Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

Synopsis: The amazingly detailed true story of "The Doolittle Raid" based on the personal account by Doolittle Raider Ted Lawson. Stunned by Pearl Harbor and a string of defeats, America needed a victory - badly. To that end, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, a former air racer and stunt pilot, devises a plan for a daring raid on the heart of Japan itself. To do this, he must train army bomber pilots to do something no one ever dreamed possible - launch 16 fully loaded bombers from an aircraft carrier! Remarkable in its accuracy, this movie even uses film footage from the actual raid.
Genre: Drama, History, War
Director(s): Mervyn LeRoy
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
138 min

Yes? Just a minute. Your call, Colonel.

Thank you.

Hello. Captain York, please.

You know, if this thing works out,

it might give our boys all the way

from Bataan to Singapore a big lift.

And it may pull a lot of

Japs back to their islands.

- It'll work out, General.

- I'm sure it will.

Hello. Hello, York? Doolittle.

York, I want you to get 24

B-25s with volunteer crews

down to Eglin Field as soon as you can.

The job will take them out of the

country for about three months.

Tell them it's a secret mission.

They won't know where they're

going until they get there.

That's right, volunteers.

Tell them they're not to talk

to anybody. That's an order.

I'll join you in a few days. Right.


to Eglin Tower.

Three B-25s request traffic

and landing instructions.

Go ahead.

Army four-one. The

left-hand pattern.

Wind direction north by northeast.

Land on runway number three.

There's the field all right.

Boy, did you ever see such a wide runway?

She's big all right.

You could almost close your eyes and get in.

And I'd give plenty to

know where we go from here.

Yeah, so would I.

Hey, don't do anything till I get my camera.

How does she look from the nose, Clever?

Great. Florida, palm trees,

alligators, bathing beauties.

Hey, Thatcher, have a

look at some real country.

It's not as pretty as Billings, sir.

Did you keep the cookies this trip, Thatcher?

Yes, sir. I had a little trouble coming

over the mountains, but I hung on.

- Zero-two-two-four-one to

flight. - Hey, wait a minute.

We'll go around, make an echelon right

once over the field, then break

away. Let's make it pretty.

Here's for luck.

Switch is off!

- 5:
25. Not bad time.

- Yeah, we moved.

Better write that left engine

up. She sounded a little rough.

Boy, I got some swell shots, Lawson.

You really made a nice break away.

Gave me kind of an artistic angle.

Some day I'll do a crash landing

so you can get a real movie.

Thatcher says that Florida

can't compare to Billings.

Trouble with Thatcher is he thinks

that any place with more than 300 people

- is overcrowded.

- Oh, according to the last census, sir,

Billings has a population of 16,380.

16,000! Oh, no, Thatcher, you must

be thinking of Greater Billings.

No, he's right, Clever. They

count the cows up in that country.

- Sorry, sir.

- Yes.

- Cameras aren't allowed on the field.

- What?

That's right, sir.

A lot of secret work goes on here,

and they're very strict about it.

Well, I can't see anything secret from here.

Then I'll have to report you

to the Commanding Officer, sir.

Those are my orders.

Okay. Okay.

Hey, look, Brick Holstrom's still with us.

We were afraid you wouldn't get

that turkey in till tomorrow.

Why, that baby flies so pretty

we floated the last 200 miles.

- Are you guys ready?

- Yeah. Come on, Brick.

Oh, Thatcher, I'll be right back

and tell you where your quarters are.

Yes, sir.

Come on, Davey, you've got

an idea. What's the dope?

- Where do we go from here?

- I already told you.

All they said was that it'd

take us out of the country,

we'd be gone about three months

and that it'd be dangerous.

Look, I got the real dope from Joe Randall.

He says they're forming patrol

squadrons to guard the Canal.

What's dangerous about Canal patrol?

Well, what are we worrying about?

Ski will give us all the

dope when we check in anyhow.

Three ships in, sir.

Holstrom, Lawson, and myself.

- Good. Your ships okay?

- Yes, sir.

Sit down.

Where we staying, Ski?

The government's leased a hotel near here.

They call it the Officers' Club.

The men whose wives are

coming can stay there.

The other officers'

quarters are in Barracks 5.

Is Emmy coming down?

- She'll be here in a couple of days.

- Where'll I put Thatcher, Ski?

The enlisted men are assigned to Barracks 12.


- Anything else?

- Nope?

At least, not until tomorrow morning.

Well, we'll be seeing you.

Say, Ski, the guys are all

crazy to know what's up.

You know as much about it as I do.

We may be given more

information in the morning.

Well, beat me, daddy! Look who's coming!

Well, well, well, plant

me now and dig me later,

if it isn't the pride of

Randolph Field. How are you, boy?

Great, Shorty. The minute

we heard that razzmatazz,

we knew you must be somewhere around.

- You volunteer for this deal, too?

- Sure enough.

They had me stationed up in Minneapolis.

Coldest country I ever did see.

I'd have volunteered for anything

to get back in the sunshine.

- Where you been?

- Columbia, South Carolina.

- Bob!

- Hello, Ted.

You guys know each other?

Oh, we just went through

Kelly together, that's all.

- Sure. Bob was bridesmaid at my wedding.

- Wedding?

Nobody tells me anything anymore.

How long you been balled up and chained down?

Six months, in five more days.

Well, blow my foot off. Skin me again, boy.

Hey, Davey, what are you doing down here?

- Brick!

- Hi, Don.

- I thought you were hunting subs.

- Was. Got me one, too.

- You in on this deal?

- Sure. I've got a swell crew

and it looked like it was going

to be something, so why not?

- Any ideas what we might be up to?

- Oh, just a hunch.

Yeah? Well, give.

South Seas. Knock ourselves

off a few meatballs.



Honest man. Dealer takes two.

- You know, I just got an idea.

- About what?

About where we might be going.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Dalton Trumbo

James Dalton Trumbo (December 9, 1905 – September 10, 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist who scripted many award-winning films including Roman Holiday, Exodus, Spartacus, and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. One of the Hollywood Ten, he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during the committee's investigation of communist influences in the motion picture industry. He, along with the other members of the Hollywood Ten and hundreds of other industry professionals, was subsequently blacklisted by that industry. His talents as one of the top screenwriters allowed him to continue working clandestinely, producing work under other authors' names or pseudonyms. His uncredited work won two Academy Awards: for Roman Holiday (1953), which was given to a front writer, and for The Brave One (1956) which was awarded to a pseudonym of Trumbo's. When he was given public screen credit for both Exodus and Spartacus in 1960, this marked the beginning of the end of the Hollywood Blacklist for Trumbo and other screenwriters. He finally was given full credit by the Writers' Guild for all his achievements, the work of which encompassed six decades of screenwriting. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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