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  • The Longest Day (Classic Collection Box Set) [DVD] [1962]
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The Longest Day (Classic Collection Box Set) [DVD] [1962]

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Product details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum
  • Directors: Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Darryl F. Zanuck, Gerd Oswald, Ken Annakin
  • Writers: Cornelius Ryan, David Pursall, Jack Seddon
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Cda
  • DVD Release Date: 31 May 2004
  • Run Time: 171 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00027NVFC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,330 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

This classic collection box set includes:

Collectible Senitype: Limited edition numbered image from the motion picture and its corresponding 35mm film frame
Commemorative Booklet: 12 pages featuring images from the motion picture
Photo Stills: Six limited edition black and white publicity photo cards
Lobby Cards: Eight reproduction lobby card prints


The Longest Day, producer Darryl F Zanuck's epic account of June 6, 1944, is Hollywood's definitive D-Day movie. More modern accounts such as Saving Private Ryan and the mini-series Band of Brothers are more vividly realistic, but Zanuck's production is the only one to attempt the daunting task of covering that fateful day from all perspectives. From the German high command and front line officers to the French Resistance and all the key Allied participants, the screenplay by Cornelius Ryan, based on his own authoritative book, is as factually accurate a depiction of events as possible. Zanuck picked three different directors to handle the German, French and Allied sequences respectively and the result should have been a grittily realistic semi-documentary work of unparalleled authenticity. That it is not is due to the unfortunate decision to populate the movie with an apparently endless parade of stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Kenneth Moore to name a few all pop up from time to time; while Roddy McDowall and Richard Burton, on leave from the set of Cleopatra, also get cameos. The end result is an uneasy mix of verisimilitude and Hollywood star-power. Add to that the need for every character to provide almost endless explanatory exposition and the film falls a little flat for too much of its running time. The set-piece battles are still spectacular, however, and if the landings on Omaha beach lack the graphic gore of Private Ryan they nonetheless show the sheer scale and audacity of the invasion. Despite its top-heavy cast, The Longest Day is still the best D-Day movie ever made.

On the DVD: The black and white print is in excellent condition, as is the remixed Dolby 5.0. Made in 1969, the 50-minute supplementary documentary "D-Day Revisited" has producer Zanuck revisiting key locations in Normandy, chatting to the locals in rather stiff French and providing a personal narrative of the events of June 6, 1944 intercut with scenes from his film. The sight of the elderly Zanuck standing on Omaha Beach or beside the headstone of an unknown soldier is easily as poignant as the bookend scenes of Saving Private Ryan, but without the Spielbergian sentiment. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 6 Jun. 2004
Format: DVD
The first time I saw "The Longest Day" in a movie theater they got a couple of the reels mixed up. The only way I knew this was that every time a major figure shows up in the film we are told their name, rank and unit. This mistake did not hurt the film all that much because this sprawling story of the D-Day invasion sixty years ago today was so huge and complex that it had four directors: Ken Annakin (British scenes), Andrew Marton (American scenes) Bernhard Wicki (German scenes), and the uncredited Darryl F. Zanuck. Granted, the realism of the opening scenes of "Saving Private Ryan" make the storming of Omaha Beach in this 1962 film look like a walk on the beach in comparison, but "The Longest Day" remains along with "Battleground" one of the most realistic portrayals of what it was like for the infantry in World War II from what we will know have to call the old school Hollywood and which ended with "A Bridge Too Far" in 1977.
Based on Cornelius Ryan's celebrated book of the same title, "The Longest Day" is almost three hours long and has one of the largest all star casts every assembled (42 international stars according to the poster), albeit with big names like John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchem, Richard Burton, and Rod Steiger playing supporting roles because, to tell the truth, there is nothing else to play in this film. If you are telling the story of D-Day, no single figure is going to emerge as the star, which is the point (Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, played by an uncredited Henry Grace, has one scene). Sean Connery was about to become famous as James Bond in "Dr.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Mikey263 on 12 Mar. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is without doubt, one of the most accurate and exciting depictions of the Normandy landings ever made. For once it's nice to see that it wasn't just the Americans that won the war !! This film follows the fortunes of several different units landing at Normandy, and then heading in-land in order to overrun enemy positions. It shows the carnage on the beaches, the mass parachute landings, and even shows other important units progress too, such as the French Resistance and the Germans responses to it all. A brilliant film with more famous faces than you'd even see at the Oscars !! The biggest names being John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and Henry Fonda.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 28 Nov. 2008
Format: DVD
In one of this special edition's most intriguing extras, the 1968 TV special D-Day Revisited, the erstwhile head of 20th Century Fox and producer of The Longest Day Darryl F. Zanuck takes a colour camera crew (most of whom worked on the film itself) to the real-life locations of the D-Day landings. Whether explaining D-Day to an ignorant young French bit part actress pretending to be a waitress at the cafe by Pegasus Bridge while waiting for cameraman Henri Decae to set up a shot ("What is D-Day?"), offering his interesting interpretation of how the French language should be spoken or briefly taking off the dark glasses he wears even in his office to discuss strategy, his eyes darting from left to right without ever looking at the camera even when addressing it directly, oozing sincerity from every pore, Zanuck is a screen natural.

That said, for all the egocentric camp value on display, there is also a good visual imagination at work to remind you of just why he was one of the legendary studio heads, with excellent use of a camera helicopter and an extraordinary final shot of the Allied cemeteries that is remarkably powerful and genuinely touching. For all the hokey presentation and grandstanding, there is no doubting his sincerity. When he made The Longest Day he set out to make money, but he also set out to make a tribute, and that comes across powerfully in the film itself.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dr Mo on 5 Jun. 2001
Format: DVD
The Longest Day retells the action that erupted on the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day landing. Based on the novel by Cornelius Ryan, this is a veritable who's who of Hollywood, with producer Darryl F Zanuck taking every 'man's man' actor of the time and placing them in all the right heroic roles.
Considering it's almost 40 years old, this is just about the perfect war movie. Strenuously faithful to the actual events of the landing, the movie places no simplistic tags of good and evil on either the Allied or the enemy forces (and thankfully it's a movie in which Germans actually speak in German, and are played by German actors); instead, it merely chronicles two sides struggling for their own ultimate goals, and does so superbly. Just as there is no side to root for, there's no one central character, but a cast of dozens, each with their own story to tell, and told in breathtaking, captivating style.
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