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Have You Seen The 1962 War Film, THE LONGEST DAY?

+3 votes
Aug 26, 2017 in Education ✍ by Virginia (7,565 points)

At first I was just going to ask Rooster about this movie, but then thought everyone might enjoy it...

It is a depiction of the D-Day landings at Normandy, June 6, 1944, where it appears great care was taken for accuracy. Some of the actors actually participated in WWII; also, BOTH Allied and Axis consultants were brought in for the film, including the widow of the great German General Erwin Rommel.

I learned of this film because Marianne posted the Wikipedia link, in some research she did about the French actor Bourvil - who was one of the actors in THE LONGEST DAY.

And I notice John Wayne acted in this film, also! I keep a list of movies-to-watch, and I am interested to know if the film is indeed as true to life, as historically accurate, as it appears?

3 Answers

Marianne Aug 26, 2017

Oh yes, Virginia, although it was long ago; the movie was a typical war movie - tragic, with sad and cruel losses, which reminded too well of the brutalities and violences it implies, and even if, in the end, the "good sides" did win, the heavy sacrifices reminded much of a Pyrrhic victory. Bourvil and Arletty played secondary roles.

Here's another link for the summary:

Virginia Marianne Aug 26, 2017

Marianne, I skimmed the summary and may read it thoroughly later; thank you it appears very complete! I did see enough to realize that D-Day was very much no means was success assured! 

In fact, I might just go through the summary and not try to take on the movie itself - so much violence...I did notice this passage in your summary. And because Mrs. Rommel was one of the consultants, this probably did happen...

At home with his wife and older son, Rommel is celebrating his wife’s birthday. He gets a telephone call. He is absolutely shocked to learn that the Allies are landing at Normandy. He says to himself: "Normandy! How stupid of me."

Marianne Marianne Aug 26, 2017

Yes, Virginia, it is a bit like a series of recorded, more or less planned, shocking or unexpected events involving various sites, situations, actions and people.

Rooster Aug 26, 2017

It's a good D-Day film as it depicts the Wehrmacht High Command's feeling for their glorious Fuhrer and his toadies stupidity! It's a well known fact that Rommel could have stopped and possibly destroyed the invasion if the Generals were permitted to use their military knowledge against us. But Hitler had his way and the beach heads became secure. All in all, it's a pretty good depiction of the events of that day. The bridge that Frost had to hold(Pegasus Bridge) and the havoc the paratroopers played on the Germans. Also the Rangers climb on Pointe du Hoc really happened as it was in history. For once Hollywood actually stuck to the facts in the movie. Probably the best D-Day film right next to Saving Private Ryan which was fiction but the visuals and sound effects were great.

Virginia Rooster Aug 26, 2017

Rooster, your comments along with the trailer, very helpful. (I think I might even have noticed a very young Richard Burton in this???)

Anyway, I AM putting it on my list...but just for the accuracy of historical value. As I get older, it seems harder and harder to watch the violence...the world has so much of that...

TheOtherTink Rooster Aug 26, 2017

Rooster, it's a good thing D-Day didn't fail.  Otherwise, I think the Soviets would have occupied the whole of Germany, and maybe even have set up a Communist government in France.

Marianne Rooster Aug 26, 2017

Yes, Virginia, Richard Burton was a RAF fighter pilot in this movie.

Check the casts (US, UK, FR and DE):

TheOtherTink Aug 26, 2017

Yes, I've seen it several times, and it's very good; they often show it on Turner Classic Movies.

Virginia TheOtherTink Aug 26, 2017

Thank you, O'Tink!

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink Aug 26, 2017

YW, Virginia! :)

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