Watch Midway

"A war's defining battle. A nation's defining moment."
  • PG
  • 1976
  • 2 hr 12 min
  • 6.7  (21,385)
  • 48

Midway is a historical war drama film released in 1976 directed by Jack Smight. The movie retells the story of the battle of Midway, a critical turning point in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The film features an ensemble cast including Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook, Toshiro Mifune, and Robert Mitchum.

The film begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and swiftly moves onto the Japanese assault on Midway Island in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which the Americans had anticipated. The attack was ordered by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Toshiro Mifune), who is seen voicing his doubts about the land of the Rising Sun's chances of winning the war.

On the American side, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz (Henry Fonda) is seen working with his trusted aides, including intelligence officer Commander Joseph Rochefort (Hal Holbrook), Navy pilot Wade McClusky (Charlton Heston), and bomber pilot Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle (Robert Mitchum), who famously led the attack on Tokyo in April 1942, boosting American morale just after Pearl Harbor.

The film is a vivid portrayal of the pivotal events that shaped the course of the war in the Pacific. The film captures the tension and drama of one of the most significant battles in modern history. The Battle of Midway was fought on June 4-7, 1942, with the outcome shifting the balance of power from the Japanese to the Americans. The Japanese had plans to take over the Midway Islands, which would have potentially left Hawaii open to attack, but they were met with resistance by the outnumbered but determined American forces.

The film's depiction of the battle is mesmerizing as it brings to life the aerial and naval combat with stunning realism. The movie shows us the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought in the war, highlighting their dedication and heroism in the face of overwhelming odds. Heston's portrayal of Navy pilot Wade McClusky, who led the dive-bombers in the attack that sank three of the Japanese carriers, is impressive, and his role as a brave soldier inspires the audience.

The acting in the film is top-notch, with Henry Fonda delivering a remarkable performance as Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who is dealing with pressure from superiors in Washington to win the conflict. James Coburn stands out as Captain Vinton Maddox, and he brings to life the fears and concerns of a naval officer on the front lines. Toshiro Mifune gives a commanding performance as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the leader of the Japanese fleet, who proves to be a formidable opponent for the American forces.

The screenplay by Donald S. Sanford is well-written, and the film is effectively edited, with sweeping aerial shots of the aftermath of the battle. The cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr. is excellent, and the film has an authentic period feel, capturing the mood of the era beautifully. The sets and costumes are also impressive, ultimately adding to the film's overall ambiance.

Director Jack Smight handles the action scenes with precision, and his direction is tight, as he skilfully balances the action with the more emotional scenes effectively. The film's battle scenes are well-choreographed, keeping the audience on the edge of their seat as they watch the war's critical moments unfold before their eyes.

Overall, Midway is a great film, a stirring and powerful account of one of the most significant battles of World War II. The cast delivers commendable performances, and the direction and editing capture the essence of the war beautifully. The story highlights the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who fought in the Second World War, making it unforgettable. It is a timeless film that does an excellent job of retelling the story of the Battle of Midway for a new generation.

Midway is a 1976 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 12 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 48.

Where to Watch Midway
Midway is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Midway for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 12 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (21,385)
  • Metascore