The Longest Day

Discussion in 'Books and Films' started by Adlai, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Adlai

    Adlai New Member

    I watched this movie for the second time a short while back, and found it much more powerful than most war movies. I like how it shows the D-Day landing from all perspectives, varying both nationality and rank. There are enough movies that suck you right into the trenches, bunkers, or submarines; here is one that lifts you high above the fog and lets you see the entire operation.

    Along with all that, it manages to work in the little twist at the end. I won't spoil it for people who still haven't seen the movie, but even when I knew exactly what would happen, I was spellbound.
  2. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    I have seen that movie a few times. It was definitely one of the best WWII films.
    It has been a while though since my last time watching it. Was it the movie with a scene having a tank vs bunker duel near the end? And there was a group of nuns walking through explosions without fear (like if they were protected by god) to the combat zone to help the injured allies soldiers?
  3. zuukko

    zuukko New Member

    Sounds like a movie to see, the nun thing sounds really silly/awesome.
  4. Adlai

    Adlai New Member

    Yep, that's the one. The scene that I found best is right at the end though, the chance encounter between the two soldiers. The final line expresses so perfectly the vast scale of such an operation, and how disconnected a lost soldier can be from what is happening around him:

    "I wonder who won."
  5. Taz

    Taz New Member

    Sounds familiar and a good movie. I'll research it to see just what its about.
  6. seotut

    seotut Guest

    I think I've seen it a long time ago, and yes it was an excellent history movie.
  7. zintar

    zintar New Member

    I still remember seeing this movie on WABC-TV on a Sunday night back in the Seventies. It made quite an impression on me. Like Adlai wrote, I was wrapped up in all the different perspectives the movie presented, even from the enemy's viewpoint. Perhaps not as graphic as "Saving Private Ryan", I think it's the better film (though I'm being unfair as only saw about half of Private Ryan on TV). The BW photography enhanced the film, not sure if it would have been as powerful if it was in color.

    To his credit, I heard that Daryl Zanuck did want to battle scenes, especially on Normandy Beach, to be more graphic, but was forced to tone down the violence considerably. Also, he intended it to be an anti-war film, after having seen first hand the horrors of war as a correspondent. In fact, the original last scene was much different, with a lone soldier sobbing on the beach after they broke through at Normandy, or something like that. He was dismayed that the movie instead turned into a pro-war rally cry.

    Two things that do bother me about the movie was when John Wayne, playing his usual John Wayne persona as Lt Colonel Vandervoort, enters the French town and yells at another officer to take down the bodies of the dead paratroopers hanging from buildings by the chutes, with enemy fire still taking place! I thought that was pretty insane, risking lives like that (why not wait until the shooting stopped). Also, I found Robert Mitchum as General Cota parading along the Normandy Beach trying to inspire his men to not give up a little far-fetched, what with him being such an easy target. Though if the real Cota did in fact do that, I will take my hat off to him!
  8. ShamarV8

    ShamarV8 New Member

    I like the longest day because the film shows events on both sides of the English Channel both before and during D-Day. On the side of the Allies there is the bad weather, troops tired from being on constant alert for several days, and the sheer size and importance of what is about to happen. Meanwhile the Germans are confident the Allies will attack at Calais and certainly wait for better weather, which explains why the key commanders are away from the front. One of the strengths of this film is that it also tells the story from the German's side. Not only do we get necessary exposition and explication concerning German troop movements before and during June 6, 1944, but there is also the human element of Maj. Werner Pluskat (Hans Christian Blech), the guy sitting on the Atlantic Wall who looks out one morning and suddenly sees the Allied invasion fleet when the fog lifts and we hear the "da da da daaah" of Beethoven's 5th (it is also Morse Code for "V," used to denote "Victory" by the Allies). It is Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (Werner Hinz) himself who calls the coming battle "the longest day." There are also the efforts of the French Resistance ("Wounds my heart with a monotonous languor") and French troops in helping to free their own country as well as the British efforts, so this is not just the Americans versus the Germans.

    There are several sequences that stand out, most notably the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne landing directly into Ste. Mère-Eglise and being butchered by German troops. The shots of a a terrified and helpless Red Buttons stuck on a church steeple are probably the most memorable in the film, as is the reaction of John Wayne's colonel when he sees the carnage and orders the bodies be cut down. The assault on the cliffs at Omaha also stands out, with Mitchem sending a series of men off to their deaths trying to blow a hole open to get the troops off the beach. Again, there is not the bloody carnage of Spielerg's "Saving Private Ryan," but the scene still retains an emotional power even by contemporary war movie standards.
  9. untitled

    untitled New Member

    Wow, how have I never heard of this movie. You all seem to love it, gonna have to watch it.

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