'Twas the night before D-Day. One ship, carrying Special Force Six, leaves ahead of the main invasion on a dangerous mission. On board are British Colonel Wynter and American Captain Parker, who each, in flashback, reminisce about their separate involvements with beauteous Valerie Russell. Will the coming battle (confined to the film's last fifteen minutes) determine which one comes home to her? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For the D-Day landing, director Henry Koster used only eighty soldiers and two LCVPs (Higgins Boats aka Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel landing craft). See more »
When the US soldiers are mocking a Home Guard unit drilling nearby they say things like "they haven't even got uniforms". This would appear to be the case as you can see them wearing only LDV (Local Defence Volunteers) armbands on top of their "civvies". This was the case when the force was first formed early in the war (1940) well before the US entered the war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7th 1941. But by the time the GIs arrived in Britain in 1942 all units of the Home Guard were fully equipped with uniforms, weapons etc. See more »
Or, How I Got Sidetracked on the Way to Normandy .
A film which springs immediately to mind after watching D-Day the Sixth of June is Abbott and Costello go to Mars. In that cerebral little opus A&C never actually get to Mars - they go to Venus instead, and even then it is only after some considerable preliminaries. Unlike that picture, D-Day the Sixth of June does actually get to the events referred to, but it is only as an aside for ten minutes or so at the end; like Abbott and Costello go to Mars, the title is a complete misrepresentation.
For most of its running time this film is actually a boring and clichéd melodrama in which Robert Taylor, Richard Todd and Dana Wynter play three two-dimensional characters involved in a love triangle against a backdrop of wartime England (Hollywood's conception of wartime England, anyway). The three roles may just as well have been played by cardboard cut-outs, but for what it's worth Richard Todd probably comes off best, being the only one of the major cast members who even hints at creating a real-life character. Robert Taylor is at his most wooden, and also possibly a little too old for his role. His love scenes with Dana Wynter generate less passion than an undertaker's convention. But then again, Dana Wynter always did seem to me to be a particularly passionless actress.
It can only be regretted that the film's makers did not spend more time on the subsidiary characters, who seem to me to be far more interesting. Brigadier Russell is well played by John Williams, and his resentment of the American interlopers is a theme which could have been developed far more fully. Likewise the flaky nature of Edmond O'Briens Colonel Timmer is never really explored or explained in any sense at all.
All in all, I enjoyed Abbott and Costello Go to Mars a lot more.
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