The Final Countdown is a 1980 alternate history science fiction film about a modern aircraft carrier that travels through time to the day before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
We all think about it sometimes – technology has come so far, and though our favorite WWII planes were once masters of the sky, they wouldn’t stand a chance against what we have today. Still, we love to see them fly together.
The USS Nimitz and everyone on board have time-traveled from 1980 to December 6, 1941, just one day before Pearl Harbor. Unsure of what has happened, two Grumman F-14 Tomcats are sent on patrol when a surface contact is spotted on the radar. It’s a yacht being attacked by none other than two Japanese Zeros.
The movie “Final Countdown” gave us just that in an awesome clip of F-14 Tomcats toying with a couple of Japanese Zeros. Here’s How the tomcats ( F14 ) play with the Japanese zero`s.
When an F-14 does a steep dive at 2:45 and pulls out just before crashing into the ocean while “playing” with one of the Zeroes, the “scream” the F-14 made was created by mixing the sound of the jet engines with the actual scream of the pilot’s wife when she saw that clip for the first time.
What happens next is, well, definitely in favor of the F-14s. And even though it wasn’t a fair fight, it’s a great scene. Check it out in the clip below.
The Zeros, which are actually replicas originally built for the movie Tora, Tora, Tora, are small and slow in comparison. The Japanese pilots search the sky in confusion. The F-14s come close to stalling.
Finally, it’s game over when the F-14s get the order to take out the enemy. Was the cannon really necessary? Not really. But we have to give props that “Final Countdown” depicts the proper sound of an M-61 Vulcan cannon firing.
During shooting of the opening shot where the CAG’s Tomcat is taking off from Pearl Harbor, the film crew actually underestimated the blast radius of the Tomcat’s exhaust and one of their cameras was blown over when the plane went to full afterburner, which resulted in the shot being filmed from a slightly different angle than originally planned.