The Battle of Midway

The Battle of Midway

Infobox Film
name = The Battle of Midway

image_size =
caption =
director = John Ford
producer = John Ford
writer = Dudley Nichols & James Kevin McGuinness
narrator = Donald Crisp
starring = Henry Fonda & Jane Darwell
music = Alfred Newman
cinematography = John Ford & Jack MacKenzie & Kenneth M. Pier
editing = John Ford & Robert Parrish
distributor = War Activities Committee
released = 14 September 1942
runtime = 18 minutes
country = USA
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0034498

"The Battle of Midway" is a 1942 American documentary film short directed by John Ford. It is a montage of color footage of the Battle of Midway with voice overs of various narrators, including Donald Crisp, Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell.


The film begins with a male narrator explaining where Midway Island is and its strategic importance. About five minutes into the film the format changes somewhat, with more leisurely pictures of the GIs at work on the island, and a female voice over. The female voice over takes the personality of a middle aged woman from Springfield, Ohio, who is a mother-type figure pointing out how she recognizes such and such boy from her home town. Then stock footage of the boys' mothers and sisters back home is introduced.

Abruptly the narrative turns to the battle itself with approximately five minutes dedicated to the defense of the island, the naval battle, and the aftermath. At the end the various known Japanese losses are shown (four aircraft carriers, zero battleships, etc.) and then brushed over with red paint.

Production notes

The film runs for 18 minutes, was distributed by 20th Century Fox and was one of four winners of the inaugural, 1942 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

John Ford's handheld, 16mm footage of the battle was captured totally impromptu. He had been in transit on the island, roused from his bunk in the BOQ (bachelor officers' quarters) by the sounds of the battle, and started filming. [Henry Fonda interview, "Directed by John Ford," (1970) dir. Peter Bogdanovich.] Ford was wounded by enemy fire while filming the battle.Fact|date=June 2008

See also

* List of Allied Propaganda Films of World War 2
* "Midway"

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Academy Award for Documentary Feature
after="Desert Victory"

External links

* [ IMDB page]
* [ at]
* [ Complete film at Google video]


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