Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
Tells the story of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in WWII. There are dozens of characters, some seen only briefly, who together weave the story of five separate invasion points that made up the operation. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the filming of the landings at Omaha Beach, the American soldiers appearing as extras didn't want to jump off the landing craft into the water because they thought it would be too cold. Robert Mitchum, who played Gen. Norm Cota, was so disgusted with them that he jumped in first, at which point the soldiers had no choice but to follow his example. See more »
During the sequence where the dummies were being dropped and the Germans were firing upon the aircraft, they were firing an American quad-mount M2HB .50-cal. anti-aircraft gun (an M45 Maxon Mount). The Germans were not equipped with this weapon, and would not have had a decent ammo supply even if they'd captured one (the "tombstone" drums only carry 200 rounds each). See more »
[to his generals, observing the English Channel]
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel:
Just look at it, gentlemen. How calm... how peaceful it is. A strip of water between England and the continent... between the Allies and us. But beyond that peaceful horizon... a monster waits. A coiled spring of men, ships, and planes... straining to be released against us. But, gentlemen, not a single Allied soldier shall reach the shore. Whenever and wherever this invasion may come, gentlemen... I shall destroy the enemy there, at the water's ...
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Although the end credits begin with the phrase "in alphabetical order", John Wayne is listed last even though he is not last alphabetically (although he was "nearly" last). See more »
Despite being a classic war movie THE LONGEST DAY is very flawed as a production . Did someone say there's just too many stars in this movie ? If so I agree . Look at the way they're introduced , Mister big name movie star has back to camera , he turns round and wow we're looking at a big name movie star . All this is somewhat distracting .
It should also be pointed out that many of the cast are let down by Corneilus Ryan's script . Ryan wrote the definitive account of the last year of the war via his trilogy THE LONGEST DAY , A BRIDGE TOO FAR and THE LAST BATTLE , he was a truly great historian but it's obvious he couldn't master the technicalities of screen writing , his characters are more like caricatures with the Americans all being butch and macho while the Europeans are somewhat eccentric save for a few Englishmen who have stiff upper lips . Like HG Wells with THINGS TO COME Ryan writes dialogue that sounds suspiciously like thought processes , an example being where the rangers fight their way into a bunker only to find it's a decoy and someone says " You mean we came all the way up here for nothing ? " . You can almost imagine the passage in the book saying " it was obvious to the men who had survived the battle , so obvious that no one dare say it but they'd fought their way to the bunker for nothing "
Despite that I will congratulate Ryan and everyone else involved in the production for pointing out that the 6th of June was a multi national effort to free Western Europe from the Nazi jackboot , Brits , Yanks and the Free French are represented ( Not sure about the Canadians but ? ) unlike the rather overrated SAVING PRIVATE RYAN that seems to indicate that D Day was an American solo effort THE LONGEST DAY is far more accurate and subjective as to what happened on the day . The script also has the temerity to suggest that the allies didn't win the battle but the Nazis lost due to the military incompetence of Hitler . It should be remembered that despite the overwhelming fire power of the allies they could have easily have been massacred on the beaches and that the Normandy landings was probably the most complicated military endeavor in all of military history
A word of warning - If you ever watch this movie only see the widescreen version because the technical aspects are awesome . The outstanding scene is where a few Americans sit on a bunk playing cards and one of them stands up pleading " Hey guys , anyone got five bucks , ten bucks , anyone got twenty bucks " . At this point the camera quickly pans out and the sound crashes in making the audience realize that the scene is set in a billets with hundreds of soldiers . Needless to say this scene is totally ruined when it's watched on a scanned copy
THE LONGEST DAY is a flawed film but a great tribute to the men who fought in that campaign . As the veterans who fought there gather tomorrow for the 60th anniversary along with politicians who didn't have the guts to join the military but are very happy to use it for political gain I'd just like to say a big thank you to all the men who fought there . Thank you to one and all . If it weren't for you I wouldn't be here now
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