The Final Countdown is a 1980 American alternate-history science-fiction war film about a modern nuclear-powered super-aircraft carrier that travels through time to the day before the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Produced by Peter Vincent Douglas and Lloyd Kaufman (founder of Troma Entertainment) and directed by Don Taylor, the film contains an ensemble cast starring Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, James Farentino, Katharine Ross and Charles Durning.
This was the final film by Don Taylor. Kaufman also served as an associate producer and had a minor acting role.
The film was produced with the full cooperation of the United States Navy‘s naval aviation branch and the United States Department of Defense. It was set and filmed on board USS Nimitz (CVN-68), capturing actual operations of the then-modern nuclear warship, which had been launched in the late 1970s. The Final Countdown was a moderate success at the box office.
During routine manoeuvres near Hawaii in 1980, the aircraft-carrier USS Nimitz is caught in a strange vortex-like storm, throwing the ship back in time to 1941—mere hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.