Top Pearl Harbor Documentaries

No event in United States history has been the subject of more documentaries over the past 75 years than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

From John Ford's controversial 1943 docudrama "December 7th: The Pearl Harbor Story" to several new productions honoring more recent anniversaries of the attack, there are many excellent choices.

If historical fiction is more your speed, check out this list of films set around Pearl Harbor.

01 of 10

The History Channel Presents: Pearl Harbor : The Definitive Documentary

The History Channel Presents Pearll Harbor

This History Channel production provides an in-depth look at the Japanese attack on the American Pacific fleet ​in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The documentary traces the roots of the conflict in the Pacific which resulted in the Japanese attack. The second disk on the DVD set includes biographies of Admiral Chester Nimitz and other Pacific commanders.

02 of 10

Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941 (Commemorative Edition 5-Pack)

Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

Released in honor of the 60th anniversary of the attack, this set includes over seven hours of material, including 12 complete documentaries including the 1945 "Know Your Enemy" directed by Frank Capra.

03 of 10

Pearl Harbor - The Real Story

Pearl Harbor...the real story

This three-hour documentary includes the stories of 60 men and women who survived the attack. Previously unseen footage was included and as a bonus, the viewer is taken on a tour of Pearl Harbor today viewing historic buildings and the sunken USS Arizona.

04 of 10

Pearl Harbor - Two Hours That Changed the World

ABC News Specials Pearl Harbor: Two Hours That Changed the World

A well done 1991 documentary produced by ABC News and NHK is narrated by the respected newsman, David Brinkley. The attack on Pearl Harbor is seen through the eyes of the men and women who were there.

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Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor

Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor - BBC Video

This 1989 BBC documentary looks at the attack from the perspectives of three nations, the United States, Great Britain and Japan. The behind-the-scenes top-secret activities of all three nations are examined. This documentary makes the case that Franklin Roosevelt and the U.S. Government had prior knowledge of the attack, yet chose not to warn the American forces in Hawaii.

06 of 10

Pearl Harbor: The View From Japan

Pearl Harbor - The View from Japan

This unique look at one of the most devastating events in U.S. history presents the Japanese perspective behind the 1941 surprise attack that drew America into World War II. You can learn about the military and political forces behind the Japanese decision to attack and hear from some of the men involved. Produced in Japan and dubbed in English.

07 of 10

National Geographic - Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack

Pearl Harbor - Legacy of Attack

This two-hour documentary features the most comprehensive historical underwater survey of the site since the Japanese attack 60 years ago. Titanic discoverer, Dr. Robert Ballard spearheads the underwater investigation and noted WWII historian Dr. Stephen Ambrose provides historical insight.

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December 7th: The Pearl Harbor Story

December 7 - The Pearl Harbor Story
John Ford

Director John Ford's controversial docudrama about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was seized by the military (who felt the film portrayed them as being unprepared) and never shown in this complete form. Walter Huston plays a complacent Uncle Sam whose Hawaiian vacation is violently interrupted. An edited version of the film won the 1944 Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar.

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Pearl Harbor: Dawn of Death

Pearl Harbor - Dawn of Death
The Military Network

Produced in association with the Military Network, this documentary offers a comprehensive look at the events that led up to the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor and America's entry into World War II. Rare documentary footage and interviews with survivors on both sides of the battle are featured in "Win First, Fight Later," "Day of Infamy," and "Waking a Sleeping Giant."

10 of 10

Remember Pearl Harbor - America Taken By Surprise

Remember Pearl Harbor

This 2001 documentary features rare film and sound recordings, including exclusive color footage, shot at Pearl Harbor only months before the surprise attack. Several leading naval historians highlight little-known details about our nation's greatest naval disaster.

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