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The Battle of Midway: Wikis


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The Battle of Midway
Directed by John Ford
Produced by John Ford
Written by Dudley Nichols & James Kevin McGuinness
Narrated by Donald Crisp
Starring Henry Fonda & Jane Darwell
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography John Ford & Jack MacKenzie & Kenneth M. Pier
Editing by John Ford & Robert Parrish
Distributed by War Activities Committee
Release date(s) September 14, 1942
Running time 18 minutes
Country USA
Language English

The Battle of Midway is a 1942 American documentary film short directed by John Ford. It is a montage of color footage of the Battle of Midway with voice overs of various narrators, including Donald Crisp, Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell.



The film begins with a male narrator explaining where Midway Island is and its strategic importance. About five minutes into the film the format changes somewhat, with more leisurely pictures of the GIs at work on the island, and a female voice over. The female voice over takes the personality of a middle aged woman from Springfield, Ohio, who is a mother-type figure pointing out how she recognizes such and such boy from her home town. Then stock footage of the boys' mothers and sisters back home is introduced.

Abruptly the narrative turns to the battle itself with approximately five minutes dedicated to the defense of the island, the naval battle, and the aftermath. At the end the various known Japanese losses are shown (four aircraft carriers, battleships, aircraft etc.) and then brushed over with red paint.

Production notes

The film runs for 18 minutes, was distributed by 20th Century Fox and was one of four winners of the inaugural, 1942 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

John Ford's handheld, 16mm footage of the battle was captured totally impromptu. He had been in transit on the island, roused from his bunk in the BOQ (bachelor officers' quarters) by the sounds of the battle, and started filming.[1] Ford was wounded by enemy fire while filming the battle.

See also

Preceded by
Academy Award for Documentary Feature
Succeeded by
Desert Victory


  1. ^ Henry Fonda interview, Directed by John Ford, (1970) dir. Peter Bogdanovich.

External links

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