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 <email@example.com>
There was some controversy over the casting. At 54, John Wayne was 27 years older than Col. Benjamin Vandervoort had been at the time. At 52, Robert Ryan was 15 years older than Gen. James M. Gavin had been. See more »
The real Ouistreham casino had been destroyed and replaced by a German bunker before the D-Day landings, rather than having a bunker built into its basement as shown. The casino seen in the film was a disused building, set for demolition on the harbour at Port-en Bessin, Normandy. See more »
The last good WW2 film made by people "who were there"
This is perhaps one of the most ambitious, epic WW2 films to have been made; certainly it is the last of the classic B&W films made about the subject. Featuring an all-star cast (John Wayne, Richard Burton, Kurt Jurgens... even a cameo by Sean Connery!), it comprehensively details the build-up and execution of the Normandy landings in 1944, taking care to show how the event was perceived by Allied and Axis soldiers and commanders, as well as the Free French resistance. This is a film that takes great care in documenting the events of the day, without lapsing into sickly sentimentalism or getting distracted with fictional characters' personal lives (a failing of many WW2 movies since about 1970), or over-emphasising any one nation's importance in the operation (although, admittedly, Canadians may feel a little short-changed).
Classic moments abound, notably the landing at St.Mere-Eglise and the soldier who gets caught in the church steeple, the frustrations of the front-line German commanders and fighters, and the numerous cameos for film nerds to keep track of.
If you want a wartime romance, or an appearance by Matt Damon or Ben Affleck, or long, loving shots of the Stars & Stripes in slo-mo, or a gritty blood'n'guts fest, you'll be disappointed. This film has broader concerns, and was made with much more thoroughness. There is no agenda at work here, pro-war or anti-. It is solely concerned with documenting Operation "Overlord" for the film-going public, and succeeds brilliantly; a shame then, that it has not made the top 50 war films list.
A must-see for any fan of war films.
88 of 98 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?