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4.4 out of 5 stars96
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on September 14, 2003
This movie is, hands down, one of the best WWII films ever. It's filmed in black and white, which may seem old and boring, but it does quite the opposite. The B&W only makes the movie seem more graphic and more realistic, while allowing the filmmakers to cut in actual WWII footage.
This film has it all, the horror of war without the graphicness of war, the emotional turmoil men go through, a great soundtrack, historical accuracy, (the foreign characters even speak their own languages) and, of course, The Duke. (I mean John Wayne) This covers so much more than Saving Private Ryan did, showing much more than the beach landings, you get the paradrops, the famous assault on Pointe de Huc, and the German perspective on the invasions.
This is classic filmmaking at its best. Simply stunning cinematography, sound, and acting.
The only problem I have with this movie is the portrayal of the assualt on Pointe de Huc; the Rangers that fought there actually did come across and destroy the guns they were sent to knock out. Darryl F. Zanuck (the director) explained this by saying that he wanted to make a statement of the futility of war. I agree with this statement, though he could've done it differently, instead of mocking the sacrifice the 2nd Ranger Battalion made to save men on Utah beach.
This is the only inaccuracy that I could find in the movie. If you want a G-rated, well done, profoundly moving and sometimes funny war film, definately buy The Longest Day. It's superb.
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on September 4, 2003
I'm a 20 year old girl, and although some war movies are ok, they're not my favorite thing in the world...This one totally blew me away. I was 10 the first time i watched it with my father, and i've watched it at least 5 more times since...I absolutely love the longest day, because not only is it a very accurate portrayal of what went on, but the international cast of actors was simply amazing, from Fernandel to Connery, this was truly a great movie...i highly recommend this movie to everyone, especially my generation, and if you think black and white movies [are bad], then you're truly ignorant, because some of the best movies ever are in black and white (and for those of you who didn't know, there's actually a color version of this movie as well that you can buy at select stores)...
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on July 29, 2003
For sheer star power alone this movie can't be beat. This is one of the best WW II movies ever made. It was also one of the most accurate. Not to say some liberities were taken but overall very accurate. To me the best test of how good a movie is,
A) Can you watch it over and over
B) Are you entertained?
C) Does it make you think?
D) Do you learn something?
E) You can't wait to tell someone about the film
This movie does it all, If you like movies this one is a must have. The best testominy I can give is it is one of my son's favorite movies and he is 18. How many 18 yr olds would even sit down for a Black and White film? Buy this movie you won't regret it.
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on July 23, 2003
Yes, this is one of the finest war movies ever made. However, I have to shake my head at those who talk of the film's accuracy when the Canadian participation is almost completely ignored. Virtually no mention is made of Juno beach. The film certainly doesn't mention that Juno was the second bloodiest Normandy beach, behind only Omaha. In spite of that, the Canadians succeeded at their objectives better than any of the other participants in the landings. Stephen Ambrose dedicates a chapter of his book _D-Day_ to the Canadians. Surely this film could have at least _mentioned_ them.
A complete view of D-Day, showing participation by all forces, is long overdue. This film comes close, but it is still short of the mark.
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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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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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on May 21, 2003
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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