1941 is a 1979 American period war comedy film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. The film stars an ensemble cast including Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, John Candy, Christopher Lee, Tim Matheson, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Stack, Nancy Allen, and Mickey Rourke in his film debut. The story involves a panic in the Los Angeles area after the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Co-writer Gale stated the plot is loosely based on what has come to be known as the Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942, as well as the bombardment of the Ellwood oil refinery, near Santa Barbara, by a Japanese submarine. Many other events in the film were based on real incidents, including the Zoot Suit Riots and an incident in which the U.S. Army placed an anti-aircraft gun in a homeowner's yard on the Maine coast.
Although 1941 was not as financially or critically successful as many of Spielberg's other films, it received belated popularity after an expanded version aired on ABC, with subsequent television broadcasts and home video reissues, raising it to cult status.