-The film is about a panic in the Los Angeles area about the sighting of a Japanese naval submarine just offshore right after the attack on Pearl Harbor
Did You Know?
-The scene where 'Wild Bill' Kelso slips and falls off the plane is a real accident.
-According to co-writer Bob Gale, many of the incidents in the movie are based on real incidents. The army really put an anti-aircraft gun on the yard of a homeowner in Maine, a Japanese sub shelled a refinery on the California coast, a false air raid siren went off in Los Angeles, making the citizens think the Japanese were attacking, and finally the famous 'Zoot Suit' riots in LA were in May and June 1943
-Mickey Rourke's film debut
-On Saturday, Dec. 13, 1941 at around 7:01 am, a car pulls up to a beach and a woman gets out. She is wearing a white robe that says "Polar Bear Club" on the back, meaning that she goes swimming in the winter. She goes swimming off the coast of California, only to run into a Japanese submarine surfacing under her. The crew realizes they are in Hollywood, and they submerge while the woman gets away fast
-In Death Valley, Major General Joseph W. Stilwell(Robert Stack) is trying to bring order to the city. He is at a press conference at Daugherty Air Field in Los Angeles. Captain Loomis Birkhead(Tim Matheson) is attracted to the beautiful secretary of the General's, Donna Stratten(Nancy Allen). He lures her into a bomber plane and tries to seduce her, but she warns him that her father was a Marine who taught her to defend heself. She knocks him out, but he lands on the bomb release lever, sending a bomb rolling across the runway towards the conference. Stilwell escapes right after saying "There will be no bombs dropped here."
-Outside the USO, Sitarski kicks Wally and drags Betty into the dance. Maxine tags along, and Wally sneaks in with a stolen uniform from a Shore Patrol officer. He steals Betty away and they end up winning the contest while evading Sitarski. He punches Wally and this starts a major fight between the various branches of the Armed Servicemen. Tree arrives with his crew, just as L.A. goes to Red Alert with an unknown aircrft in the skies. At the Doulgas home, however, Ward spots the sub from his deck. Birkhead and Donna fly over L.A., and anti-aircraft guns open fire. Kelso shoots Birkhead's plane thinking that it's a Japanese pilot, then he sees the submarine, only to have his plane shot down by 2 spotters in a ferris wheel who mistake his plane for a Japanese bomber.
-The next day, Sunda, Dec. 14, Stilwell arrives at what used to be the Douglas home. Tree thinks and tells Stilwell that 1942 will be "the really big year of the war". The General simply says "It's gonna be a 'long' war."
-The only American film in which Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune used both his Japanese speaking voice and English speaking voice