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(YouTube) Video Saturday Cinema, The Longest Day, 1962 - You know those five thousand ships you say the Allies haven't got? Well, they've got them   (youtube.com ) divider line
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1953 clicks; posted to Video » on 14 Jun 2014 at 12:53 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-14 10:24:52 AM  
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The Longest Day is a 1862 film about the Normandy Invasion starring pretty much everyone. It's based on a book by historian Cornelius Ryan.

The film is notable for its comparatively even-handed treatment of the Allied and Axis efforts. An Englishman directed the British segments, American parts were handled by an American director and a German shot of the scenes with the Whermact officers.

This film seemed to be on thrice a year for the midnight movie when I was a kid. Looking back, it's nice that they had faith in US audiences to put up with the first ten and a half minutes taking place in French and German. Of course, being an American funded film, the film by and large showcases the US side of the effort and ignores the larger commonwealth soldiers and ships in the landings? (Hey, at least the Canadians get a mention. Ah well, maybe one day some big shot producer will pay for a film about Juno Beach.) Eisenhower apparently walked out of the film during the first third because of the film'sinaccuracies. A recent BBC History Magazine podcast may of interest to some of you as it covers this subject.

The film's notable for French and German actors speaking in their own tongues for the entire film. These scenes were also shot in English but the decision was made to stick with the subtitled scenes. This is similar attempt at even-handedness was replicated less successfully eight years later in Tora! Tora! Tora!

Bill Millen's pipes that sung the troops ashore on D-Day on Sword Beach and were present for the first structure to be liberated, can be seen at Edinburgh Castle. The liberation of Pegasus Bridge is still one of my favourite action scenes.

An estimated 23,000 troops were supplied by the U.S., Britain and France for the filming. (Germans only appeared as officers in speaking roles to explain how the OKW and theatre commanders didn't respond well to the invasion.) The French contributed 1,000 commandos despite their involvement in the Algerian War at the time.

During shooting in Ste. Mère-Eglise, traffic was stopped, stores were closed and the power was shut down in order not to endanger the paratroopers who were unused to night drops in populated areas. Still, the lights and staged fire proved too difficult to work around, and only one or two jumpers managed to land in the square - with several suffering minor injuries. One of the initial jumpers broke both legs. Ultimately, authentic jumps were abandoned, opting instead for rigged jumps from high cranes.

With a $10-million budget, this was the most expensive black and white film made until 1993's Schindler's List. This was a huge gamble at the time because the studio was also paying $40 million for Cleopatra. The expensive historical drama didn't make its money back and so the Longest Day's proving to be an international hit kept 20th Century Fox from going under. Producer Darryl Zanuck must have been pleased because he blew past the film's fixed budget and made up the shortfall out of his own pocket.

As an aside, the French Resistance woman with the big knockers at the start of the was the producer's girlfriend at the time.

The scene of the French commando assault in Ouistreham linked to above was filmed in the nearby town of Port-en-Bessin. In researching his contribution to the script, one of the writers discovered a mistake in Cornelius Ryan's narrative: the casino at Ouistreham had not existed on June 6, 1944. Since the set had already been built, however, it was decided to film the French commando attack anyway.

It may have been post-war griping, but the rumor floated around that occasional Fark meme Maj. Werner Pluskat was not at his command bunker in Omaha Beach when the first wave of the invasion forces landed, but in a bordello. Such a conveniently salacious story seems to reek of urban myth. He survived the war, by the way.

John Wayne typically managed to irritate and even today his scenes are the ones I fast forward over. Once the production gathered momentum and looked like it was going to be a major event, the mega-star demanded a role, top billing salary that was ten times the $25,000 his colleagues agreed to for what was largely cameo work. The obese 55-year-old was slotted in to a paratrooper role that had been assigned to a much younger and skinnier Charleton Heston. Casting over-aged actors was par for the course in this film. Richard Burton, slumming here as a Spitfire pilot during the interminable filming of Cleopatra, was in the reserves during the Battle of Britain and observed that all of the pilots were dead by age 30. But at least he could act. (Look at Wayne drop a coffee cup backwards in hammy excitement at 36 minutes in, using an utterly unnatural movement.)

popculture.mearsonlineauctions.com

Here is the link to last week's Saturday Cinema.
Next week's Saturday Cinema doesn't believe it's ever seen a cross like that on a church before, reverend. Exactly what denomination is that?
 
2014-06-14 10:39:21 AM  
I loved the German in this movie. Gives a good taste of their war room as people, not a faceless evil.
 
2014-06-14 01:05:21 PM  
Where I learned to love Red Buttons.
 
2014-06-14 01:15:26 PM  

gaslight: Of course, being an American funded film, the film by and large showcases the US side of the effort and ignores the larger commonwealth soldiers and ships in the landings? (Hey, at least the Canadians get a mention. Ah well, maybe one day some big shot producer will pay for a film about Juno Beach.)


Storming Juno (2011).  I also highly recommend the companion interactive website, stormingjuno.com.  It's more of a docudrama- imagine The Longest Day interspersed with clips from interviews from the guys that were there.  It's quite good.

As a bonus, here's some footage shot during the actual landing at Juno, near Bernieres sur Mer.
 
2014-06-14 01:34:22 PM  

tonguedepressor: Where I learned to love Red Buttons.


This was it for me...

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-06-14 01:43:13 PM  

tonguedepressor: Where I learned to love Red Buttons.


Yeah, he was interesting casting. I think that what the director wanted was a man who was instantly likeable for the parachute drop so that he was sympathetic. It made a change from the Playhouse 90 acting style used for a lot of the other minor roles. Maybe Kitchen Sink acting is a better term. Buttons was also similarly cast in The Poseidon Adventure.

img.fark.net
 
2014-06-14 01:50:20 PM  
Pretty cool that a WWII movie was made in the 1800s. Zanuck was a true visionary.
 
2014-06-14 01:51:15 PM  
Do'h!

I really shouldn't post before coffee!
 
2014-06-14 01:55:05 PM  
i remember going with my father to see this movie on the big screen. My Dad was whispering to me thru the whole movie about what he remembered of the day. His LCT was sunk at Omaha Beach and that was where he earned his Purple Heart..
 
2014-06-14 01:58:09 PM  

gremlin1: i remember going with my father to see this movie on the big screen. My Dad was whispering to me thru the whole movie about what he remembered of the day. His LCT was sunk at Omaha Beach and that was where he earned his Purple Heart..


That's a pretty good story. A little odd to me because my father has always refused to watch any Vietnam movie. Well, except Tropic Thunder.
 
2014-06-14 02:17:00 PM  

crotchgrabber: gremlin1: i remember going with my father to see this movie on the big screen. My Dad was whispering to me thru the whole movie about what he remembered of the day. His LCT was sunk at Omaha Beach and that was where he earned his Purple Heart..

That's a pretty good story. A little odd to me because my father has always refused to watch any Vietnam movie. Well, except Tropic Thunder.


crotchgrabber: gremlin1: i remember going with my father to see this movie on the big screen. My Dad was whispering to me thru the whole movie about what he remembered of the day. His LCT was sunk at Omaha Beach and that was where he earned his Purple Heart..

That's a pretty good story. A little odd to me because my father has always refused to watch any Vietnam movie. Well, except Tropic Thunder.


I learned a lot about WWII by going to the movies with my Dad. If you want reality about D Day see the opening of Saving Private Ryan, that had my Dad in tears with the memories. After D Day my Dad went into submarines. If you want reality there see Das Boot. Even tho it's from the German point of view the action scenes were pretty accurate according to Dad. There were scenes that had him sweating remembering waiting out depth charges.
 
2014-06-14 02:29:01 PM  
sorry about that I guess my fingers stuttered on the keyboard,
 
2014-06-14 02:30:24 PM  
Meh, just a sideshow to Russia's glorious Great Patriotic War. It's only trumped up because of Anglo-American propaganda.
 
2014-06-14 02:50:10 PM  

crotchgrabber: gremlin1: i remember going with my father to see this movie on the big screen. My Dad was whispering to me thru the whole movie about what he remembered of the day. His LCT was sunk at Omaha Beach and that was where he earned his Purple Heart..

That's a pretty good story. A little odd to me because my father has always refused to watch any Vietnam movie. Well, except Tropic Thunder.


He's right. They're all awfully inaccurate. Give the old geezer a fist bump for me.

/ another old geezer
 
2014-06-14 03:35:44 PM  
One of Burt Reynolds finest comedies!
 
2014-06-14 03:58:15 PM  
Meh, just a sideshow to Russia's glorious Great Patriotic War. It's only trumped up because of Anglo-American propaganda.

Niiiiicccceee ......

Gremlin1: I took an oral history course while at college and interviewed a co-workers husband about his experiences in WW 2. He was on board USS Minneapolis as part of the Enterprise battle group on Dec 7. Thirty years later he still choked up talking about what he saw, how it smelled, the damage, etc. He was on one of the battleships at D-Day. He told me he could see the red ocean water from 3 miles out. Brave men, they were. I often wonder how they could summon the courage to step out of the landing craft. A different time, for sure.
 
2014-06-14 04:23:09 PM  
You know what we don't have enough of these days? One-named stars. Like Topol, Charo, Lulu and the like. This film's gottem
 
2014-06-14 05:25:11 PM  

Katolu: One of Burt Reynolds finest comedies!


media2.giphy.com
 
2014-06-14 05:45:49 PM  
This was the first movie my parents let me attend alone, I was nine.  I have always been a history buff, Civil War/WWII in particular and no one in my family wanted to see it, I practically drove my mom nuts about it and she finally caved.

/also went to see Tora Tora Tora on opening day. Another gem IMO.
 
2014-06-14 06:26:22 PM  
tonguedepressor:
Where I learned to love Red Buttons.

WHAT?
 
2014-06-14 07:24:34 PM  

cirby: tonguedepressor:
Where I learned to love Red Buttons.

WHAT?


Rule 34: No exceptions.
 
2014-06-14 09:02:28 PM  

gaslight: Do'h!

I really shouldn't post before coffee!


Why do you say that?  That was a thoughtful comment and one that I happen to agree with.  Kudos is what you should be drinking.
 
2014-06-14 09:04:19 PM  
Hey, I was on the rebound from Green Zipper.
 
2014-06-14 10:14:06 PM  

syrynxx: I loved the German in this movie. Gives a good taste of their war room as people, not a faceless evil.


THIS.
When he is trying to tell them that he is under attack and the commander doesn't believe him... GREAT MOVIE!!
 
2014-06-15 02:58:05 PM  
There's a scene right at the very end. After a day of mayhem and the horror and the bloodshed and the death.... all is relatively quiet.

One surviving American is walking around on top of one of the cliffs [hills? escarpments? whatever] that they stormed, wearing a life jacket.

Another American soldier, possibly a Ranger[?] sees him and remarks slowly, with incredulousness and a pinch of distain. "Where the hell did you get that life preserver?!" or something along those lines

Absolutely p!ss funny. I think I even edited it and saved the scene, but it's on another computer.
 
2014-06-15 03:11:51 PM  
**spoiler alert** and apologies for not giving a spoiler alert for my comment above, too

The airborne dude whose parachute got stuck on the clock hands on the tower, watching the sh1at hit the fan below him, and no Germans notice him. Magnificent stuff!

Then the clock bells start letting rip right next to his earhole! An interesting bit of levity and slapstick thrown in there.

I saw  The Longest Day for the first time about 2 years ago. An outstanding movie for its age and its G rating. That's correct, they somehow pulled off a action-packed corker of a war movie and kept it G rating standard.

// not being a pretentious wanker with the **spoiler alert**
// I always try and err on the side of caution, even if the movie is hella old
/// I'll never forgive the prick who spoiled North By Northwest for me
/// it was on my MUST SEE BEFORE I DIE list
 
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