Longest Day Essay

The Longest Day may very well be one of the most expansive film projects in history. With four directors, five writers, and forty-two billed international stars, this is an unforgettable movie, and one that used its many stars to their full advantage.

The 1960’s were loaded with epics where directors took every big name star on the market and thrust them into a role. It may seem like that’s what was done here, but in fact, the casting was excellent, and no one looked out of place, especially the lead actors John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and Henry Fonda.

There is also an amazing supporting cast, with actors from America, Britain, France, and Germany, which represented the four countries involved in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. It takes a whole paragraph just listing their names: Eddie Albert, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Sean Connery, Jeffrey Hunter, Peter Lawford, Roddy McDowell, Sal Mineo, Kenneth More, Robert Ryan, George Segal, Rod Steiger, Robert Wagner, and Stuart Whitman. Singers Paul Anka and Fabian also made appearances as American soldiers. The cast of Germans and French include Hans Christian Blech, Richard Munch, Bourvil, Werner Heinz, and Wolfgang Preiss.

Ken Annakin shot the British scenes, Andrew Marton shot the American scenes, and Bernhard Wicki shot the German ones. Darryl F. Zanuck produced the film and is often credited as a fourth director.

What was really special about this film was the fact that the characters from their respective countries spoke their native language, and subtitles were used on-screen. This was very rarely done by Hollywood back then, and films involving foreign characters were still shot in English, with the vernacular to be assumed by the audience.

The special effects are also top notch, and the battles scenes and cinematography were worth the Oscars they won. There are may distance shots of the battles scenes, with so much going on and this added to the realism of the movie.

Even with so many stars, this film really does not belong to anyone in particular. Wayne and Mitchum’s scenes were brief and spread out evenly throughout the course of the movie. Meanwhile, Henry Fonda recieved less time on screen than any of the top-billed stars.

It’s truly amazing to finish this movie and see the end credits role and see so many names whose faces you did not recognize. There are so many small scenes and cameos all around, that it could almost be made into a game with whoever you are watching this film with, to try and name who is on screen.

This film would work really well as a compliment to Saving Private Ryan, which is considered the definitive D-Day movie, despite it being only one scene at the beginning. Watching The Longest Day before watching that will help you to understand what went behind the largest invasion in modern warfare history. That’s why this movie is so great, because it is not just one big battle, but lots of dialogue explaining every mission involved, no matter how menial.

I will make my final rating a 9 out of 10, because I am still impressed at the special effects and star power every time I sit down to watch it.

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The Longest Day Essay

"The Longest Day" was a mammoth project dramatizing D-day, the Allied invasion of France. It was nearly three hours in length and with an enormous ensemble cast, all playing supporting roles. The production was very conscientious about realism, the actors were always of the same nationality as their characters, and spoke in their native languages, leading to a lot of subtitles translating French and German dialogue. Although the movie was historically correct, it was also meant to be a blockbuster by starring John Wane, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Henry Fonda. But The American role in the invasion is not exaggerated, and the German soldiers and officers are not portrayed as brutal stereotypes.

The date for invasion was decided in Washington in May 1943, but due to some difficulties it had been postponed till June 5. June 5th was the unalterable date for the invasion to take place. The troops and the officers had been stationed in barracks for month and they were getting quite anxious to get the invasion over with. On June 5th due to bed weather the invasion had been postponed again, some ships were already on the way and had-to be recalled. The film shows the meeting that General Eisenhower (Supreme commander of the Allied forces who was in charge of the operation Overlord) held to decide to whether of not go on

with the invasion. They came up with a decision to delay the invasion for twenty- four hours. The solders and the officers got quite excited when they heard that the invasion was delayed for only 24-hours, they were worried, if the invasion would
be delayed any longer they would have to wait for two more month for the tide to be back.

The allies took a lot of thought in fooling the German intelligence. Allies had air supremacy so German recon planes were very unsuccessful. The allies used that to their advantage, they had set up fake landing crafts and purposely allowed German planes in those arias. Germans had also underestimated the Allies. They didn’t believe that allies would ever gather up a navy big enough to attack the French coast but on June 6th a fleet of more then 5’000 ships took off for the French beaches.     

Prior to the landing of the Allied troops there were several pr invasion bombings, which had very little effect on German fortifications. The movie did a very good job in portraying the feeling you would have landing on the beach and

dodging the bullets and running through artillery fire and land mines, it was focused on three or four people and the atmosphere wasn’t as depressing as it

probably would be in real life. Given consideration that the film was made in early sixties these things are easily forgiven. The movie did a very good job in focusing on Omaha beach where the allies had encountered most resistance. It was the most restricted and heavily defended of all beaches. The Allies had assigned one veteran division to this beach. Germans were fighting...

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