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
Curd Jürgens played General Blumentritt. In real-life, Jürgens had been imprisoned by the Nazis. See more »
The British pathfinders land on the HQ of Gen. Von Salmuth, commander of the 15th Army. However, the pathfinders had actually landed on Gen. Reichert's HQ (Reicher was commander of the 711 Division in Normandy); in addition, Von Salmuth and the 15th Army were actually at the Pas de Calais. See more »
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.
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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 »
Some video copies omit Jeffrey Hunter's "dear John discussion" with a fellow soldier abourd a troop transport. Jean Servais' part as a French admiral giving a speech about firing upon one's homeland was cut out too. 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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