Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Longest Day

1962, bw (8.0*)
Memorial Day WAR-a-thon film #13
Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited)
Annakin did the British exteriors, Marton the American exteriors, Wicki the German episodes.

A journalistic, little embellished story of D-Day, beginning with the build up, and the delays caused by weather, the men anxiously rocking with the waves below decks, worried about how much German force will be waiting for them at Normandy. We proceed from waiting troops, to the overnight paratrooper drop that actually began the assault.

This all-star cast is more of a Hollywood who's who than a tight narrative ensemble, but by shooting in black and white the producers tried to give this filmed story of D-Day a documentary look and feel, so in that regard having stars in every part negates the effect, but it's still a rewarding war film overall. From Cornelius Ryan's best-seller, and it has that feel as well.

The cast has some of the biggest names available at the time: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum, Peter Lawford, Robert Ryan, Sal Mineo, Eddie Albert, Mel Ferrer, with Curt Jurgens and Gert Frobe in the German scenes. Most have little to do however, other than ask questions about maps, or bark out orders. The film is made by the special effects, as it truly does look like "every ship in the world" off the coast of Normany when the invasion begins, as one German observer radios to Berlin.

won 7 awards, 2 Oscars (cinematography, special effects) out of 13 nominations

1 comments:

Anonymous,  November 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM  

Ibelieve this is a great movie. Only those military personnel who actually made the landing in German occupied France can tell us how realistic it is.

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.



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