets the best elements possible - but I was still surprised that the 1970 sound on the CD was not better (compared to the theater) - it makes me feel (very) old!

Consider what wonderful work Jerry did here - very sparse - for both this and Patton circa the same time (perhaps his most famous "theme").

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2008 - 11:17 PM   
 By:   Ryan Brennan   (Member)

TORA! played in Ft. Worth at the Village Opera House, a first run, roadshow theater with a screen curved in the manner of the UA Cine 150 in Dallas. Aside from being awed by the attack footage, the main thing I remember about seeing this movie was the annoying child behind me who kept shouting in joy whenever something blew up. I guess he was too young to understand the context and didn't realize that his cheerful shouts were inappropriate. He must have thought the explosions looked like fireworks or something. Since he parents didn't seem inclined to silence him I had to turn around, stare directly into his eyes and inform him to "Shut up!" In this case, I heard not one sound afterwards.

 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2008 - 11:20 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Keith..you must have listened to the DVD commentary closely as all your facts appaer to derive from it!


Sounds like you listened closely to the DVD commentary too. The difference is, Keith kindly went to the trouble of sharing the interesting information with us.

 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2008 - 11:21 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

TORA! played in Ft. Worth at the Village Opera House, a first run, roadshow theater with a screen curved in the manner of the UA Cine 150 in Dallas. Aside from being awed by the attack footage, the main thing I remember about seeing this movie was the annoying child behind me who kept shouting in joy whenever something blew up. I guess he was too young to understand the context and didn't realize that his cheerful shouts were inappropriate. He must have thought the explosions looked like fireworks or something. Since he parents didn't seem inclined to silence him I had to turn around, stare directly into his eyes and inform him to "Shut up!" In this case, I heard not one sound afterwards.


That was you?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2008 - 12:42 AM   
 By:   Ryan Brennan   (Member)

Actually, it was me. Or I. Or both of us. After all, I was so angry that I was beside myself.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2008 - 5:06 AM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)


I know that FSM always gets the best elements possible - but I was still surprised that the 1970 sound on the CD was not better (compared to the theater) - it makes me feel (very) old!


The Varese release of Patton had a re-performance of Tora! Tora! Tora! on it. Bloody brilliant playing I think... much like the re-performance of the OHMSS theme by "Roland Shaw And His Orchestra" from a Bond Telarc CD I was fortunate enough to acquire. The energy and clarity of these performances is wonderful.

One of Goldsmith`s best.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2008 - 5:40 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

np BRISCO COUNTY, JR. (yes! finally!!)

Nobody replied about this so I have to do it. Can you tell me/us a little more about this.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2008 - 6:16 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

I've now seen this film.

And Goldsmith's theme just took number 2 place among my favourite Goldsmith themes. (Behind Papillon.) My goodness, what a powerful musical representation of an unstoppable train! And so sparely spotted.

Goldsmith's score utterly shames the composers who put together the score for Clint Eastwood's LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, reminding us all what a properly trained composer with eclectic sensibility can do that a sensitive pop-trained artist often can't: (i) structure a film score as a musical work, and (ii) achieve emotional complexity in the writing.


I agree Franz. I played the Letters from Iwo Jima trailer for my wife and then a re-scored version I did with for string orchestra and taiko drum using intervalic relationships endemic to Japanese music. She liked what I'd done (of course she would you say because she's married to me) and said the piano meanderings of Eastwood's were non-descript. I do take her word at face value though since she's Japanese.

 
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