The ending was too upbeat for me with the whistling longest day tune and song and so I didn't rate this film four star. But I guess the director preferred to dwell on the eventual victory for the allied forces and liberating Europe from the grips of Hitler. Otherwise, it was a brilliant masterpiece given the gravity of the subject and the immense logistics involved in trying to be faithful to Cornelius Ryan's incredible account of June 6, 1944, D Day invasion of Normandy beach.
I knew the film will never do justice to the book and so I read the book first before the viewing. The film was unable to portray well enough the stressful buildup to D Day and the actual massacre and slaughter of initial waves of soldiers trying to secure the Omaha beachhead on Normandy. A latter film 'Saving Private Ryan' by John Williams did a much better job.
Nevertheless, this marvelous film would have been regarded as an incredible piece of work during the 60s.
Many audience must have been star struck by this star studded film with giants like John Wayne, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum. and budding stars Sean Connery, Richard Beymer, Red Button, George Segal and Paul Anka.
The really amazing part of this film is we 4 sets of cast and directors to bring us the British, French, German and American side of the battle.
My favorite parts were
Spectacular sweeping helicopter view of the French raid of the Casino led by the capable Capitaine de Fregate Philippe Kieffer (Christian Marquand).
Breaching of the final obstacles on Omaha beach by capable Sergent (later Lt.) John H. Fuller (Jeffrey Hunter) who died while in action.
The human interests scene between Flying officer David Campbell (Richard Burton) and Private Schultz (Richard Beymer)
Brilliant German cast. Its amazing they participated in this film that depicted them as the enemy. But they were brilliantly German in every sense of the word. Conscientious in job,Impeccably dressed, sharp movements, punctual in delivering coffee to the soldiers every morning.