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Boggs, Carl. "Pearl Harbor: How Film Conquers History." New Political Science 28.4 (2006): 451-66.
Boggs identifies methods in which historical events are depicted through the utilization of different types of media. Focusing most specifically on Pearl Harbor and Director Michael Bays' intentions, knowingly defiant of historical context, Boggs illustrates Hollywood's ability to reap not only personal and financial benefits from our nation's history but also Hollywood's ability to use its massive influence as a tool for patriotic propaganda. With anecdotes from an interview with Bay, as well as a vast comparison of the impact of other World War II pieces, Boggs's essay is replete with facts and creates a realistic lens though which to view Pearl Harbor's flaws in context with other types of historically-based media.
Donald, Ralph R. "Awakening a Sleeping Giant: The Pearl Harbor Attack on Film." Film & History 27.1 (1997): 40-46.
Donald focuses on the propagandistic nature of American War films. Most of the article is spent naming and describing the way films affect the American population, but, as the essay pertains to Pearl Harbor, Donald is concerned that the media drives the public's attention to important facts; and even if these facts are historically correct, one movie's influence can not change a societal impression created by a constant influx of culture-identifying and culture-changing media.
Horn, John. "The Road to ‘Pearl Harbor.'" Newsweek 14 May 2001: 44.
This article details the budget issues faced by Michael Bay and Disney Studios and how they overcame them. It also contains direct quotations from Bay about why he chose to make the film as he did.
Landy, Marcia. "'America under Attack': Pearl Harbor, 9/11, and History in the Media." Film and Television after 9/11. Ed. Wheeler Winston Dixon. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2003.
Landy discusses the many comparisons made by the public and the media between Pearl Harbor and 9/11 after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Landy also gives a synopsis of the film Pearl Harbor as well as summarizing the opinions of most critics toward it, which were largely negative. Landy says that these reviews should be reexamined because they do not ask the questions: "What is it that these narratives of Pearl Harbor expose about the persistence of history and its usefulness to contend with the present? On what historical resources does the film draw?"
Lawson, Terry. "Box office letdown sparks questions about Pearl Harbor." Detroit Free Press 2 June 2001: K3.
Lawson examines why Pearl Harbor did not do as well as expected in its opening box office weekend.
Lunn, Stephen. "Film hopes pinned on Japanese." Weekend Australian 23 June 2001: 11.
Lunn examines the financial necessity faced by Pearl Harbor of succeeding in Japan. Because the film did not do as well as expected in the United States, Disney Studios is dependent upon box office success in Japan in order to balance the books.
Mackie, Ardiss, and Bonny Norton. "Revisiting 'Pearl Harbor': Resistance to Reel and Real Events in an English Language Classroom." Canadian Journal of Education 29.1 (2006): 223-43.
This article examines how students in particular are affected by the films they see and what assumptions they are led to "about the essential quality of culture and ethnic identities" because of film. The authors examined a college classroom of English language learners who watched Pearl Harbor to raise three questions: "Who speaks for whom about the meaning of a given film? Under what conditions do students resist particular readings of a given film? How should teachers respond to acts of resistance in debates over the meaning of film?"
Marquand, Robert. "Some Pearl Harbor residents find silver lining in film." Christian Science Monitor 1 June 2001: 2.
Marquand discusses the reaction of Pearl Harbor residents to the film. Specifically, he interviews residents about what they like about the film. The answer is the love story rather than the realistic depiction of the attack.
McCrisken, Trevor, and Andrew Pepper. "Saving the Good War: Hollywood and World War II in the Post-Cold War World." American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2005. 89-130.
McCrisken and Pepper examine popular films of today to show how they portray history -- particularly how "they most often reaffirm myths" about history. The authors focus on other films' as well as Pearl Harbor's "trite, simplified representations of the past." They criticize Pearl Harbor as "a film riddled with historical inaccuracies, fabrications and implausibility." They attribute this lack of concern for historical accuracy to the box office demands of Hollywood films. Gender roles and the portrayal of race are also studied, and the authors say the film tried to both "secure masculinity" and "acknowledge the contributions made by women." This book is a great resource for examining Pearl Harbor as a representation for Hollywood and popular culture.
McLaughlin, Robert L., and Sally E. Parry. We'll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema During World War II. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 2006.
This book explores how movies made in Hollywood during World War II were vehicles for helping Americans understand the war. Far from being simplistic flag-waving propaganda designed to evoke emotional reactions, these films offered audiences narrative structures that formed a foundation for grasping the nuances of war. These films asked audiences to consider the implications of the Nazi threat; they put a face on both our enemies and allies; and they explored changing wartime gender roles. The authors reveal how film after film repeated the narratives, character types, and rhetoric that made the war and each American's role in it comprehensible.
Nadel, Alan. "What Makes Films Historical?" Film Quarterly 62.3 (2009): 76-80.
This article discusses the line between a historical film and one that has become mostly fiction. Nadel examines many films, Pearl Harbor among them. He lists Pearl Harbor as a film that fails as a historical film
Sarantakes, Nicholas Evan . "Bruckheimer at War: Two Takes on Pearl Harbor." Film & History 31.2 (2001): 72-75
Sarantakes writes from the perspective of the Society for Military History, in fact, he is representing them in their quarterly newsletter that happens to have come out directly after the making of Pearl Harbor. His thoughts are succinct. He HATES the movie and believes he knows certain things that could fix it. Sarantakes gives examples of the movie's inaccuracies and omissions; he grieves about the reality of the depiction of the Japanese; he calls the movie patronizing. He basically shows himself the quintessential, prototypical historian who is completely unraveled by Hollywood's creative power. Strangely enough, at the end of his piece, he changes his tone, admitting that it will create a new interest in this part of history.
Scarborough, Rowan. "In this movie, no Japanese villains were at Pearl Harbor." Washington Times 24 May 2001: A1.
Scarborough investigates why the Japanese were portrayed so neutrally in the film. He cites our modern-day political correctness as one of the reasons, as well as a desire for the film to achieve box office success in Japan
Walsh, Nick Paton, and Vanessa Thorpe. "Pearl Harbour survivors attack movie: Anger as Hollywood's most costly film writes heroes out of history." The Observer 4 February 2001: 14.
Survivors of Pearl Harbor explain why the movie is so offensive to them and their lost comrades. Their main issue with the film is that it is about a love story, despite being titled Pearl Harbor.
Waters, Robert. "Bruckheimer at War: Two Takes on Pearl Harbor." Film & History 31.2 (2001): 72-75.
Waters is mostly concerned with the fact that Pearl Harbor was, intentionally or not, made to serve as a combination of Bruckheimer's previous films in content and plot line. Waters has issues with the character development, but he does slip the movie accolades for accurate historical detail and great special effects. Despite the relevant historical facts, however, Waters eventually condemns the over-arching story line of the film, questioning why the movie itself goes on for nearly another hour after the Japanese attack. He concludes that this is to develop the Doolittle character; unfortunately, however, this simply complicates the subjective focus of the viewer -- not to mention, the representation of Doolittle is far from accurate.
Wetta, Frank J., and Martin A. Novelli. "'Now a Major Motion Picture': War Films and Hollywood's New Patriotism." Journal of Military History 67.3 (2003): 861-82.
Wetta and Novelli argue that the "New Patriotism" displayed in recent films is not patriotism in the traditional sense. While these films glorify war, they are glorifying individual success, as opposed to loyalty and pride in one's country. The authors cite films "such as The Patriot , Saving Private Ryan, We Were Soldiers, and Black Hawk Down" as examples of this "New Patriotism." The authors also list the many historical inaccuracies of Pearl Harbor as an example of the distorted history put on film by Hollywood. They say, ""The story is so muddled that anyone unfamiliar with the history will not have any real idea of what is happening in any intelligent context."
White, Geoffrey M. "Disney's 'Pearl Harbor': National Memory at the Movies." Public Historian 24.4 (2002): 97-115.
White discusses the issues of historical accuracy in Pearl Harbor but does not condemn its makers for these inaccuracies. He says that whether history is meant to be critical education or entertainment is an intense issue in American culture today. He credits the film for filming on site at Pearl Harbor despite the difficulties there. White says that scrutiny for Pearl Harbor's historical accuracy was particularly heavy, which deflects attention from more important matters – "what kind of story is being told and how it relates to the (contested) repertoire of cultural forms and images that contribute to historical consciousness."

See Also

Konow, David. "The Last Epic? Randall Wallace." Creative Screenwriting 8.3 (2001): 45-48.

Love, Rebecca I. "The Historical and Artistic Merit of Three Films Depicting the Attack on Pearl Harbor: 'From Here to Eternity,' 'Tora! Tora! Tora!,' 'Pearl Harbor.' PhD. diss: California State U., Dominguez Hills, 2004.

Magid, Ron. "Earning their wings." American Cinematographer 82 May (2001): 50-52.

Probst, Christopher. "One Nation, Under Siege." American Cinematographer 82 (May 2001): 36-40.

Rich, Frank. "The Best Years of Our Lives." New York Times 26 May 2001: 13.

Rollins, Peter C. The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past. New York: Columbia UP, 2003.

Rosenberg, Emily S. A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory. Durham: Duke UP, 2003.

Weber, Cynthia. Imagining America at War: Morality, Politics, and Film. New York: Routledge, 2006.

White, Geoffrey M. "Moving History: The Pearl Harbor Film(s)." Perilous Memories: The Asia-Pacific War(s). Ed. T. Fujitani, Geoffrey M. White, and Lisa Yoneyama. Durham: Duke UP, 2001.

White-Stanley, Debra. "'Sound Sacrifices': The Postmodern Melodramas of World War II." Lowering the Boom: Critical Studies in Film Sound. Ed. Jay Beck and Tony Grajeda. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 2008. 118-32.

Young, Marilyn Blatt. "In the Combat Zone." Radical History Review 85 (Winter 2003): 253-64.

Video/Audio Resources

Pearl Harbor Trailer.
Yes, the movie preview film.

Online Resources

Beyond the Movie: Pearl Harbor. National Geographic.
This site provides information and photographs about Pearl Harbor, particularly pieces of the film as compared to history. The site also features interviews with the director, producer, and actors about what it was like to recreate a historical event of this magnitude.