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 shooting in Ste. Mère-Eglise, traffic was stopped, stores were closed and the power was shut down in order not to endanger the paratroopers who were unused to night drops in populated areas. Still, the lights and staged fire proved too difficult to work around, and only one or two jumpers managed to land in the square - with several suffering minor injuries. One of the initial jumpers broke both legs in landing. Ultimately, plans to use authentic jumps were abandoned, opting instead for rigged jumps from high cranes. See more »
When we first see General Norman Cota (Robert Mitchum), he is talking to a subordinate who is holding a Mae West-type life vest, which covers the chest and goes around the neck, and a life belt. Cota recommends the life belt, making a motion around his waist, while saying its better because it leaves the arms and shoulders unencumbered. However, it was known at that time that the way he was demonstrating how to wear a life belt was incorrect. On April 28, 1944 during a D-Day rehearsal (Exercise Tiger), German E-boats attacked a troop convoy and sank several transports, killing nearly 1000 men. Many of the men drowned because they were wearing life belts in exactly the manner shown in the movie - around the waist. Wearing a life belt as shown caused the wearer, burdened with heavy gear, to flip on his face and drown. The proper way to wear the life belt was up high, under the armpits. The real General Cota was involved in learning what went wrong in Exercise Tiger and making sure it didn't happen again during the D-Day landings. He would never have recommended that life belts be worn the way they were portrayed in the movie. See more »
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 »
True, the first half an hour of Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" is truly mesmerizing but then it degenerates into a soap opera of sorts and all the angst and horror of war evaporates until the truly sentimental finale. "The Longest Day" doesn't depend on special effects but on the minute by minute horror of its moment. It's also, if I'm permitted to say it, a lot of fun to watch. Strangely enough the all star cast is not distracting at all. It was much more in "Saving Private Ryan" with a cast of up and comings headed by Tom Hanks himself. In "The Longest Day" there are real moments, film, cinematic moments that are intimately connected with the profoundest sense of drama: The clicking of the rifle. Richard Burton, Richard Beymer and the boots of the dead German. Red Buttons hanging from the Cathedral. Paul Anka, Fabian, Robert Wagner, the landing in Normandy. This film remains one of the best, from every angle, films of its kind.
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