December 22, 2010

December 9, 2010

December 7, 2010

December 7th

from Tag Gallagher's Ford till '47:

Field Photo productions won best-documentary Oscars two years in a row, Midway and December 7th (1943). The latter, mostly directed by Gregg Toland, initially followed White House directives and made a case for interning the 160,000 Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii, as was being done with the 110,000 Japanese-Americans living on the west coast.

Instead it was decided to leave the Hawaiians alone, after the military governor, General Delos Emmons, supported by the community, resisted Washington's orders. Accordingly, some 50 minutes of December 7th were deleted, now Japanese-American loyalty is stressed, and the portion that remained was exhibited not in theatres but in factories. Virtually all the footage of the Pearl Harbor attack was staged at Fox. (All prior accounts of December 7th's history, including my own, have missed this story completely. Hawaii's successful defiance of Roosevelt is a deeply forgotten event in American history – not surprisingly.)

The long Gregg Toland version of the film