The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #135578   Message #3092910
Posted By: Little Hawk
10-Feb-11 - 11:41 PM
Thread Name: BS: Do small errors in books, film &c matter
Subject: RE: BS: Do small errors in books, film &c matter
The Japanese planes in "Tora Tora Tora" were meant to look like Zeros (fighters), Vals (dive bombers), and Kates (torpedo and level bombers). Since there was not a single genuine Kate or Val left in the world in flying condition, and only maybe one early model Zero around that could still fly...the movie company understandably had to come up with something else, so they modified a large number of common American training planes to look like these 3 WWII Japanese planes...and they did a fairly good job at it. The Vals looked particularly good, the Kates not too bad (though a bit too small and chunky), and the Zeros not too bad...until you noticed their wings which were totally the wrong shape when seen from above or below! Also, their landing gear were much too short and stubby. Other than that, the movie company went to great efforts to make an accurate historical movie.

One can hardly blame them for using the training planes. They had to do scenes involving large formations of Japanese aircraft, both on the carrier decks and in the air, and they didn't have CGI in those days, so they did the very best they could with modified training planes, and most of the public wouldn't know the difference anyway.

But if you knew the original planes well, as I and other hobby and aviation enthusiasts do...then it was kind of frustrating seeing those inaccuracies in the aircraft. As for the American planes, they did a fine job with that. All in all, it was a pretty accurate and authentic depiction of the Pearl Harbour raid.

The more recent film, "Pearl Harbour", was full of CGI planes that flew impossible aerobatics but looked perfect (other than a few cases of incorrect camouflage on the early Zeroes). On the other hand, every single other thing about that movie outside of the special effects SUCKED!!! Terrible script. Dreadful acting. Laughable dialogue. Wretched drama. I'll take "Tora Tora Tora" any time, even with its not-quite-authentic Japanese aircraft.