On June 6, 1944, the Allied Invasion of France marked the beginning of the end of Nazi domination over Europe. The attack involved 3,000,000 men, 11,000 planes and 4,000 ships, comprising the largest armada the world has ever seen. Presented in its original black & white version, The Longest Day is a vivid, hour-by-hour re-creation of this historic event. Featuring a stellar international cast, and told from the perspectives of both sides, it is a fascinating look at the massive preparations, mistakes and random events that determined the outcome of one of the biggest battles in history.
Ken Annakin (British exterior episodes) Andrew Marton (American exterior episodes) Bernhard Wicki (German episodes) Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited).
Romain Gary (additional episodes written by); James Jones (additional episodes written by); David Pursall (additional episodes written by); Cornelius Ryan (book); Cornelius Ryan (screenplay); Jack Seddon (additional episodes written by).
Eddie Albert (Col. Thompson); Paul Anka (U.S. Army Ranger); Arletty (Madame Barrault); Jean-Louis Barrault (Father Louis Roulland); Richard Beymer (Schultz); Hans Christian Blech (Maj. Werner Pluskat); Bourvil (Mayor of Colleville); Richard Burton (Flight Officer David Campbell); Wolfgang Büttner (Maj. Gen. Dr. Hans Speidel); Red Buttons (Pvt. John Steele); Pauline Carton (Maid); Sean Connery (Pvt. Flanagan). Please contact SFC to add other cast members and characters.
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A classic, charismatic war film
Mark Banks (United Kingdom)
A little put-off by its three-hour running length I delayed watching The Longest Day for quite some time... to my own loss. Despite the claims of more-recent war films such as the commendable though sentimental Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day retains much credibility. Furthermore the film rises above Speilberg's offering with the help of actors that manage to inject a good deal of charisma into their performances, and a script that doesn't cross the line into feelings of sentimentality and regret. Additionally, given how much Saving Private Ryan was talked up for taking realism to a new level with respect to filming war scenes, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of direction that meant this film wasn't a million miles off from Spielberg's standards itself - despite its 40-year time gap. Personal character touches such as the guys joking and betting together on the evening of invasion, the soldier holding fast to his rosary and the soldiers that landed in all number of places they shouldn't have landed, added additional realism as well as empathy for the characters' fate. Above all the film serves as a strong reminder of the sacrifices men my age and younger were called upon to make for the good of their own country and the world.