The Final Countdown is a science fiction war film from 1980 about a modern nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that travels back in time to the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
The Final Countdown is a science fiction war film from 1980 about a modern nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that travels back in time to the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, James Farentino, Katharine Ross, and Charles Durning star in the film, which was produced by Peter Vincent Douglas and Lloyd Kaufman (creator of Troma Entertainment) and directed by Don Taylor. This was Don Taylor’s final movie. Kaufman also had a tiny acting part and worked as an associate producer on the film.
The United States Navy’s naval aviation division and the United States Department of Defense worked together to make the film. It was set and filmed onboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the late 1970s, documenting actual operations of the then-modern nuclear cruiser. At the box office, The Final Countdown was a mediocre success.
The Final Countdown was the brainchild of Peter Douglas. He was able to generate interest from the US Navy despite having a low budget and a decent script. Officials from the Department of Defense pledged complete cooperation after seeing a script but maintained that the film’s timing would be dependent on the ‘on location’ naval adviser, William Micklos, for safety and operational preparedness.
The picture made a total of $16.6 million in the United States and Canada in its first ten days of release, grossing $6.1 million from 630 theatres.