75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor: 24-Hour Tribute - 12/7
Perhaps the definitive film drama set during the attack is From Here to Eternity (1953), based on the James Jones novel and directed by Fred Zinnemann, with splendid performances from Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed. A more contemporaneous detailing of the event is provided by December 7th (1943), a propaganda film produced by the U.S. Navy and directed by John Ford and Gregg Toland.
Among other 1940s movies related to the subject are Howard Hawks' Air Force (1943), developed from an actual incident in which an unarmed U.S. bomber unknowingly flies into the middle of the Pearl Harbor attack; and John Ford's They Were Expendable (1945), starring Robert Montgomery and John Wayne as Navy officers serving in a PT Boat unit in the Philippines at the time.
A 1970s perspective is provided by Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), a Japanese-American production detailing the planning, execution and aftermath of the attack; and Steven Spielberg's 1941 (1979), a comedy about the panicked reaction in Los Angeles to the news from Hawaii.