Shooting War

Synopsis: Produced by Steven Spielberg and presented by Tom Hanks this documentary tells how war photographers faced the horrors that looked both in Europe and in the Pacific during World War II .
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Richard Schickel
  Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination.
88 min

extending out over the edge.

They put one on each

port and starboard side

until the lead plane had

sufficient run for his take-off.

That was one third

the normal take-off distance.

The raiders were spotted

by Japanese picket boats.

They were sunk but might

have radioed a warning.

There was no choice

but to launch the attack.

So they said, "Man your planes.

We're gonna launch."

So we were launching

eight hours too soon.

Doolittle was first.

He went and the rest

of the crews were wondering,

"Can it be done?"

The raiders, volunteers, had practised

short-run take-offs on land,

a few from a carrier deck,

but never in bad weather.

Yet all were safely launched

for their 30 seconds over Tokyo.

Halsey's concern: The early launch

made it impossible

to make safe landings in China.

Yet all but three flyers survived the raid.

It did little damage,

except to enemy morale.

They carried four 500lb bombs each.

That's not very much,

when you really look at it,

but enough to put the fear

of God into them for a while.

The Doolittle raid provoked

a Japanese counter-attack

aimed at destroying the US Pacific fleet.

But we had broken their code and

knew they would attack Midway Island.

This evened the odds for the carriers

as they approached

the war's first great naval battle.

Midway was a pair of tiny coral atolls

vital to the defence of Hawaii.

This time, John Ford

was present with a film crew.

Ford himself operated a camera and

was wounded getting these pictures.

He would win another Oscar

for the film he fashioned.

The crucial battle was at sea between

ships that never saw one another.

They didn't know exactly

where the Japanese fleet was,

but the torpedo-squadron skipper had

an idea it was in a certain direction.

He went off there.

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Richard Schickel

Richard Warren Schickel (February 10, 1933 – February 18, 2017) was an American film historian, journalist, author, documentarian, and film and literary critic. He was a film critic for Time magazine from 1965–2010, and also wrote for Life magazine and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. His last writings about film were for Truthdig. He was interviewed in For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2009). In this documentary film he discusses early film critics Frank E. Woods, Robert E. Sherwood, and Otis Ferguson, and tells of how, in the 1960s, he, Pauline Kael, and Andrew Sarris, rejected the moralizing opposition of the older Bosley Crowther of The New York Times who had railed against violent movies such as Bonnie and Clyde (1967). In addition to film, Schickel also critiqued and documented cartoons, particularly Peanuts. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Shooting War" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 8 May 2021. <>.

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