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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Longest Day
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on July 10, 2003
In short, this is a movie about the Normandy invasion of World War II. It's one of the most dramatic, action packed, glorious, moving movies ever made!!! If you want to see a movie that inspires you, see this remarkable film. The Normandy invasion was one of the most decisive battles of WW II, and one of the costliest in human lives. In this movie, you'll get moments of comedy, suspense (the edge of your seat kind), horror, pain, joy, sorrow, just about every emotion you can experience (unless of course you have no conscience). Lots of fine actors are in this film: Robert Mitchem, Rod Steiger, Henry Fonda, Sean Connery, Robert Wagner, Eddie Arnold, John Wayne, Red Buttons, Roddy Mcdowell, Richard Burton, Sal Mineo, and alot of guys I don't know the names of. I like the fact that in the movie, the German's speak in their native tongue (with subtitles of course). The French and the British troops are well represented in the film. My dad hated those bagpipes the British played, mainly because they played them almost all the time. And in the movie, they play them as they storm the beaches. This is the kind of movie that will inspire you to go out and invade YOUR own enemy!!! Annkin and the other directors did superb work in putting together this film, as well as all of those involved. In short, FLAWLESS!!!
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on June 26, 2003
The Normandy battle looks like it was shot on some little beach in NJ and the comedy is just pointless. Why try to make a joke out of this subject. The perception of the English, Scottish, and French is just ignorant. Obviously for it's time this movie was decent but to say this movie is realistic is a smack in every veterans face.
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on June 20, 2003
I liked how the longest day covered the German and Allied commands during D-Day and before the landings. I also relly liked the way the Germans spoke German. The landings on the beaches were so real it seemed as though you were landing at Omaha. If you liked this movie you would like the book D-Day June 6 1944 the Climatic Battle of WWII by Stephen E. Ambrose.
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on June 19, 2003
Using famous actors in order to depict the most famous of days in the European theater of World War 2 adds greatly to the movie. The events shown from the point of view of both sides makes for a pleasing overall appreciation of that fateful day.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2003
Well I will keep this short , because this treatment of the Normandy invasion had me bored for most the the movie. Why? Because the movie is essentially a theaterical depiction of the invasion with virtually no character development ,no story line and no military stragey to show how planning was developed. John Wayne left me realing against his over-blown personality and silly manner.Others were just as bad. I saw this film when it first came out, did not think to highly of it then and certainly know now how poor this thing is. A waste of time and money to say the least. A THUMBS DOWN ! !
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The Longest Day (1962 film)
In 1959, 15 years after the Allied invasion of Normandy, former war correspondent Cornelius Ryan wrote The Longest Day, his popular and critically-acclaimed account of the D-Day landings. Based on painstaking research and interviews with Allied and German veterans and the French civilians swept up in the events of June 6, 1944, The Longest Day remains among the best books on the topic.
It is not surprising, then, that 20th Century-Fox studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck bought the film rights and asked Ryan, (who, besides having been a reporter, had also written plays) to adapt The Longest Day into a screenplay for a major motion picture. Zanuck, who had served in the Army Signal Corps as a lieutenant colonel and helped document the D-Day landings, had always wanted to make a feature film about the invasion. He also had another pressing reason to make what he thought would be a big hit: 20th Century-Fox, nearly crippled by box office flops and the costly production of Cleopatra, was on the brink of bankruptcy.
In order to attract audiences, Zanuck and his massive production team assembled a cast almost as large as the actual invasion force. 48 major international stars from three countries were signed on to what a World War II trivia book described as "the most expensive black-and-white movie made." Shot in studios near Paris and on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, The Longest Day required not one but three directors. Andrew Marton shot the American exterior episodes, Bernhard Wicki handled the German exterior episodes, and Ken Annakin directed the British exterior episodes. Overseeing the entire project were Zanuck and Associate Producer Elmo Williams, who would later executive produce the Japanese-American Pearl Harbor classic, Tora! Tora! Tora!
The movie basically follows the book's structure in its three major acts: The Wait, about the preparations on both sides for the invasion; The Night, about the night airborne assault; and The Day, about the landings on the five invasion beaches. The DVD breaks these three acts into 12 chapters.
While by early 21st Century standards The Longest Day's combat scenes are rather tame - there are no extremely gory scenes as explicit as those in Saving Private Ryan - they do capture the vastness and complexity of the Normandy landings. Shot in a semi-documentary style (major characters are introduced with identifying "credits" so we know who is who), The Longest Day is as accurate as a 1962-era film studio could depict an actual event. The black-and-white presentation allows insertion of a few snippets of actual documentary footage (mainly of German soldiers marching through Paris and running to their fortifications near the beaches) seamlessly into the film. Of course, some characters (such as Eddie Albert's Col. Thompson) seem to be composites or even fictitious, and some actors (such as John Wayne and Robert Ryan) look nothing like the officers they are portraying. Wayne plays Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandenvoort, who in 1944 was in his 30s, while Ryan plays Brig. Gen. James "Slim Jim" Gavin, who at 38 was the Army's youngest general. (The more accurate, but far less popular sequel, A Bridge Too Far, cast Ryan O'Neal as Gavin.)
Accuracy goes out the window in at least one respect, and this one is at the top of most D-Day veterans' list of gripes. While the movie does mention the awful conditions on the transports and landing craft ("Man, that stink! Diesel oil, backed up toilets, vomit. And there ain't no place to get sick in!" gripes one soldier to Roddy McDowell), when the Allied soldiers get out of the landing craft, they hit the beaches running and screaming like banshees. In Stephen E. Ambrose's 1994 D-Day, June 6, 1944, veterans scoff at Zanuck's fanciful depiction, pointing out that they were too tired and too sick to run across the beach, much less yell like Confederates at Gettysburg.
Nevertheless, The Longest Day remains one of the best war movies ever made. Released in October of 1962 and enjoying a long run at the theaters, it was the box office's top draw for 1963, earning an Academy Award for special effects and, luckily for Zanuck, saving 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy.
The DVD presents The Longest Day to its original CinemaScope wide screen presentation, improving on the CBS-Fox two-cassette VHS version, which was released on the usual pan-and-scan "full screen" re-edit. Other improvements are a sound remastering by THX and a few tiny bits of additional footage. The single disc, however, has very few extra features; only the theatrical trailers to The Longest Day, Patton, and Tora! Tora! Tora!
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on April 17, 2003
This was the first WWII movie I ever saw and I think it's the best one of all.War was needed for terror was roving the land,crushing the people,and army's of Nazis,kept power.So the Allies resolved war was the only way to win this fight and defend themselves.A mighty force of men were there,to sail to the beaches,and free the land.Soldiers were killed,The Allies drove in the Nazi's fought back,and it was the bigest day in the war.And as a movie,It's action was flawless! Every soldier had his uniform,every soldier fought perfectley.You can see the immensity of the plot.Probaley Ten battles, all in different places,and fighting methods different,tanks fighting here,infantry shooting there,strike forces flying,parashuting in,boats landing on beaches,climbling steep chalk cliffs,undergroung rebelion hits,and air plane attacks.Really show's the war in a real light that you feel your there.Right from when the soldiers are in camp waiting,to the victory parade along omaha beach.
Along the way you meet countless people,A brave Captain who held the vital bridge,A tough General who gave it all he got to breach the walls gaurding the beach and go inland,poor boys who died so young,A man who his rosary might have saved his life,two young resistance fighters,man and woman,who put danger ahead of their love,a priest who risks his life talking about freedom,A husband who misses his wife,two soldiers who can find a laugh even in a battle field..............
Last of all two soldiers in a abandoned barn,wondering what war really is.As a downded pilot(Richard Burton) put it"He's dead,I'm crippled,your lost.I guess thats what war is."to the lost soldier besides him.
I wonder who won?
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on April 13, 2003
...it's no "Saving Private Ryan," which I feel is the DEFINITIVE D-Day film and World War II epic! But this film does do justice to the greatest generation, and will forever honor those brave souls that fought and died for the freedoms we cherish. God bless America! Grade: A-
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on February 28, 2003
Compared to more recent films, the Longest Day is something that is more than just entertainment. A true tribute to the "Greatest Generation" the film is packed with facts; and is a story we can all learn from. Based on the excellent book by Cornelius Ryan it goes into both the tactical and strategic decisions aswell as showing the problems faced with the GI's/Tommies.
One interesting fact. Richard Todd (who'se most famous role as Wing Commander Guy Gibson in the Dambusters) plays Major John Howard, who glider unit the first unit in action on D-Day. Richard Todd was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Elite British Parachute regiment at the time who dropped into Normandy on the same night and was the unit that linked up with the glider assault at Pegasus Bridge.
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on February 17, 2003
While Saving Private Ryan gives the story of a group of soldiers, this gives the story of the whole battle. Since this was made in the 50's, its not as gritty as Private Ryan, however there is the same amount of tension. I especially like the part of the two Luftwaffe pilots who strafe the beach and jokingly refer to themselves as the mighty Luftwaffe.
My only complaint about this movie is that it had John Wayne in it. I didn't really like his performance, he seemed way too macho for his role.
Anyways, with this one and A Bridge Too Far, I wish they would work on The Last Battle.
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