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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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ON DISC
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
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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  »

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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

Charles de Gaulle is shown refusing to put French troops under Dwight D. Eisenhower's command, but in fact he had done so, and French naval and ground forces, including an armored division, participated in D-Day. Also, when Eisenhower briefs de Gaulle on 4 June 1944, de Gaulle is shown objecting to different parts of the battle plan. In fact he had no such objections, and complimented the "Anglo-Saxons" on their attention to detail. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower: There's only one way to be absolutley certain German spies or simply loose lips don't stumble across our activities and anticipate our moves, and that is to seal the coast across the south of England and Wales to all unauthorized traffic.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill: Most of it is sealed already.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower: I mean... all of it. No civilian traffic whatsoever.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill: Are you mad, sir? Do you not realize that no one in Britain is more than 150 miles from the sea? It is no accident that Britania rules the waves and all that business. We are a ...
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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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