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 <email@example.com>
Eddie Albert, who played Colonel Thompson, was a World War II veteran, but he served in the Pacific, not in Europe. See more »
After scaling the cliffs there is a scene where three soldiers run past a German who throws a grenade. The grenade explodes in one soldier's feet but he continues running as if nothing happened. See more »
[On whether to commence the Normandy invasion in marginal weather conditions]
General Dwight D. Eisenhower:
I'm quite positive we must give the order. I don't like it, but there it is. Gentlemen, I don't see how we can possibly do anything... but go.
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There is a 20-second overture on a black screen, no 20th Century Fox logo (in spite of this being one of their most expensive productions), and a six-minute cold open before the title is displayed. Apart from the title, there are no credits at the beginning of the film. All cast and crew credits are at the end of the film. See more »
Allow Yourself A Long Day To See This All-Star War Pic...
Darryl F. Zanuck's THE LONGEST DAY is indeed long, has over 48 international stars, 3 directors, and took about 2 years to make. 1962 was the year of the epic as far as the 1960's were concerned and this exceptional film is no exception. No cost was spared. Some good war sequences mixed with stock footage of WWII effectively present a version of D-Day, June of 1944. We see it from the German perspective (in sub-titles), the American plight, and the rest of the Allied forces. One problem: If you are seeing the film for the first time AFTER watching SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, you may come out disappointed. The war scenes are well-crafted, however, the piercing reality is missing. I tried to watch it as objectively as I could, but it is hard, considering the impression Spielberg's version of D-Day left on me.
The soldiers are led by a variety of huge name actors. John Wayne is a no-holds-barred Captain who will fight, broken foot or not. Henry Fonda plays Teddy Roosevelt, Jr. looking not to be treated as the son of an ex-president. Bob Mitchum is great as a cigar-smoking officer of the U.S. raid on Omaha Beach. The only problem is authenticity. The actors look good and realisticly war-like, however, they are kept in frame to showcase their talents and they never seem to be near death. This is by no means an anti-war film like RYAN. It can be harrowing at times, but watching Richard Burton, Sean Connery, and Rod Steiger deliver cameo-like performances (meaning they know they are only on-screen for a short time) was a bit contrived and distracting.
Overall, I did like the movie. It is greatly detailed and it lets you know exactly who each actor is playing. This is pure American propaganda, but it is still exciting. Too many fearful war experiences are handled with kid gloves. The grand spectacle of the top-notch production values as well as non-stop action make the picture watchable, if only once.
RATING: 7 of 10
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