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The Longest Day

895 customer reviews

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(May 21, 2002)
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$10.77 $3.65
(May 23, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This monumental account of the allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day (June 6, 1944) is a classic among WWII films. Spectacular battle scenes; intense acting by John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Sean Connery and Sir Richard Burton, among others; and gut-wrenching pathos capture the horrors and heroics of a defining historical event. 1962; black and white, 3 hours.

The Longest Day is Hollywood's definitive D-day movie. More modern accounts such as Saving Private Ryan are more vividly realistic, but producer Darryl F. Zanuck's epic 1962 account is the only one to attempt the daunting task of covering that fateful day from all perspectives. From the German high command and front-line officers to the French Resistance and all the key Allied participants, the screenplay by Cornelius Ryan, based on his own authoritative book, is as factually accurate as possible. The endless parade of stars (John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, and Richard Burton, to name a few) makes for an uneasy mix of verisimilitude and Hollywood star-power, however, and the film falls a little flat for too much of its three-hour running time. But the set-piece battles are still spectacular, and if the landings on Omaha Beach lack the graphic gore of Private Ryan they nonetheless show the sheer scale and audacity of the invasion. --Mark Walker

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum
  • Directors: Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Darryl F. Zanuck, Gerd Oswald, Ken Annakin
  • Writers: Cornelius Ryan, David Pursall, Jack Seddon
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2002
  • Run Time: 178 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (895 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005PJ8S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,352 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Longest Day" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

258 of 275 people found the following review helpful By Alex Diaz-Granados on May 21, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Longest Day (1962 film)
In 1959, 15 years after the Allied invasion of Normandy, former war correspondent Cornelius Ryan wrote The Longest Day, his popular and critically-acclaimed account of the D-Day landings. Based on painstaking research and interviews with Allied and German veterans and the French civilians swept up in the events of June 6, 1944, The Longest Day remains among the best books on the topic.

It is not surprising, then, that 20th Century-Fox studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck bought the film rights and asked Ryan, (who, besides having been a reporter, had also written plays) to adapt The Longest Day into a screenplay for a major motion picture. Zanuck, who had served in the Army Signal Corps as a lieutenant colonel and helped document the D-Day landings, had always wanted to make a feature film about the invasion. He also had another pressing reason to make what he thought would be a big hit: 20th Century-Fox, nearly crippled by box office flops and the costly production of Cleopatra, was on the brink of bankruptcy.

In order to attract audiences, Zanuck and his massive production team assembled a cast almost as large as the actual invasion force. 48 major international stars from three countries were signed on to what a World War II trivia book described as "the most expensive black-and-white movie made." Shot in studios near Paris and on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, The Longest Day required not one but three directors. Andrew Marton shot the American exterior episodes, Bernhard Wicki handled the German exterior episodes, and Ken Annakin directed the British exterior episodes.
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134 of 144 people found the following review helpful By G. M. Schoditsch on May 9, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Here we have the consummate of all war movies of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in WWII in a 2-disc release.

Disk 2 bonus features include - A Day To Remember; Longest Day: A Salute to Courage; Backstory - The Longest Day; D-Day Revisted; Richard Zannuck on The Longest Day and a Still Gallery, all well worth owning this release.

However, in 2000 when FOX released a new digital but non-anamorphic transfer, they wisely placed the German and French subtitles in the lower "black bar" area left vacant due to the letterbox format, making for a very pleasant viewing experience. In this release the subtitles are restored back onto the main body of the film. As the text is white and the film being B&W, this makes for a very fatiguing 3 hours of viewing. Sometimes the text just disappears in the white portions of the film.

***Mini update! As someone politely pointed out, with newer HI-DEF 16 x 9 widescreen TV's, the subtitle text would disappear with the non-anamorphic 2000 version. As HDTV has superb color and grayscale resolution, this is probably a moot point. As I and many are still waiting for HDTV prices to come down & the technology to go up, it may be advantageous to own both sets.

Otherwise a great movie portraying a fairly realistic look at that fateful day of June 6, 1944. Filmed appropriately in Black & White with complementing WWII stock footage. This is a film for the whole family as it truly does represent the carnage of war without the blood and gore that can disturb some viewers (like myself).
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The first time I saw "The Longest Day" in a movie theater they got a couple of the reels mixed up. The only way I knew this was that every time a major figure shows up in the film we are told their name, rank and unit. This mistake did not hurt the film all that much because this sprawling story of the D-Day invasion sixty years ago today was so huge and complex that it had four directors: Ken Annakin (British scenes), Andrew Marton (American scenes) Bernhard Wicki (German scenes), and the uncredited Darryl F. Zanuck. Granted, the realism of the opening scenes of "Saving Private Ryan" make the storming of Omaha Beach in this 1962 film look like a walk on the beach in comparison, but "The Longest Day" remains along with "Battleground" one of the most realistic portrayals of what it was like for the infantry in World War II from what we will know have to call the old school Hollywood and which ended with "A Bridge Too Far" in 1977.

Based on Cornelius Ryan's celebrated book of the same title, "The Longest Day" is almost three hours long and has one of the largest all star casts every assembled (42 international stars according to the poster), albeit with big names like John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchem, Richard Burton, and Rod Steiger playing supporting roles because, to tell the truth, there is nothing else to play in this film. If you are telling the story of D-Day, no single figure is going to emerge as the star, which is the point (Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, played by an uncredited Henry Grace, has one scene). Sean Connery was about to become famous as James Bond in "Dr.
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Shouldn't Actual D-Day Veteran Richard Todd Have Had a Bigger Role?
I understand what you're trying to say here, but here's the thing about The Longest Day (both the book and its film version): the story of Pegasus Bridge (which is the bit where Richard Todd appears as John Howard of the "Ox and Bucks" Para Regiment) is only one part of the D-Day story,... Read More
May 16, 2012 by Alex Diaz-Granados |  See all 2 posts
petition to release The Siege of Firebase Gloria to the dvd format
desperate request its really one o the finest!!!
Dec 30, 2007 by Ben Tsai |  See all 4 posts
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