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Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2004)

PG | | Drama, History, War | TV Movie 31 May 2004
A dramatization of the 90 days leading up to Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, and how General Dwight Eisenhower, against all odds, brilliantly orchestrated the most important military maneuver in modern history.

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Nominated for 6 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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RAdm. Bert Ramsay
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Group Cpt. Major James Stagg (as Christopher Baker)
George Shevtsov ...
Gregor McLennan ...
Captain Chapman
Paul Gittins ...
Major General Henry Miller
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U.S. Colonel at Savoy
Catherine Boniface ...
Woman at Savoy
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Storyline

This is the story of the senior-level preparations for the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 from the time of Dwight D. Eisenhower's appointment as the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, to the establishment of the beachhead in Normandy. The film recounts many of the trials and tribulation Ike had to face, not the least of which were the many prima donnas surrounding him (Patton, Montgomery and especially de Gaulle) and the need for tact and diplomacy to bring all sides together for what would be the largest amphibious assault ever attempted. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

31 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ike: Thunder in June  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Selleck, a non-smoker, temporarily took up the habit to play Dwight Eisenhower, who was, according to Selleck in the DVD's bonus feature, a four-pack-a-day smoker at the time. In 1949, Eisenhower was advised by his doctor and friend, Howard Snyder, to cut down on the cigarettes to one pack per day. Eisenhower initially did so, but after a few days, he decided that counting cigarettes was worse than smoking and quit permanently in 1949. He never smoked again. See more »

Goofs

The peevish way in which De Gaulle salutes Eisenhower when they meet is totally inconsistent with the French military tradition and, especially, De Gaulle's strict discipline and formalism. French military salute is always, like English, with the hand palm to the front. There're several pictures of De Gaulle doing so. See more »

Quotes

King George VI: I am impressed by the detail, the comprehensiveness of your planning. The expected losses, the sheer carnage...
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower: I also ache at that thought, your majesty. I remember my first trip to Europe as a young man, and I felt blessed to be here, to see it, to touch the origins of my own country that I love so dearly. I hoped one day all young Americans will have the same opportunity. Now hundreds of thousands will, along with Britons, and Canadians and European Allies fighting to return home. This kind ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Superb - true war drama without combat
5 October 2004 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

I would really recommend seeing the DVD due to the excellent commentary by Selleck, the writer and director.

Argument about the Second World War - what went wrong, what went right, why things were done - and of course about the historical accuracy of any depiction in film - is one of those great indulgences of mankind.

But I think this movie very faithful to history - and those who say that a single particular meeting with Churchill at which Y was decided did not occur, because instead there were a dozen meetings in which Y was gradually decided -- or that there were also A, B and C people at other meetings - are simply not dealing with every movie's need to compress a true story.

I think this movie (though it does acknowledge that there was some condensing of character and incident) is truly excellent.

There is a maturity about the playing (and Selleck is really superb - a tribute to the seriousness with which he took the task of playing a hero who had an obviously immense impact on history) and sober approach to the issues -- that make it very moving.

The movie does a wonderful job at showing Ike grappling with:

a) the difficulties of others' personalities (DeGaulle, Patton, Miller, Montgomery),

b) the tactical decisions (how near to the landing do you have the paratroops drop - and do you change your mind as you learn of German troop movements? The need for a full or half moon as well as good weather; the likelihood of further delay to see if things improve -causing a loss of German surprise about place of invasion).

It's just superb in every way - it will make you wish this were part of a 12 or 14 hour series about Eisenhower in wartime.

Selleck (with his Midwestern accent and - for this movie - very deliberate in movement and speech - makes a superb Eisenhower).


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