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

He ran into the whole bunch of 'em.

And 15 or 16 torpedo planes went down.

These men of torpedo squadron eight

found the Japanese carriers.

They scored no hits,

but they distracted enemy gunners,

allowing our dive bombers

to sink four carriers.

Only one man, George Gay,

on the right, survived.

One of Ford's crew shot these pictures.

The director made them into a short

memorial film for the next of kin.

Midway shifted the balance

of naval power in the Pacific.

It cost the Japanese

almost half their carriers.

Still, their wounded navy

continued to pose a deadly threat.

October, 1942. The Hornet steams

toward the battle of Santa Cruz

near Guadalcanal.

With the Enterprise, she was soon

fighting off assaults from the air.

How close the combat often was

is demonstrated by this sequence,

shot from the Enterprise.

A near miss shakes the Enterprise.

An enemy shadow is cast

on the flight deck as the ship fights on.

The camera catches the wild swing of

the huge ship as it takes evasive action.

But still the bombs rained down.

The camera survived this hit,

but not the cameraman.

The Hornet did not survive either.

We were listing to the starboard.

Real heavy list.

I went to the fantail

to help with the wounded,

where I stayed until

we finally abandoned ship.

I swam out about 45 degrees this way.

Got out so far

and here come the destroyers.

I figured, "This is gonna be

a piece of cake. Pick us up real quick."

Then they backed down and took off.

The destroyer starts circling

around the ship and firing.

"What are they firing at?"

We looked in the sky.

Coming in was a V formation

of twin-engine bombers.

You could see the five-inch

anti-aircraft bursts up there.

They came in, went right overhead,

and one hit the fantail back here

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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. 16 Jan. 2021. <>.

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