The Longest Day

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87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 42,903
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Movie Info

The Longest Day is a mammoth, all-star re-creation of the D-Day invasion, personally orchestrated by Darryl F. Zanuck. Whenever possible, the original locations were utilized, and an all-star international cast impersonates the people involved, from high-ranking officials to ordinary GIs. Each actor speaks in his or her native language with subtitles translating for the benefit of the audience (alternate "takes" were made of each scene with the foreign actors speaking English, but these were seen only during the first network telecast of the film in 1972). The stars are listed alphabetically, with the exception of John Wayne, who as Lt. Colonel Vandervoort gets separate billing. Others in the huge cast include Eddie Albert, Jean-Louis Barrault, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Gert Frobe, Curt Jurgens, Peter Lawford, Robert Mitchum, Kenneth More, Edmond O'Brien, Robert Ryan, Jean Servais, Rod Steiger and Robert Wagner. Paul Anka, who wrote the film's title song, shows up as an Army private. Scenes include the Allies parachuting into Ste. Mere Englise, where the paratroopers were mowed down by German bullets; a real-life sequence wherein the German and Allied troops unwittingly march side by side in the dark of night; and a spectacular three-minute overhead shot of the troops fighting and dying in the streets of Quistreham. The last major black-and-white road-show attraction, The Longest Day made millions, enough to recoup some of the cost of 20th Century Fox's concurrently produced Cleopatra. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Robert Mitchum
as Brig. Gen. Cota
John Wayne
as Lt. Col. Vandervoort
Henry Fonda
as Brig. Gen. Roosevelt
Richard Burton
as Flight Officer Campbell
Eddie Albert
as Col. Thompson
Paul Anka
as U.S. Army Ranger
Red Buttons
as Private John Steele
Sean Connery
as Private Flanagan
Ray Danton
as Captain Frank
Mel Ferrer
as Maj. Gen. Robert Haines
Steve Forrest
as Captain Harding
Jeffrey Hunter
as Sgt. John H. Fuller
Roddy McDowall
as Private Morris
Kenneth More
as Captain Colin Maud
Robert Ryan
as Brig. Gen. James Gavin
Fabian
as U.S. Ranger
Rod Steiger
as Destroyer Commander
Richard Todd
as Maj. John Howard
Robert Wagner
as U.S. Army Ranger
Stuart Whitman
as Lt. Sheen
Tommy Sands
as U.S. Ranger
Henry W. Grace
as Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Sal Mineo
as Pvt. Martini
Edmond O'Brien
as Gen. Raymond O. Barton
Tom Tryon
as Lt. Wilson
Alexander Knox
as Maj. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith
Henry W. Grace
as Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Nick Stuart
as Lieutenant General Omar Bradley
Mark Damon
as Pvt. Harris
Dewey Martin
as Pvt. Wilder
John Crawford
as Col. Caffey
Ron Randell
as Joe Williams
Nicholas Stuart
as Gen. Omar Bradley
John Meillon
as Rear Adm. Alan G. Kirk
Fred Durr
as Major of the Rangers
Peter Lawford
as Lord Lovat
Leo Genn
as Gen. Parker
Jack Hedley
as Briefing Man
Michael Medwin
as Pvt. Watney
Norman Rossington
as Pvt. Clough
John Robinson
as Adm. Sir Bertram Ramsay
Patrick Barr
as Group Capt. Stagg
Donald Houston
as RAF Pilot
Trevor Reid
as Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery
Leslie Phillips
as RAF Officer
Richard Wattis
as British soldier
Bourvil
as Mayor
Jean-Louis Barrault
as Fr. Roulland
Richard Münch
as Col. Marx
Christian Marquand
as Comdr. Philippe Kieffer
Arletty
as Mme. Barrault
Madeleine Renaud
as Mother Superior
Georges Rivière
as Sgt. Montlaur
Jean Servais
as Adm. Jaujard
Curd Jürgens
as Gen. Blumentritt
Werner Hinz
as Marshal Erwin Rommel
Paul Hartmann
as Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt
Peter van Eyck
as Lt. Col. Ocker
Gert Fröbe
as Sgt. Kaffeeklatsch
Wolfgang Preiss
as Gen. Pemsel
Kurt Meisel
as Capt. During
Heinz Reincke
as Col. Priller
Ernst Schroeder
as Hans von Salmuth
Wolfgang Lukschy
as Gen. Alfred Jodl
Wolfgang Buttner
as Major General Doctor Hans Speidel
Eugene Deckers
as Nazi Soldier
Peter Helm
as Young GI
Simon Lack
as Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory
Louis Mounier
as Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur William Tedder
Heinz Spitzner
as Lt. Col. Hellmuth Meyer
Robert Freytag
as Meyer's Aide
Ruth Hausmeister
as Frau Rommel
Frank Finlay
as Pvt. Coke
Michael Hinz
as Manfred Rommel
Lyndon Brook
as Lt. Walsh
Paul Edwin Roth
as Col. Schiller
Karl John
as Luftwaffe general
Dietmar Schönherr
as Luftwaffe Major
Rainer Penkert
as Lt. Fritz Theen
Kurt Pecher
as German Commander
George Segal
as 1st commando up cliff
Til Kiwe
as Capt. Hellmuth Lang
Alice Tissot
as Housekeeper
Jo D'Avra
as Naval Captain
Daniel Gélin
as Undetermined Role (French Version) (scenes deleted)
Dietmar Schoenherr
as Luftwaffe major
Françoise Rosay
as Undetermined Role (French Version) (scenes deleted)
Bill Nagy
as Major in Ste. Mère-Eglise (uncredited)
Harry Fowler
as British Paratrooper (uncredited)
Neil McCallum
as Canadian Doctor (uncredited)
Robert Freitag
as Meyer's Aide
Allen Swift
as Voice of Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Critic Reviews for The Longest Day

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3) | 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 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.
    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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