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Customer Review

on 19 June 2001
How can you possibly tell the story of D-Day in a single film? I don't mean just showing a squad of American soldiers looking for a lost buddy. You have to show the build up(which lasts an hour). Then you have to show all the major battles or as many as you can. The five main beaches and any subsidiary battles:- Pegasus Bridge, Point Du Hoc, Oiustreham, etc. Shame about the British paratrooper attack on the Merville Battery but practically everything else is here.
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 2.35: Anomorphic with subtitles for French and German, a dubbed version also exists - see trailer. Audio is however disappointing with very little happening in the rear speakers. No 5.1 makeover here unfortunately.
Best news is that this is the most complete version I've seen. The usual missing scenes such as French Amiral Janard, Jeffrey Hunter (Dear John) and French pilot scene (blink and you'll miss it) are all here. Still missing is Sean Connery's first scene in discussing Irish neutrality and eating stew. Check out one scene on the trailer as an American officer announces the invasion to the press. Never seen this one before.
Extras,extras - don't get excited - we have a two disc set with a cheesey but informative documentary. That's it.
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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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