The Longest Day

Critics Consensus

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87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 42,932

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Movie Info

In 1944, the U.S. Army and Allied forces plan a huge invasion landing in Normandy, France. Despite bad weather, General Eisenhower gives the okay and the Allies land at Normandy. General Norma Cota (Robert Mitchum) travels with his men onto Omaha Beach. With much effort, and lost life, they get off the beach, traveling deep into French territory. The German military, due to arrogance, ignorance and a sleeping Adolf Hitler, delay their response to the Allied landing, with crippling results.

Cast & Crew

John Wayne
Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort
Robert Mitchum
Brig. Gen. Norman Cota
Henry Fonda
Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
Rod Steiger
Destroyer Commander
Robert Ryan
Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin
Richard Burton
Flying Officer David Campbell
Jeffrey Hunter
John H. Fuller
Sal Mineo
Pvt. Martini
Cornelius Ryan
Screenwriter
Maurice Jarre
Original Music
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News & Interviews for The Longest Day

Critic Reviews for The Longest Day

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for The Longest Day

  • Nov 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 shown mostly as incompetent and the American/British forces are selfless and brave. There's also very little blood and carnage; which is indicative 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.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 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.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 01, 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
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 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
    Simeon D Super Reviewer

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