Although there are many stars in this war movie, there is no star of the movie. It is also one of the best war movies ever made as it accurately chronicles the Allied invasion of France on D-Day. The German soldiers and officers speak German with English subtitles and are not depicted as bumbling clods that cannot shoot straight. It opens with the depiction of the German officers trying to discern the Allied intentions as they read messages, debate the signals and oversee the work on the beach fortifications. On the Allied side there are the preparations for the invasion, the soldiers trying to alleviate their boredom and deal with the civilian side of their lives and the officers trying to make the decision as to when to cross the channel. The movie stays very close to the definitive book "The Longest Day" by Cornelius Ryan, even down to the two Luftwaffe pilots that flew what should have been a suicidal attack against the Allied troops. Their strafing of the beach was the only appearance of the German Air Force during that entire day. This movie is so realistic that there are times when you think you are witnessing actual combat footage. It is only the presence of a well-known actor that makes you realize that the action is artificially generated.
As a retired army officer and an adjunct history professor I thought it was important to review what I consider the best war movies depicting the challenges of leadership and the command of men. "The Longest Day" is one of the best movies showing how important it is for subordinate leaders to see the mission through when the plan falters from the start. "The Longest Day" tells the story of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in WWII. There … more
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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After seeingSaving Private Ryan, this epic tale about the Normandy invasion will look sanitized. But in its re-creation of events leading to the epochal battle, the film is captivating and grand, and the parade of famous actors who cross the screen naturally give the already charged action even more of a boost. Three directors worked on it: Ken Annakin (Battle of the Bulge), Andrew Marton (Crack in the World), and Bernhard Wicki (this film being his only credit).--Tom Keogh