The Longest Day (1962)




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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
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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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
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
Richard Beymer
as Schultz
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
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
Irina Demick
as Janine
as Mayor
Jean-Louis Barrault
as Fr. Roulland
Christian Marquand
as Comdr. Philippe Kieffer
Richard Münch
as Col. Marx
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
Hans Christian Blech
as Maj. Pluskat
Wolfgang Preiss
as Gen. Pemsel
Kurt Meisel
as Capt. During
Heinz Reincke
as Col. Priller
Wolfgang Lukschy
as Gen. Alfred Jodl
Ernst Schroeder
as Hans von Salmuth
Eugene Deckers
as Nazi Soldier
Wolfgang Buttner
as Major General Doctor Hans Speidel
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
Michael Hinz
as Manfred Rommel
Frank Finlay
as Pvt. Coke
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
Dietmar Schoenherr
as Luftwaffe major
Daniel Gélin
as Undetermined Role (French Version) (scenes deleted)
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 (13)

Authentic 3-hour WWII D-Day drama; no graphic violence.

Full Review… | July 1, 2014
Common Sense Media

Though the film makes a few egregious historical changes for dramatic effect, The Longest Day pretty much lives and dies by its scale. [Blu-Ray]

Full Review… | June 1, 2008
Groucho Reviews

Produced by Zanuck, this WWII epic is the joint effort of 3 directors, no less than 5 writers, and numerous stars, including John Wayne.

Full Review… | January 24, 2007

Longest film imaginable at three-hours, which proves to be a hinderance.

Full Review… | January 19, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The longest movie; the stunt of too many great actors in small roles wears thin. Saving Private Ryan did it better and in much less time.

March 25, 2005
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

It is, and will most likely always remain, the definitve D-Day picture.

Full Review… | December 7, 2004
Hollywood Bitchslap

Audience Reviews for The Longest Day


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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


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.

Saskia D.
Saskia D.

Super Reviewer

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