Battle of Midway


Jack Smight
Universal Pictures

All-star cast star in a re-enactment of the pivotal World War two battle that turned the tide in the Pacific Theatre in the Americans' favor. A TV version of the film runs an extra 40+ minutes.

Sincere but lackluster attempt to bring a very complicated battle to the big screen. Really not much more than a bloated TV movie, suffering from a surfeit of often inappropriate stock footage, both real and from other, better films such as I Attacked Pearl Harbor, Destination Tokyo and Tora Tora Tora. The main fault is a crippingly insipid subplot with Albert's Japanese-American girlfriend and the daddy-son issues that result that should have been left on the cutting room floor. The film would have benefitted much more from concentrating on the real personalities involved, rather than inserting poortly-written fictional ones.

Out of the leads, only Holbrook and Fonda on the American side really hold one's attention. The rest are mostly just there (except Heston, who looks like he might sit down at any point and start literally devouring the scenery). The Japanese side fares better, with Shigeta's correctly fatalistic admiral especially standing out. Hearing the familar voice of Paul Frees coming out of such a distinguished actor as Mifune is a bit dismaying, though, to say the least! For all those realtively minor criticisms, the film aims to be accurate, and does capture the general tone of the battle quite well, which is more than you can say about Pearl Harbor.

P.S.: Seriously, though, what is with the scene at the end with all the people in bright funky 70s clothes milling around in the background? Kinda destroys the mood!

Note: The IMDb entry for this film has a few errors; not a surprise, since most of the supporting cast is not properly credited. I can say that John Schuck does not play Wilson (someone misidentified the similar but less-known Beeson Carroll). Some of the other actors listed here, most notably Mitch Ryan, only appeared in the longer version made for network TV with about a half-hour of scenes involving the Battle of the Coral Sea. Universal did include about ten minutes of the boring scenes with Susan Sullivan, but the Coral Sea battle footage remains unavailable.

Uncredited cast are listed in rough order of appearance.

-Dave W.


132 mins

18th June 1976

132 mins

5th August 1998

132 mins

Midway (Special Edition)
30th October 2001

Not Rated

132 mins

2nd May 2005

128 mins

Charlton Heston
Captain Matt Garth
Henry Fonda
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz,
Commanding US Pacific Fleet
James Coburn
Captain Vinton Maddox
Glenn Ford
Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance,
Commanding Task Force 16
Hal Holbrook
Commander Joseph Rochefort,
Officer in Charge Station Hypo
ToshirĂ´ Mifune
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto,
Commanding Combined Fleet
Paul Frees
Voice: Admiral Yamamoto
Robert Mitchum
Admiral William F. Halsey
Cliff Robertson
Commander Carl Jessop
Robert Wagner
Lt. Commander Ernest L. Blake
Robert Webber
Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher,
Commanding Task Force 17
Ed Nelson
Admiral Harry Pierson,
Office of Naval Intelligence
James Shigeta
Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo,
Commanding First Mobile Force
Christina Kokubo
Miss Haruko Sakura
Monte Markham
Commander Maxwell F. Leslie,
Commanding Bombing Squadron 3
Biff McGuire
Captain Miles Browning,
Chief of Staff, Task Force 16
Christopher George
Lt. Commander C. Wade McClusky,
Commanding Enterprise Air Group
Kevin Dobson
Ensign George Gay,
Torpedo Squadron 8
Glenn Corbett
Lt. Commander John C. Waldron,
Commanding Torpedo Squadron 8
Gregory Walcott
Captain Elliott Buckmaster,
Commanding Officer USS Yorktown
Edward Albert
Lieutenant Tom Garth
Pat Morita
Rear Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka,
Chief of Staff, First Mobile Force
John Fujioka
Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi,
Commanding Carrier Division 2
Dale Ishimoto
Vice Admiral Moshiro Hosogaya,
Commanding Aleutian Force
Dabney Coleman
Captain Murray Arnold
Erik Estrada
Ramos, VF-3 Pilot
Larry Pennell
Captain Cyril T. Simard,
Commanding NAS Midway
(as Ken Pennell)
Clyde Kusatsu
Commander Yasuji Watanabe,
Staff Gunnery Officer, Combined Fleet
Phillip R. Allen
Lt. Cmdr. John S. 'Jimmy' Thach,
Commanding Fighting Squadron 3
Tom Selleck
Aide to Captain Simard
Sab Shimono
Lieutenant Joichi Tomonaga,
Commanding Hiryu Air Group
Conrad Yama
Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo,
Commanding Midway Occupation Force
Robert Ito
Commander Minoru Genda,
Staff Officer, First Air Fleet
Yuki Shimoda
Captain Tomeo Kaku,
Commanding Hiryu
Seth Sakai
Captain Kameto Kuroshima,
Senior Staff Officer, Combined Fleet
Kurt Grayson
Major Floyd "Red" Parks,
Commanding Marine Fighter Squadron 221
Alfie Wise
Chief Radioman Horace F. Dobbs,
Waldron's Gunner
Beeson Carroll
ARM1/c William E. Gallagher,
Leslie's Gunner
(incorrectly called 'Wilson' in film)
John Bennett Perry
ARM1c Walter G. Chochalousek,
McClusky's Gunner
Steve Kanaly
Lt. Commander Lance E. 'Lem' Massey,
Commanding Torpedo Squadron 3
Kip Niven
Lieutenant Howard P. Ady,
Pilot PBY "Strawberry 5"
Dennis Rucker
Ensign Manson,
Fighting Squadron Three
Michael Richardson
ARM3c Robert K. Huntington, Gay's Gunner
James Ingersoll
Pilot, PBY "Strawberry 12" (uncredited)
Jerry Fujikawa
Japanese Gentleman
Sam Chew Jr.
Marine Lieutenant Guarding Intel Center
Redmond Gleeson
Radioman Dombrowski
Chief on Midway (uncredited)
Japanese Radioman on Kwajalein
Japanese Officer on Kwajalein
John Lupton
Officer Testing Electric Bomb Release
Bennett Ohta
Captain Taijiro Aoki,
Commanding Officer Akagi
Anthony Herrera
Marine Lieutenant at Internment Camp
Tetsuro Sakura (uncredited)
Sada Sakura (uncredited)
Lieutenant Wold (uncredited)
Lieutenant in Bar (uncredited)
Yeoman at Naval Intelligence
Sailor at Naval Intelligence
Co-Pilot, PBY "Strawberry 5" (uncredited)
David Macklin
Lieutenant Jack Reid,
Pilot, PBY "Strawberry 9"
Co-Pilot, PBY "Strawberry 9" (uncredited)
Co-Pilot, PBY "Strawberry 12" (uncredited)
Radioman on Midway (uncredited)
Officer on Atago (uncredited)
Radioman on PBY "Strawberry 12"
Radioman on PBY "Strawberry 5"
Chuck Morrell
Andy, Officer on Midway Control Tower
PO1c Hiroshi Amari, Tone Scout #4 Pilot
Tone Scout 4 Observer
Akagi Radioman (uncredited)
Akagi Communications Officer
Soryu Scout Pilot
Soryu Scout Observer
Lieutenant Michio Kobayashi,
Commanding Hiryu Bomber Unit
Yorktown CIC Officer
Commander on Hiryu
Corpsman on Yorktown
Corpsman on Yorktown
Larry Csonka
Lt. Commander John F. Delaney,
Yorktown Engineering Officer
Rear Admiral Gihachi Takayanagi,
Commanding Yamato
Jeff Chamberlain
Sailor (uncredited)
Jesse Dizon
Japanese Pilot (uncredited)
Sean Garrison
Lt. Commander Ken Cunningham
Ned Gill
Seaman Downes (uncredited)
David Hirokane
Lieutenant Shima (uncredited)
Jim Ishida
Lieutenant Takeo Koda
Lloyd Kino
Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Sandy McPeak
Captain Thomas (uncredited)
Steve Moriarty
Naval Aide (uncredited)
Richard Narita
Lieutenant Hashimoto (uncredited)
Frank Parker
Deke (uncredited)
Clint Ritchie
Lt. Commander Charles Fenton
Richard Sarradet
Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Noel Conlon
(TV version only)
Don Dolan
(TV version only)
Mitch Ryan
Rear Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch
(TV version only)
Richard Sanders
(TV version only)
Alec Smight
(TV version only)
Susan Sullivan
Ann (TV version only)
Miiko Taka
(TV version only)
William Wellman Jr.
(TV version only)
Steven Burnett
Stunts (uncredited)
Gary Combs
Stunts (uncredited)
Erik Cord
Stunts (uncredited)
Duffy Hambleton
Stunts (uncredited)
Charlie Picerni
Stunts (uncredited)
Bill Saito
Stunts (uncredited)
Jim Winburn
Stunts (uncredited)

Lord Heath: Notes & Screenshots

Dave Wright: Revised Notes & Screencaps