"The Final Countdown is a 1980 American science fiction war film about a modern nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that travels through time to the day before the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Produced by Peter Douglas and Lloyd Kaufman (founder of Troma Entertainment) and directed by Don Taylor, the film contains an ensemble cast starring Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, James Farentino, Katharine Ross and Charles Durning.
"This was the final film by Don Taylor. Kaufman also served as an associate producer and had a minor acting role.
"The film was produced with the cooperation of the United States Navy's naval aviation branch and the United States Department of Defense. It was set and filmed on board USS Nimitz (CVN-68), filming operations of the modern nuclear warship, which had been launched in the early 1970s. The Final Countdown was a moderate success at the box office." -- Wikipedia
The score is the most memorable part of this film, IMO. John Scott wrote one of his most exuberant scores and it gives life to the massive aircraft carrier, its crew and the fantastic story being told about it.
Although the film was not a critical success and was only moderately successful at the box office, it has a strong fan base. The film found its audience on cable movie channels, and it has now a been released in a 4K UHD edition.
Even when I was 10, seeing it paired with Close Encounters' re-release at a drive-in, this felt like a good, old school science fiction picture to me. The thing is, it's not like any of them; it's more like an In Harm's Way, or a They Were Expendable, but that connection, Kirk Douglas and this instantly catchy theme really tied together well with the sci-fi premise.
Also notable, its cinematographer, director and/or producer clearly loves airplanes. The opening of Top Gun basically aped the way this shoots the activities on the Nimitz (without the orange gel).