The Longest Day
Release Year: 1962
Directors: Ken Annakin (British exterior episodes), Andrew Marton (American exterior episodes), Bernhard Wicki (German episodes), erd Oswald (parachuting scenes in Sainte-Mère-Église) (uncredited), Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited)
Writers: Cornelius Ryan (screenplay based on his own 1959 book The Longest Day), Romain Gary (additional episodes), James Jones (additional episodes), David Pursall (additional episodes), Jack Seddon (additional episodes)
Starring: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Richard Beymer, Hans Christian Blach, Bourvil, Irina Demick, Henry Fonda, Curd Jürgens, Peter Lawford, Rod Steiger, Kenneth More, Christian Marquand, Jeffrey Hunter, Paul Hartmann, Steve Forrest, Robert Ryan, Sean Connery
Rating: Won 2 Oscars: Best Cinematography – Black & White, Best Special Effects. Nominated for 3 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Art Direction – Black & White, Best Editing. Won 1 Golden Globe: Best Cinematography – Black & White. Nominated for 1 Golden Globe: Best Motion Picture – Drama.
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #187, week 3 2018
A grand scale retelling of the events of D-Day from both Allied and German points of view.
Released 18 years after D-Day this 3-hour-long war epic was the most expensive black and white movie made until the record was broken by Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993). Starring plethora of big names, the film does a great job at showing the fetaful day from many different angles: from the bloody beaches, to the occupied French, the salons of the German officers, to the paratrooper. The film ha everything from great battles, where soldiers drop like flies, to one particularly (un)fortunate paratrooper, who is separated from his unit and runs toward the fight every time hears gunfight only to arrive too late to make a difference. The cast list is almost too good. There are so many characters, so many different aspects and situations to highlight, that great performers are given relatively limited time. Two big stars who make a great impact despite this is John Wayne (The Alamo, 1960) as an officers leading paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines, Richard Burton (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1966) as a stoic RAF officer, and last but certainly not least a rough Robert Mitchum (Out of the Past, 1947) as the legendary Major “Dutch” Cota who lead his men through the slaughter of Omaha Beach. On the German side, Curd Jürgens (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977) as Major General Blumentritt is particularly memorable. The fact that the film was assembled from the work of several directors does not show, and the dramatic narrative of this flows along in a well-balanced pace, making the 3 hours running time fly by. The film require at least a slight interest in history to be truly captivating, as an account of 6 June 1944 it is well made enough to still work and captivate its audience. Highly recommended.
Quite unique for British and American war films that the time, the German and French characers speak their own languages in the film.
Lt. Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort was 27 years old on D-Day and was disappointed when he learned that he would be played by the 54-year-old John Wayne.
Sean Connery asked that his scenes be filmed quickly so he could get o Jamaica in time to begin the scheduled filming of the first James Bond movie Dr. No (1962).
Picture Copyright: 20th Century Fox