In February 1942, just two months after the Pearl Harbor attack, the United States Army Air Forces plan to retaliate by bombing Tokyo and four other Japanese cities—taking advantage of the fact that US aircraft carriers can approach near enough to the Japanese mainland to make such an attack feasible. Lt.Col. James Doolittle (Spencer Tracy), the leader of the mission, assembles a volunteer force of aircrews, who begin their top-secret training by learning a new technique to make their North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers airborne in the short distance of 500 feet or less, to simulate taking off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. After depicting the raiders' weeks of hazardous training at Eglin Field, Florida and Naval Air Station Alameda, the story goes on to describe the raid and its aftermath. While en route to Japan, the Hornet‍ '​s task force is discovered by a Japanese picket boat, which has radioed their position. It is sunk, and the bombers are forced to take off 12 hours early at the extreme limit of their range. However, the bombers do make it to Japan and drop their bombs. After the attack, all but one of the B-25s run out of fuel before reaching their recovery airfields in China. As a result, their crews are forced to either bail out over China or crash-land along the coast.[Note 1] Lawson's B-25 unfortunately crashes in the surf just off the Chinese coast while trying to land on a beach in darkness and heavy rain. He and his crew survive, badly injured, but then face more hardships and danger while being escorted to American lines by friendly Chinese. While he is en route, Lawson's injuries require the mission's flight surgeon to amputate one of his legs. The story ends with Lawson being reunited with his wife Ellen in a Washington, D.C., hospital.

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Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Unrated

War/Drama · 2h 18m · 11/1/1944

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Description

In February 1942, just two months after the Pearl Harbor attack, the United States Army Air Forces plan to retaliate by bombing Tokyo and four other Japanese cities—taking advantage of the fact that US aircraft carriers can approach near enough to the Japanese mainland to make such an attack feasible. Lt.Col. James Doolittle (Spencer Tracy), the leader of the mission, assembles a volunteer force of aircrews, who begin their top-secret training by learning a new technique to make their North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers airborne in the short distance of 500 feet or less, to simulate taking off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. After depicting the raiders' weeks of hazardous training at Eglin Field, Florida and Naval Air Station Alameda, the story goes on to describe the raid and its aftermath. While en route to Japan, the Hornet‍ '​s task force is discovered by a Japanese picket boat, which has radioed their position. It is sunk, and the bombers are forced to take off 12 hours early at the extreme limit of their range. However, the bombers do make it to Japan and drop their bombs. After the attack, all but one of the B-25s run out of fuel before reaching their recovery airfields in China. As a result, their crews are forced to either bail out over China or crash-land along the coast.[Note 1] Lawson's B-25 unfortunately crashes in the surf just off the Chinese coast while trying to land on a beach in darkness and heavy rain. He and his crew survive, badly injured, but then face more hardships and danger while being escorted to American lines by friendly Chinese. While he is en route, Lawson's injuries require the mission's flight surgeon to amputate one of his legs. The story ends with Lawson being reunited with his wife Ellen in a Washington, D.C., hospital.

Where to Watch

Status

Released

Languages

English, Chinese/Mandarin

Country

United States

Budget

$2,900,000
Cast
Person Photo

Elaine Shepard

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Arthur Space

Deck Officer (uncredited)
Person Photo

Jay Norris

Hallmark (uncredited)
Person Photo

Harlan Miller

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Lorraine Miller

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Erin Selwyn

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Moroni Olsen

General (uncredited)
Person Photo

William 'Bill' Phillips

Don Smith (as Wm. 'Bill' Phillips)
Person Photo

John R. Reilly

'Shorty' Manch
Person Photo

Robert Mitchum

Bob Gray
Person Photo

Noreen Roth

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Donald Curtis

Lieut. Randall
Person Photo

Louis Jean Heydt

Lieut. Miller
Person Photo

Kay Williams

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Wah Yee

Foo Ling (uncredited)
Person Photo

Peter Varney

Spike Henderson (uncredited)
Person Photo

Eugenia B. Thompson

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Brad Towne

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Eve Whitney

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Will Walls

Hoss Wyler (uncredited)
Person Photo

William Moss

Ship's Clerk (uncredited)
Person Photo

Frances E. Neal

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Sybil Merritt

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Richard Wang

Chinese Officer (uncredited)
Person Photo

Harold Sworland

Lieutenant (uncredited)
Person Photo

Charles Mitchell

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Scott McKay

Davey Jones
Person Photo

Robert Walker

David Thatcher
Person Photo

Tim Murdock

Dean Davenport
Person Photo

Don DeFore

Charles McClure
Person Photo

Herbert Gunn

Bob Clever (as Gordon McDonald)
Person Photo

Phyllis Thaxter

Ellen Lawson
Person Photo

Stephen McNally

'Doc' White (as Horace McNally)
Person Photo

Benson Fong

Young Dr. Chung
Person Photo

Steve Brodie

MP Corporal (uncredited)
Person Photo

Ralph Brooke

Sailor (uncredited)
Person Photo

Hazel Brooks

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Lucille Casey

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Wally Cassell

Sailor (uncredited)
Person Photo

Luke Chan

Chinese Runner (uncredited)
Person Photo

Douglas Cowan

'Brick' Holstrom
Person Photo

Paul Langton

Captain 'Ski' York
Person Photo

Leon Ames

Lieut. Jurika
Person Photo

Bill Williams

Bud Felton
Person Photo

Robert Bice

'Jig' White
Person Photo

Hsin Kung

Dr. Chung (as Dr. Hsin Kung)
Person Photo

Spencer Tracy

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle
Person Photo

Michael Kostrick

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Joan Lawrence

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Edith Leach

Girl (uncredited)
Person Photo

Martin Lowell

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Ann Lundeen

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Van Johnson

Ted Lawson
Person Photo

Dick Addison

Lieutenant (uncredited)
Person Photo

Morris Ankrum

William F. Halsey, Captain of the 'Hornet' (uncredited)
Person Photo

Jack Arkin

Jitterbugger (uncredited)
Person Photo

Tom Avera

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Steve Barclay

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Carlyle Blackwell Jr.

Pilot Singer (uncredited)
Person Photo

John Kellogg

C-47 Transport Pilot (uncredited)
Person Photo

Mike Killian

Sailor (uncredited)
Person Photo

Charles King Jr.

Sailor (uncredited)
Person Photo

Mary Chan

School Teacher (uncredited)
Person Photo

Keye Chang

Chinese Officer (uncredited)
Person Photo

Lyle Clark

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Eleanor Counts

Jitterbug (uncredited)
Person Photo

Elizabeth Dailey

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

John Dehner

Lieutenant Commander (uncredited)
Person Photo

Karin Booth

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Ching Wah Lee

Guerilla Charlie
Person Photo

Alan Napier

Mr. Parker
Person Photo

Ann Shoemaker

Mrs. Parker
Person Photo

Dorothy Morris

Jane (as Dorothy Ruth Morris)
Person Photo

Jacqueline White

Emmy York
Person Photo

Selena Royle

Mrs. Reynolds
Person Photo

Shirlee Howard

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Eddie Hall

Joe (uncredited)
Person Photo

Harry Hayden

Judge (uncredited)
Person Photo

John Gannon

Lt. Smith's Crewman (uncredited)
Person Photo

Hal Derwin

Singer in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Natalie Draper

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Genevieve Grazis

Jitterbugger (uncredited)
Person Photo

Leatrice Joy Gilbert

Girl (uncredited)
Person Photo

H.T. Tsiang

Wang Tsung (uncredited)
Person Photo

Joy Vahl

Jitterbugger (uncredited)
Person Photo

Bob Thom

Lieutenant Commander (uncredited)
Person Photo

Charles Gordon

Sgt. Williams (uncredited)
Person Photo

Bob McCutchin

Co-Pilot (uncredited)
Person Photo

Gordon Trigg

Bit Part (uncredited)
Person Photo

Jack McClendon

Dick Joyce (uncredited)
Person Photo

Beryl McCutcheon

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Michael Knudsen

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

John James

Lt. Smith's Crewman (uncredited)
Person Photo

Virgil Johanson

Eglin Colonel (uncredited)
Person Photo

Maurice Marks

Pilot (uncredited)
Person Photo

Bob MacLean

Pilot in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Blake Edwards

Lt. Smith's Crewman (uncredited)
Person Photo

Harold Fong

Captain of Patrol Boat (uncredited)
Person Photo

Myrna Dell

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Peggy Maley

Girl in Officers' Club (uncredited)
Person Photo

Bill Healy

Eglin Captain (uncredited)
Person Photo

Johnny Duncan

Jitterbugger (uncredited)
Crew
Person Photo

Mervyn LeRoy

Director
Person Photo

Dalton Trumbo

Writer
Person Photo

Ted W. Lawson

Writer
Person Photo

Robert Considine

Writer
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Disc Releases
Disc Title Front Cover

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

(DVD, Keep Case (Std.))

6/5/2007

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