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The Longest Day (1962)

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The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Writers:

Cornelius Ryan (screenplay), Cornelius Ryan (book) | 4 more credits »
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2,793 ( 2,430)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Albert ... Col. Thompson
Paul Anka ... U.S. Army Ranger
Arletty ... Madame Barrault
Jean-Louis Barrault ... Father Louis Roulland
Richard Beymer ... Pvt. Dutch Schultz
Hans Christian Blech ... Maj. Werner Pluskat
Bourvil ... Mayor of Colleville
Richard Burton ... Flying Officer David Campbell
Wolfgang Büttner Wolfgang Büttner ... Maj. Gen. Dr. Hans Speidel
Red Buttons ... Pvt. John Steele
Pauline Carton ... Maid
Sean Connery ... Pvt. Flanagan
Ray Danton ... Capt. Frank
Irina Demick ... Janine Boitard (as Irina Demich)
Fred Dur Fred Dur ... U.S. Army Ranger Major
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the day that changed the world... When history held its breath. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

4 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Longest Day See more »

Filming Locations:

Bénouville, Calvados, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$39,100,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Countless U.S. Ranger dummies were built by the props crew for the cliff and beach action sequences. Some wired by the Sp/Fx guys with explosive charges. See more »

Goofs

Gen. Gavin is wearing a Senior Parachutist badge in 1944.The Parachutist Badge was formally approved on 10 March 1941. The senior and master parachutists badges were authorized by Headquarters, Department of the Army, in 1949 and were announced by Change 4, Army Regulation 600-70, dated 24 January 1950. See more »

Quotes

Destroyer Commander: You remember it. Remember every bit of it, 'cause we are on the eve of a day that people are going to talk about long after we are dead and gone.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although the end credits begin with the phrase "in alphabetical order", John Wayne is listed last even though he is not last alphabetically (although he was "nearly" last). See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two distinct versions of this film: in one, all the characters speak English; in the other, the French and German characters speak their own respective languages, with subtitles. In the latter version the theme played over the end titles is an instrumental, while the former has lyrics written by Paul Anka (the latest DVD version contains both the German/French speaking and the vocal version of the film's musical theme). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three Hats for Lisa (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Fence Me In
(uncredited)
Music by Cole Porter
Played on the radio when Gen. Cota is introduced
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Unforgettable Overview of an Epic Battle!
9 August 2003 | by cariartSee all my reviews

'The Longest Day' is perhaps the greatest dramatic record of one of the defining moments in world history. After the intimacy of 'Saving Private Ryan', many critics have accused it of being a 'sanitized' version of the Normandy Invasion, but it is a different kind of film, entirely! While Steven Speilberg's aim was to personalize the horror facing the first wave of troops to hit the beach, Producer Darryl F. Zanuck, a D-Day vet, himself, wanted to create a mosaic of the myriad of personalities, events, and experiences that shaped the day. It is a film that looks objectively at all the forces who fought this epic battle, wisely casting major stars of each country to portray actual and fictitious characters. This was a bold move at the time, as subtitles are used extensively, giving the film has a uniquely international flavor. This is not your usual war film with 'American actors doing funny accents'!

There are many standout performances; a few that deserve particular recognition are Richard Burton's war-weary RAF pilot, the last survivor of his original squadron; Dietmar Schönherr as one of the few remaining Luftwaffe pilots, faced with the impossible order of stopping the invasion with two airplanes; Jeffrey Hunter, a young sergeant who is 'Dear John'ed and faces the horrendous Omaha landing; a pre-James Bond Sean Connery as a cocky Irish infantryman; Red Buttons, as a paratrooper whose chute snags on a church tower, and is forced to view the carnage as Germans annihilate jumpers dropping into a French town square; and John Wayne (himself a war film icon), as Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort, the Airborne commander, who impatiently waits for the 'Go' order, then breaks his ankle jumping into Normandy.

Filled with drama, humor, and pathos, 'The Longest Day' works on many levels, and is never dull! Over forty years after its initial release, it's semi-documentary style still seems as fresh and engrossing as ever, and works equally well viewed by itself, or paired with 'Saving Private Ryan'.

It should be an essential part of your film library!


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