The Longest Day

1962

Action / Drama

Synopsis


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August 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Cast

John Wayne as Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort
Robert Ryan as Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin
Richard Burton as Flying Officer David Campbell
Henry Fonda as Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
720p 1080p
1008.19 MB
1280*544
English
G
English
23.976 fps
2hr 58 min
P/S 6 / 31
2.07 GB
1920*816
English
G
English
23.976 fps
2hr 58 min
P/S 3 / 41

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) 10 / 10

An absolutely remarkable film...

'The Longest Day' is June 6, 1944, the day the Allied assault on Hitler's Fortress Europe... And when it came everything went much according to plan... But fighting through the tough country of Normandy took much longer than had been expected...

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the four-star Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, made up the force of some two million men massed in England for the strike at Europe...

Combined American, British, Irish and Canadian forces assault the beaches of Normandy in an effort to gain a foothold on the continent... From the viewpoint of the Americans and Germans involved, the story unfolds through numerous episodes highlighting the 'Longest Day.' We see the commands posts occupied by the Germans; Caen, the starting point; the French underground network; Omaha Beach; Utah Beach; Ste-Mere-Eglise; as well as sites and camps in England...

The film is a clear examination of D-Day looked at from almost every viewpoint, particularly from that of the Germans who are overwhelmed by the forces brought against them... It is in fact Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (profiled against the French beach thoroughly planted with mined obstacles) who looks out to where the invasion fleet will appear later-or sooner, and gives the film its title: "The first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive... For the Allies as well as the Germans, it will be the longest day."

In the first half, much attention is focused on the weather, as the troops... American, British, Irish, Canadian and French are poised on board their boats and ships, waiting for the rain to stop... In the key scene when Gen. Eisenhower (David Grace), makes the decision to go ahead with the invasion on June 6, more than 5,000 ships moved to assigned positions... The importance of time is emphasized by increasing the ticking of a clock... On the other side of the channel, the German generals, who know the invasion is imminent, see the same nasty weather and decide to take some time off for war games...

French Resistance fighters receive their coded instructions from BBC radio and increase their sabotage activities... Much of the early going is also devoted to some of the Allies' more unorthodox ideas, the kinds of things that make more sense cinematic ally than militarily: the use of metal clickers by paratroopers for identification, and parachuting mechanical dummies loaded with firecrackers behind German lines to create confusion...

The film reaches its peak when the two sides in the battle are finally engaged...

The first assault wave hit the Normandy beaches at 6:30 A.M. on June 6... The soil of France looked sordid and uninviting... Planning has been as complete as possible, but in the vast confusion of invasion under enemy fire, so many men fell uselessly when they left their landing craft, and stepped into water... Others fell into underwater shell craters and drowned...

The Allied air bombing that was to have knocked out German beach defense guns had not been accurate, especially on Omaha Beach where the bombs had been laid down too far inland to do much good... As a result, the gunfire that met American troops there was more murderous than anything they had been prepared for..

Today it is difficult to watch the invasion scenes and not compare them to the opening of Steven Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan,' but that really is unfair... Zanuck manages to display the image of thousands of young soldiers who were killed fighting to liberate France...

A long aerial shot from the point of view of a German pilot Josef 'Pips' Priller (Heinz Reincke) strafing Normandy Beach reveals a shore-line of successive waves of men running for their lives trying to secure Omaha Beach... This awful waste and destruction of war: scores of trucks and boats hit by shells, or sunk by mines with their crew lost... Trucks overturned and swamped, partly sunken barges, and many jeeps half submerged...

Field Marshal Rommel set to work to do everything possible to make the beaches if not impregnable, very uninviting indeed... 'The war will be won or lost on the beaches,' he states... The German command was slow to react to the invasion... They had been misled by the weather and the Allied deception plan that Normandy was a diversion and the main landing would be at Pas-de-Calais...

Shot in CinemaScope and in black-and-white, 'The Longest Day' captures the history of the moment... The film tracks the book very closely, shifting the viewpoints from German to French to American to British throughout... In three hours Zanuck and his staff expand on the scope of one day, to tell mostly everything, with an exceptionally strong cast playing cameo roles... The cast could not be better, in spite of the brevity of their roles:

- Bourvil is the French Mayor of Colleville who welcomes the British soldiers with a bottle of champagne...

- Irina Demick is Janine Boitard, the sexy good-looking Resistance member...

- Henry Fonda is Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the Brigadier General who limps ashore with the first of the assault boats landing on Utah Beach...

- Christian Marquand is Philippe Kieffer, the French Commander in desperate situation in Ouistreham...

- Robert Mitchum is Norman Cota, the Brigadier general who chops on his cold cigar, and walks along the beach and rallies his men... Mitchum gets some great lines and delivers them with the right amount of idealism and cynicism...

- Richard Todd is John Howard, the major who lands by glider at Benouville to capture the canal bridge over the Orne River...

All the characters speak in their own languages... The motion picture is Winner of two Academy Awards for Cinematography and Special Effects, Zanuck's 'The Longest Day' is one without doubt an absolutely remarkable film, one of the most impressive and most authentic documentation of war ever put on film...

Reviewed by d_john2 10 / 10

A splendid film by all counts.........


I'm old enough to have seen this epic when it was first released and, even as a nine year old, I was impressed. It was the great Daryl Zanuck's last hurrah and a fitting one (not his last film - just his last worthwhile film).

This is a great film. It's not perfect but its faults are few and minor. For me the most glaring fault is the amateurish delivery by the actor (a near ringer) portraying Ike. Also, the very beautiful actress portraying the French resistance fighter is wearing a very 1960s hairdo (a common problem with Hollywood films).

I see this film every memorial day. It helps me to remember my father, a Navy gunner's mate in the Pacific theater and my maternal grandfather, an island-hopping Sgt. in the Marine Corps. Personally, as a veteran, I find this movie as realistic as I think it was possible to be in 1961.

Is it the best American war film? No. I would place it in the top 10 alongside the following:

1. All Quiet On the Western Front (1930) 2. Platoon (1986) 3. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) 4. In Which We Serve (British - 1943) 5. Patton (1970) 6. They Were Expendable (1945) 7. Twelve O'Clock High (1949) 8. Paths of Glory (1957) 9. Grand Illusion (1940?) 10.The Longest Day (1962)

Reviewed by Terry Rodgers 5 / 10

The last good WW2 film made by people "who were there"


This is perhaps one of the most ambitious, epic WW2 films to have been made; certainly it is the last of the classic B&W films made about the subject. Featuring an all-star cast (John Wayne, Richard Burton, Kurt Jurgens... even a cameo by Sean Connery!), it comprehensively details the build-up and execution of the Normandy landings in 1944, taking care to show how the event was perceived by Allied and Axis soldiers and commanders, as well as the Free French resistance. This is a film that takes great care in documenting the events of the day, without lapsing into sickly sentimentalism or getting distracted with fictional characters' personal lives (a failing of many WW2 movies since about 1970), or over-emphasising any one nation's importance in the operation (although, admittedly, Canadians may feel a little short-changed).

Classic moments abound, notably the landing at St.Mere-Eglise and the soldier who gets caught in the church steeple, the frustrations of the front-line German commanders and fighters, and the numerous cameos for film nerds to keep track of.

If you want a wartime romance, or an appearance by Matt Damon or Ben Affleck, or long, loving shots of the Stars & Stripes in slo-mo, or a gritty blood'n'guts fest, you'll be disappointed. This film has broader concerns, and was made with much more thoroughness. There is no agenda at work here, pro-war or anti-. It is solely concerned with documenting Operation "Overlord" for the film-going public, and succeeds brilliantly; a shame then, that it has not made the top 50 war films list.

A must-see for any fan of war films.

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