Midway (1976) – Encore Review


“Ten percent? That’s one word in ten, Joe! You’re *guessing*!” – Captain Garth

“[slightly hurt] We like to call it “analysis.”” – Commander Rochefort

Number of Times Seen – 2 (9 Dec 2014 and 16 Dec 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Dramatization of the Battle of Midway during World War II which was a turning point in the war against the Japanese in the Pacific theater.

My Take on it – This is a film that I was interested in revisiting after seeing the most recent adaptation of the events depicted during this battle that transpired 77 years ago.

The film does a nice job with this story despite the fact that it fails to find characters to focus on and in turn, it’s quite hard to differentiate between many of them or even care much about what happens to them along the way.

The films tries too hard to chronicle and focus on the events of the day yet fail to develop most of the characters as they do so.

The film, like many of these kind of movies from the mid-1970’s like this one has an all star cast but the choice to make them all command characters keeps them away from much of the action that transpires.

With a cast like Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook, Robert Mitchum, Robert Wagner, Robert Webber, James Shigeta [Takagi from Die Hard (1988)], Pat Morita, Dabney Coleman, Erik Estrada and a not yet famous Tom Selleck, it’s hard not to like this film, but even with these recognizable faces, this story is much too complex and convoluted for its own good.

Things get even more confusing as the story moves along largely due to the way that things are presented.

The events of that days are quite vast in number and the end result here is a very confusing story that is quite difficult to follow or even understand all that is happening since it’s all quite chaotic from start to finish which is definitely a shame.

The special effects are done quite well and help make the battle scenes feel even more realistic.

Bottom Line – Good dramatization of the events but the mistake made here is that they focus too much only on the general events of the day and fail to develop the characters enough for the viewer to care what happens to them. The all-star cast doesn’t help enough to help differentiate between many of the characters besides those in command which makes things even more convoluted and confusing the whole way through. The film would have been much more enjoyable if things were less complex in the way that they present how the story unfolds.  There are too many separate events from this battle that this film tries to show and in the end things are just too confusing to completely understand what happens as it’s far too chaotic.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Most dogfight sequences come from 1942 newsreels, with considerable cropping due to the need to adapt the image to the Panavision framing. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10) (slight downgrade from original review)

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2 thoughts on “Midway (1976) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1976 | MovieRob

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