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
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.... Read more ›
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.
The action scenes are quite stunning - with thousands of extras, but Ryan is the benchmark now. Ouistreham and the luftwaffe attack still look spectacular but some of the "theatrical deaths" are laughable. Colonel Thompson (Mitchem's mate) looks like he is attempting a back flip when given the chop. No exploding heads or blown off limbs here.
Lest we be overly worried about the violence we have various cringe-making scenes such as padre looking for his case, lost doctor and the unfortunate Sean Connery who I don't think annoys as much as he does in this film. Not his fault poor chap and a terrible waste of talent.
Time constraints mean that characterisation is virtually impossible although the actor playing Group Captain Stagg superbly portrays the amount of pressure he must have been under in limited screen time,given it was hisdecision which ultimately influences Eisenhower. Also watch out for a cameo from Gert Frobe(Goldfinger)taking rations to the beach gunners. Other stars come and go on a conveyor belt, although Robert Mitchum gets the lion's share.
Despite showing some of its forty years it still remains a great document on D-Day. The D.V.D. is the original black and white although there is now a stunning colourised version as well. Picture is 2.... Read more ›
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions