The Longest Day Reviews
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."
The Allies parachuted into Sainte-Mère-Église, not as this review has it ...
Is it that hard to get it right?
Not as realistically gory as Saving Private Ryan - such realism would never gave gotten past the 1960s censors - but such micro-detailed realism is not necessary here. The picture is more a strategic one, though you often get to see it from the eyes of average soldiers.
Mostly quite accurate, but there are some mildly-annoying inaccuracies. The portrayal of 27-year old Lt Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort by the 55-year old John Wayne is probably the pick of the bunch. Once the action starts, however, the mild inaccuracies are quickly forgotten, as you immerse yourself in reliving an event of massive historical significance.
In fitting with the epic nature of the movie, just about every actor in it with dialogue is a major star. About the only male superstars of the time missing are Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Orson Welles! Some of them, eg George Segal, Sean Connery, Robert Wagner, have very minor parts and only have a handful of lines, but it shows just how deep the talent pool was in the cast of the movie.
Stirring, incredible, epic war drama.