The Longest Day
Director: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki and Darryl F. Zanuck
Year Released: 1962
Bloated re-enactment of the D-Day invasion of the Normandy region of France by the Allied Troops certainly has one thing going for it: there sure were a lot of technical advisors and consultants attached to it that were involved in the attack (not to mention writer Cornelius Ryan's source text is regarded by many as being notably accurate). Though the performances and dialogue are pretty lousy - and the endless string of celebrities in minor roles is a massive distraction (Paul Anka?) - Zanuck et al., do deserve credit for at least having the French speak French and the Germans speak German not to mention casting some individuals who fought that awful day (of course, not John Wayne), which adds a slight bit of authenticity to what's ultimately a Patriotic and Sanitized celebration of The Sweetness of Victory. It's certainly not fair to compare the Omaha Beach sequence here to the one in Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan - the bloodshed here is people just falling into the sand and groaning - because the strength of this is as a big-budgeted, pre-History Channel exercise in bravado. Take it for what it's worth.