Steven Spielberg's first film
1941 is a 1979 period comedy film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by friends Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. It starred John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd and premiered in December 1979. The film is a comedy about a panic in the Los Angeles area that occurs after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Although not initially a success for Spielberg, it was later acknowledged on ABC in an expanded version, and its subsequent successful home video reissues, raising the film to a cult status.
Co-writer Bob Gale stated the plot is loosely based on an incident that has come to be known as the West Coast air raid or Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942 as well as the shelling of the Ellwood oil refinery, near Santa Barbara by a Japanese submarine. Many of the other events in the film were based on real incidents, including the Zoot Suit Riots and an incident where the U.S. Army actually placed an anti-aircraft gun in the yard of a homeowner on the coast (in Maine).