Tuesday, June 6, 2017
A Quick Look: THE LONGEST DAY (1962)
This being June 6th, it would be error not to mention the anniversary of the D-Day invasion, which changed the tide of World War 2 and began the Allies toward Victory over the Nazis. The invasion was one of the most complex and secret operations of the War, and the President's radio address prayer when revealing the operation to the public remains one of the most stirring moments in the history of radio. Needless to say, in the 50's/60's era of huge WW2 epics like THE GREAT ESCAPE and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, the D-Day invasion was perfect for adaptation to the screen. The resulting film, THE LONGEST DAY, told in documentary fashion the events leading up to and during the military action which finally put the Nazis on the run. Darryl Zanuck's massive production enlisted the aid of what may be the biggest cast of international stars ever assembled into one movie. Just a quick pass for sample names brings up John Wayne, Red Buttons, Ray Danton, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Roddy MacDowall, Jeffery Hunter, Eddie Albert, and more than you could possibly name here. The sheer mass of established stars and soon-to-be stars is almost as incredible as the actual historical event which they come together to re-create. History, heroics, and intrigue make for a gripping saga regardless of the cast. THE LONGEST DAY remains one of the great War movies, and D-Day remains one of the key moments in world history.