Blood and Sand: “The Longest Day” (1962)

LongestHelm     Darryl F. Zanuck’s monumental war epic depicting the events of the D-Day invasion of World War 2 has the disadvantage of not only following dozens of characters over dozens of different locations, but also the input of three different credited directors working to patch a cohesive picture of just what did go on during the massive invasion of Normandy on that “longest day” (as refered to in a quote by German Fieldmarshall Irwin Rommel) on June 6, 1944.  Add to that, the fact that, unique in a big-budget studio epic, disregarding the expectations of the audience, the story is presented entirely in correct linguistic terms: the French and Germans speak in their native tongues with the assistance of subtitles. By all rights, this should be a colossal boondoggle, a confused and incoherent film not unlike Rene Clement’s “Paris brule-t-il?” or the Phil Feldman fiasco cobbled from bits of Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale”. Happily, this is not the case.

     “The Longest Day” is, in fact, one of the most intelligently realized, dramatically cohesive, literate films on World War II ever made; certainly light years ahead of the Hollywood studio epics that permeated the 50’s and 60’s with such egregiously insulting results such as the disastrous “Battle of the Bulge”- a film so haphazard it had the most famous Winter battle of modern combat history being fought in the desert.

To read the complete review, click the following link to: http://chandlrswainreviews.wordpress.com/chandler-swain-reviews-drive-in-cinema-2/chandler-swain-reviews-nites-at-the-natick-drive-in/

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1960's cinema, drive-in cinema, Drive-In Movies, Film, Film Reviews, John Wayne, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Richard Burton, war movies, World War II and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blood and Sand: “The Longest Day” (1962)

  1. Rick says:

    The ensemble cast is great. This is only other movie I can think of that had James Bond and Auric Goldfinger in it.

  2. le0pard13 says:

    Screened this one again on D-Day this month. Still one of the best war films. Fine look at this one, Chandler.

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