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.
In 1944, the U.S. Army and Allied forces plan a huge invasion landing in Normandy, France. Despite bad weather, General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the okay and the Allies land at Normandy. General Norma Cota travels with his men onto Omaha Beach. With much effort, and lost life, they get off the beach, traveling deep into French territory. The German military, due to arrogance, ignorance and a sleeping Adolf Hitler, delay their response to the Allied landing, with crippling results.Written by
Richard Todd (Major John Howard, Officer Commanding D Company of The 2nd Battalion The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Air Landing Brigade, 6th Airborne Division) was in Normandy on D-Day, and participated as Captain Todd of the 7th Parachute Battalion, 5th Parachute Brigade, British 6th Airborne Division. His battalion went into action as reinforcements, via a parachute jump (after the gliders had landed and completed the initial coup de main assault). Captain Richard "Sweeney" Todd was moved from the plane, from which he was originally scheduled to jump, to another. The original plane was shot down, killing everyone on board. See more »
The first time we encounter Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (Werner Hinz) he is at the French cost line, talking about how calm and peaceful the sea, between England and the continent, looks. The horizon shows the sea, and as he walk to the center of the screen, he suddenly disappears. 5 seconds later he pops back up in the same spot he disappear from. See more »
Major General Gunther Blumentritt:
This is history. We are living an historical moment. We are going to lose the war because our glorious Führer has taken a sleeping pill and is not to be awakened. Sometimes I wonder which side God is on.
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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 »
There is a digitally remastered colorized version of the film. See more »
The previous comments about Canadian participation in the Normandy invasion were significant - insofar as there weren't very many. One of the five Normandy beaches was Canadian (Juno), but there is almost no mention of this in The Longest Day, and I'm sure that one would be hard pressed to find many Americans (and not a whole lot more Canadians) who know this. Unfortunately, it is movies such as this and other popular media that shape the historic knowledge of people on both sides of the border. In the near absence of Canadian content, I find it ironic that a young Canadian (Paul Anka) not only played a part in the movie as an American soldier, but also wrote the theme music. I find it also ironic that the legendary rifle used by US soldiers during WW2 and shown in this movie was designed by a Canadian as well (Garand is a French Canadian name). The cruelest irony, of course, is the fact that thousands of Canadian soldiers were maimed or lost there lives on 6 June 1944 and the days thereafter, with virtually no acknowledgement in this movie. I have always enjoyed watching this movie, but it is unfortunate that I must use my imagination to see in it the heroic and selfless wartime effort of my father's generation, in similar fashion to viewers in the US and UK.
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