Pearl Harbor

Synopsis: This sweeping drama, based on real historical events, follows American boyhood friends Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett) as they enter World War II as pilots. Rafe is so eager to take part in the war that he departs to fight in Europe alongside England's Royal Air Force. On the home front, his girlfriend, Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale), finds comfort in the arms of Danny. The three of them reunite in Hawaii just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Production: Touchstone
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 51 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
183 min


Out of BLACK we hear the sound of an airplane roaring by.


Flying over American heartland. We see the earth through the

pilot's perspective as sky and ground swap positions, the

plane swooping down and storming over the ground.


is a biplane, racing over a field lush with young plants. It

releases a trail of crop spray, and climbs again...

Up into a crystalline blue sky where sunshine pours like

honey over family farms stretching to the horizon. Maybe

it's not heaven, maybe it's just Tennessee. But as long as

there's been an America, men have fought and died for this

place -- as volunteers.

Far off, but visible from the plane is


The barn is unpainted except for hand lettering that says

"McCawley Crop Dusting." Another plane noise, this one made

by kids, brings us to TWO BOYS, sitting in the shell of an

old plane propped on crates, scavenged of it's engine, seats,

and wheels.

The boys sit in it's cockpit, butts crowded onto the nail keg

they've replaced the seat with. They've even attached a 2x4

as propeller, as if their imaginations needed any help. They

wear overalls and have bowl haircuts: RAFE and DANNY, 10

years old.


Bandits at 2 o'clock.


Power dive!

They buzz their lips in a flying noise and work the controls,

Rafe's bare feet on one pedal, Danny's on the other.


It's Germans!


Kill the bastards!

Rafe looks at Danny in shock -- then they both laugh and go

right back into their game, manufacturing their own machine

gun and engine sounds.


Good shooting, Danny!


Good shooting, Rafe!


Land of the free...


Home of the brave!


There's another one!

Their vocal motors roar again... But a man's hand grabs Danny

by the straps of his overalls and jerks him from the cockpit.

It's Danny's FATHER and he's a fearsome sight; drunk, his

hair uncombed, his face unshaven, his teeth -- those still

left -- are rotting. He's also missing an arm; but the one

that's left is potent, and he's shaking Danny with it.


You no count boy! Johnson come lookin',

said he'd pay a dime for you to shovel

his pig shed, and I can't find you no



Daddy, I told you I was comin' here.

His father slaps him off his feet. Rafe is so horrified he

can't get a sound out. Danny isn't even surprised. But when

his father snatches him up again, twisting the overall straps

so tight they choke him, he struggles. It does no good; his

father starts marching across the field, dragging and

strangling Danny.


Da!... Dad...

The father's drunken anger makes him oblivious -- until

CRACK! The 2x4 propeller slams him across the back, knocking

him to the ground and making him drop Danny.

The father rolls over to see 10-year-old Rafe, holding the

2x4 like a bat.


Let him alone!

The father's eyes bulge in rage; he struggles to his feet.


Rafe... Daddy... No!

The man looks murderous, but Rafe draws back the board.


I'll bust you open, you...German!

The words ring something deep in the man's booze-broken

brain. He begins to cough, convulsively; it brings a blossom

of blood to his mouth. He wipes it with his hand, but blood

clings to his teeth. He chokes out --


I fought the Germans.

He looks at Danny in shame, with the realization of what he's

just done. He turns and staggers away.

Danny looks at Rafe -- a communication between boys joined by

something deeper than blood. Then Danny runs off after his



Daddy! Daddy! Wait.

Danny catches him, takes his father's hand, and walks away

with him.

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Randall Wallace

Randall Wallace is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and songwriter who came to prominence by writing the screenplay for the 1995 film Braveheart. more…

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Submitted by shilobe on March 28, 2017


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