Top Pearl Harbor Films and TV Mini-Series

Numerous motion pictures and TV mini-series have been produced that are set before, during and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

These are our picks for the best films and TV mini-series about the events of the "day that will live in infamy."

  • 01 of 08

    From Here to Eternity - 1953

    From Here to Eternity
    ••• From Here to Eternity. Fred Zinnemann (Director)

    Fred Zinnermann's multiple Oscar winner is set in pre-World War II Hawaii. It tells the story of several army soldiers stationed on Oahu on the eve of Pearl Harbor. The film won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra), Best Supporting Actress (Donna Reed) and five other awards.

  • 02 of 08

    Tora! Tora! Tora! - 1970

    Tora! Tora! Tora!
    ••• Tora! Tora! Tora!. Kinji Fukasaku (Director)

    The story of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as seen from both the American and Japanese perspectives is told in a straightforward manner and does not hesitate to point out the mistakes which were made on both sides. The film features the best filming of the actual attack seen on film prior to the 2001 release, "Pearl Harbor."

  • 03 of 08

    Pearl Harbor - 2001

    Pearl Harbor
    ••• Pearl Harbor. Michael Bay (Director)

    Michael Bay's blockbuster set immediately before, during and after the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack tells the story of two best friends and the woman they both love. Heavily criticized for its script and acting, the movie, nevertheless, features the best re-creation of the Pearl Harbor attack ever put on film.

  • 04 of 08

    In Harms Way - 1965

    In Harm's Way
    ••• In Harm's Way. Otto Preminger (Director)

    Otto Preminger's classic drama of the war in the Pacific focuses on several navy officers, and the women in their lives, who are suddenly catapulted into the war following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The film is finely acted, with John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tyron and Paula Prentiss in the leading roles.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Winds of War - TV Mini-Series - 1983

    The Winds of War
    ••• The Winds of War. Dan Curtis (producer)

    This TV adaptation of Herman Wouk's brilliant novel was heavily criticized for a weak performance by Ally McGraw in the lead role, however, the mini-series well portrays the events the led to the U.S. involvement in the Second World War, culminating in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • 06 of 08

    The Final Countdown - 1980

    The Final Countdown
    ••• The Final Countdown. Don Taylor (director)

    The modern aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with 6,000 men and 100 jet aircraft is caught in a strange vortex and thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The movie stars Kirk Douglas and Marin Sheen.

  • 07 of 08

    Pearl - TV Mini-Series - 1978

    Pearl The Miniseries
    ••• Pearl The Miniseries. Alexander Singer (Director)

    The timeline narrative style of Hy Averback's 282-minute TV epic provides a view of people affected by the tragic attack on Pearl Harbor - how they lived before it, and the long term changes it made in their lives. This TV mini-series stars Angie Dickinson, Adam Arkin, Robert Wagner and Dennis Weaver. Unfortunately, the miniseries has not been released on DVD and is only available on VHS.

  • 08 of 08

    Closing Thoughts

    USS Arizona Memorial
    ••• USS Arizona Memorial. Photo by John Fischer

    Today, the most popular visitor attraction in Hawaii is the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

    If you are planning to visit Pearl Harbor, I suggest you read our features "Before You Visit Pearl Harbor" and "Lest We Forget: Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941."