Midway [1976]

Six months after the Japanese destroyed the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Americans discovered the Japanese were planning to seize the Naval base at Midway Island--a perfect staging point for invading Hawaii or the mainland. Outnumbered four to one, the Americans won a surprise victory and shattered the backbone of the Japanese Imperial Navy. This 1976 film feels more like a history lesson than a drama, but World War II buffs will appreciate the attention to historical fact (especially the way in which fate and a few bad decisions turned the tide), as well as the generous use of actual battle footage. The all-star cast includes Robert Mitchum, James Coburn, and Cliff Robertson in cameos and a whole slew of familiar TV faces in supporting roles. Hal Holbrook is fun as an oddball intelligence officer. --Geof Miller

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