The Longest Day Reviews
Darryl F. Zanuck's production of "The Longest Day" was the most authentic depiction of the Invasion of Normandy during World War II ever seen in the history of cinema. Brilliant production values and fantastic action sequences and with an international cast of stars,this was absolutely astounding piece of grand entertainment.
Running 178 minutes with limited material, padding with superfluous, excess material is to be expected, yet padding is least of this film's worries when it comes to tightness, even though you know that they would have pump an extra large dose of excess material in this film to even out the many rushed spots. With all of these many subplots and characters in this massive, star-studden cast, few, if any are developed, and almost all of them are rushed past points of exposition at one point or another. Actually, come to think of it, nevermind the few in "few, if any", because if they were to extensively develop one subplot, then they'd pretty much be setting up everyone's, seeing as these stories are all so very similiar, with only enough distinctions for you be thrown off when the stories transition into each other jarringly. Still, what might bother me the most about this film is that it's just so slow, quiet and dry in atmosphere, lacking enough of the oomph and intrigue in the substance to sustain your attention for the mammoth runtime. It's all so very messy, underwhelming and borderline boring, with ambitions going squandered in many regards, and that's enough to make a film like this mediocre, at best. However, this is an ultimately better film than that, and I'm not just saying that because I keep believing in the immortal concept of "Three hours, I better like it". The film leans closer to failed ambition and successful, but the film knows how to pick the right compontents to supplement that ambition to where every slip up finds its fall broken, whether it be through the writing or production.
For the time, this action was something to behold, and to this day, it remains impressive, because it's during those moments where this ensemble of directors really wake up and deliver on tension and thrills by manipulating the dynamic staging of the action, as well as the fine production designs and handsome cinematography to produce classic action composed of both style and substance that manages to hold up today. Of course, although this film is so much D-Day, the story substance remains more prominent, and if you're story is going to be overlong and messily-executed, it still better be a worthy one. Well, sure enough, this script, while plagued, is extremely original in its concept of multiple story angles in the midst of war alone. Still, that's not the only inventive concept within this story, because where most war epics tell us of the tales on the battlefield, and almost always the American side of it, this film explores the sidelines, studying on the verbal tension that determines most every battle and stage during wartime, and does it all while showing us every side of the battlefield, without bias and with intellegence, which isn't to say that you don't get plenty of intimacy with the poor suckers going out there to die for their country. I really wish that the story was used to its full potential, yet it's still very worthy and inventive, and if you see this film for no other reason, see it for its refreshing concepts, if not its using a star-studded cast of classic actors, for the most part, to good use. From John Wayne - who's playing himself again, but still doing is pretty well - to Sean Connery - who showed up... somewhere -, the film is pumped with star after star and they all charm, if not impress a little bit here and there. The cast is broad and colorful, showing you why most every person in it was then or went on the be the classic stars that they are today, and while the massive cast seems to further bloat the film out of proportions, they also serves as key components to its ultimately being generally watchable, through all of its many faults.
At the end of the indeed long day, expected padding plagues the film, though not as much a rushed moments that dilute exposition, as well as the compellingness already tainted by dry storytelling, yet what raises this film well above its potential mediocrity is its sharp production, worthy and highly unconventional storyline, as well as a massive cast of across-the-board charmers or classic stars, ultimately leaving "The Longest Day" a fairly watchable dramatisation of D-Day, both on and off the battlefield and American grounds.
2.5/5 - Fair
An unique masterpiece, focusing on three sides (American, Britain, and Germany) during the invasion of Normandy in WWII. Epic-scale war saga; arty and unforgettable, with an all-star cast, staggering battle scenes and Oscar-winning Special Effects throughout. Look for Sean Connery as a British soldier. Photography also won an Oscar. One of the greatest war pictures of all-time. Catch this one!
What makes The Longest Day significant is how it became a model for the war movies that followed, such as Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, and even 2015's critically-acclaimed Fury, but what makes this film great is its attention to history. The film details events leading up to the capture of a key German-held bridge during WWII, dubbed by the British as "Pegasus Bridge." The assault is led by Richard Todd's Major John Howard, a man who actually had fought at the Battle of Pegasus Bridge. Also, the film shows French Resistance fighters being air dropped into Normandy, three days before the famous American landing on D-Day, a historically correct and significant event that is often forgotten and not widely known, as well as a depiction of the scaling of the sea cliffs at Pointe Du Hoc at Normandy by Joseph Lowe who, 17 years earlier, had scaled the same cliffs as a member of 505th Army Division.
While this film was probably spectacular by the standards of 1962, the grandeur of the spectacle will not disappoint modern audiences. The battle scenes in this movie are fantastic for their time; the film used an actual army division as stand-ins for the Omaha Beach landing, as well as two working and historically accurate battleships: the Springfield and the Little Rock. The amount of explosions in this movie make it impressive even by today's standards, but with a movie budget of 7.4 million ($57,920,293.33 in 2015 dollars), they sure could afford it. This movie was the most expensive black and white movie made until 1993, and I'd say they budgeted very well; there was a lot put into this movie and it shows.
This movie is a must see to any history buff or war movie lover.
Three generals are approaching Normandy on D-Day during World War II. We watch as both the Allie and German's prepare for the invasion. The Allies are coming in from both land, water, and air and the aerial attack should just overshoot the Germans and catch them in an unanticipated crossfire. The aerial team is having a hard time practicing their jumps and has concerns about the ability to be successful on their mission. If the airborne unit isn't successful, the entire mission and war may be lost. Can they make it work or will the German's prevail?
"Only two types of people are going to stay on this beach, those that are already dead and those that are about to die."
There were five directors that collaborated to delivers this almost three hour war epic. The storyline is very compelling as was the characters. The script was well done and the picture was delivered with the right amount of grit. The action scenes were also intense and fairly well done for the time. The acting was first rate and the cast includes John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Red Buttons, Roddy McDowall, and Robert Mitchum.
"Beyond that peaceful horizon a monster awaits."
I came across this picture on Netflix and had to add this classic to my queue. The cast was unbelievable and the intensity and action was well done. I am not a huge war genre fan but this was well written and I enjoyed the characters. This is worth a viewing despite being almost three hours.
"There are a lot of very peculiar blokes on this beach."