The Longest Day - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Longest Day Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2007
Star-studded, near propaganda piece that gives an idea of just how immense the gargantuan enterprise of the Normandy invasion turned out to be. While Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan is certainly more visceral, the scope here is larger and more inclusive of all the nations involved.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2007
This 1962, nearly three-hour, black-and-white battle epic holds up magnificent. Yes, the chest-beating and sentimental dialogue can seem clumsy and the endless star cameos - from Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, Robert Wagner, Rod Steiger, Sal Mineo, Curt Jurgens and more - make this a symbolic show rather than a character-driven drama. Still, the lavish recreation of the Allied forces' 1944 landing in Normandy is still eye-popping. The film is based on Cornelius Ryan's book of the same name.
Super Reviewer
½ October 27, 2010
Since watching Band of Brothers, I'm a little more into war movies because I understand the psychology a little better. Still not my favorite genre, but this was interesting enough.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2009
Old fashioned Hollywood style war film with lots of shooting and dramatic (bloodless) deaths. There's nothing quite like watching Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum and Sean Connery storm the beaches at Normandy!
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2008
Both timely and timeless at the height of its release in 1962. It was the sort of achievement that was to be marveled.
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.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2008
Good film, best analyzing D-day before Saving Private Ryan.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2007
A great movie on the "Cecil B. DeMille scale -- Not always the best acting -- and we know the ending --
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2007
Classic Hollywood war stalwart peppered with big names and an interestingly factual take on the D-Day landings. Perhaps a little overly ambitious as it's sprawling 3 hour length can seem like an eternity in places, but a solid war film nonetheless.
Super Reviewer
½ November 19, 2014
A sweeping World War II epic, The Longest Day tells the story behind the Normandy invasion; one of the most daring and complex military operations ever conceived. Shot in a docudrama style, the film emphasizes several dozen Allied and Axis leaders and follows their actions during the course of the invasion. Featuring John Wayne, Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, Red Buttons, Henry Fonda, and Roddy McDowall (just to name a few), the ensemble cast that's been assembled is incredible. However, there's a bit of jingoism going on, as the Nazi's are show mostly as incompetent and the American/British forces are selfless and brave. There's also very little blood and carnage; which is a fault of the time in which the film was made. Still, the coverage of the various battle fronts on the land and sea is comprehensive, and gives a sense of scope to how massive the operation was. Though it overemphasizes the historical information over the storytelling at times, The Longest Day is an extraordinarily powerful film about a seminal event in world history.
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2013
Until Saving Private Ryan came out, this was the definitive treatment of D-Day and in my opinion, it eclipses Ryan in bringing us multiple interesting plot lines rather than a mission to save one solider. It is an epic that is worth experiencing with a fantastic lineup.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ April 1, 2012
A day with this film on has got to be the longest day. Don't get me wrong, I love a good war movie, and almost all of these films' long lengths work, but seriously people, I don't know how many times we have to watch people walk around and blow each other up here and there for three hours. One can only imagine how long the war film that actually covers the highlight of an entire war would be. If it's just highlights, then it would probably be shorter, because these war films that we do actually have run about the span of an entire war. Hey, if that's the case, then hand me my rifle and send me back to the trenches, because I'm hooked on the thrills of war... movies. I don't know why I would need a rifle; maybe it would just be for my suicide plan, just in case the war movie they show is "The Thin Red Line", because although I liked the film, well, seriously Terrence, that's too much of a snoozefest... I said having made plans to watch the film a third time somewhere down the "line" (Sorry, but pun definately intended). Still, even though that film was a mess, it's still certainly better than this film, which isn't to say that this film is bad, though it is to say that it is more of a mess.

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
Over the Rising Sun
Super Reviewer
½ April 2, 2011
Take that one battle scene in the 1929 version of All Quiet on the Western Front and make it 3 hours long. The only word to describe The Longest Day: epic. It does what Saving Private Ryan tries to do, and succeeds in making it's message without blunting the emotional impact with sappy cliches and without over-gorifying the action. 95/100
Super Reviewer
September 13, 2010
Done wrong this epic treatment of the D-Day landings could have looked like a crass who's who of Hollywood royalty but instead it is an earnest and powerful telling of the events of 6th June 1944. Its split personality British and American direction, whether intentional or not, acts as a metaphor for the transatlantic character of the Allies on that day. An especially nice touch is Richard Todd playing a role in an action he actually took part in. Made only 18 years after D-Day no amount of modern effects and know how could ever improve on the completeness of this work of history.
Super Reviewer
½ April 21, 2007
I can watch this over and over again. Henry Fonda is magnificent.
March 26, 2016
The Longest Day (1962) ????
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!
March 10, 2016
Amazing movie. Great acting, great action, great story, and just a fantastic movie. It was well-directed and well-made. It definitely remains as good as it was back in the day.
November 20, 2014
I like saving private ryan a lot better and it goes over dday as well. This movie shows not just the american side, but other countries involved as well-it's main strength.however, it was slow and at parts confusing with military jargon and not much dialogue, it wasn't very emotionally touching. I liked the little bit of humor tho and characters. Back in the day Im sure it was groundbreaking with the huge sets/casts and accuracy to history- and even i was impressed by some of the cameos, but by today's standards it was a bit lackluster. Some neat facts-we used dummies, had to improvise dynamite, attacked in horrible weather, attacked from part longest away from england. Scary to think Nazis occupied and controlled half of Europe for 4 years before the invasion! Also no one wanted to wake up hitler to tell him what was going on.
December 10, 2015
The Longest Day (1962), directed by Darryl Zanuck is the forerunner of the big-budget war movie, with one of the largest, most star-studded casts ever assembled, including John Wayne, Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Paul Anka, and Eddie Albert, to name just a few of the forty cast members.

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.
June 15, 2015
When you land in Normandy, you will only have one friend...God.

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."

Grade: B
August 25, 2009
John Wayne comes off as a cartoon compared to the other actors around him. I didn't grow up with his bravado, and it's totally lost on me. That said, while the individual scenes are really great, they're just kind of randomly stuck throughout the film. It's like they shot 10 separate short films and just mixed them all together. The result is dissatisfying.
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