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Ike - Countdown to D-Day

4.7 out of 5 stars 219 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

June 6, 1944. 150,000 soldiers, 5,000 ships and 11,000 airplanes. One man's decision. The D-Day invasion - the largest military operation of World War II and the beginning of the end - marked Dwight Ike Eisenhower as one of America's most powerful military leaders. IKE: COUNTDOWN TO D-DAY follows the 90 terrifying days leading up to the invasion as Eisenhower decides the fates of thousands of soldiers while managing complex strategic relationships with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, American General George S. Patton, Britain's Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery and French President Charles de Gaulle. It was a time of no guarantees and certainly no second chances. In this climate, one man, Dwight Eisenhower, pulled the world's leaders together for one of history's most infamous battles.


Tom Selleck gives a restrained yet powerful performance as General Dwight D. Eisenhower in Ike: Countdown to D-Day. This made-for-cable feature focuses on the solemn, brilliant but plain-speaking Ike as he fine-tunes, over 90 days, tactical and political concerns involved with the Allies' imminent D-Day invasion of Normandy, i.e., America and Britain's long-awaited joint assault against Nazi-occupied Europe. A strong cast--James Remar as General Omar Bradley, Timothy Bottoms as Ike's assistant, Walter Bedell "Beetle" Smith--anchors the film's mesmerizing, blow-by-blow account of Eisenhower's leadership under the shadow of many uncertainties (predicting the weather for D-Day becomes a suspenseful refrain) and pressure from conflicting egos (Montgomery, DeGaulle, Patton). Ian Mune is a delight as a wary, darkly bemused Churchill, who encourages Ike's strategy of supreme leadership and low-key diplomacy. The script by Lionel Chetwynd (DC 9/11: Time of Crisis) captures the unbearable tension of commencing the invasion--and awaiting the results. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • IKE: The filmmakers reflect

Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Bottoms, Gerald McRaney, James Remar, Tom Selleck
  • Directors: Robert Harmon
  • Producers: Dennis Brown
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 31, 2004
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002I833Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,867 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ike - Countdown to D-Day" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 11, 2004
Format: DVD
With a marvelous and for the most part accurate script based on historical documents (though embellished with "certain composite and representative scenes and characters"), Lionel Chetwynd has written a compelling drama about General Eisenhower and the planning of the D-Day invasion, with thoughtful and well paced direction by Robert Harmon, and a superb performance by Tom Selleck, who captures Eisenhower's strength, manly charisma, and many of the subtle mannerisms reminding me of this hero of mine since youth.

The cinematography by David Gribble is wonderful, and the atmospheric score by Jeff Beal also adds much to the film.

Filmed in New Zealand in less than 3 weeks, the terrific cast is mostly from Australia and New Zealand (with exceptions like Timothy Bottoms, excellent as Eisenhower's Chief of Staff Walter Bedell Smith); stellar among them is Ian Mune who plays Churchill. Others include Bruce Phillips as General Montgomery, and George Shevtsov as Charles DeGaulle, in a scene where DeGaulle displays such arrogance towards Eisenhower that it will vex those of us who remember and honor the American blood left on French soil.

This is far from a wartime action film; it is sometimes sober and introspective, and always fascinating, with the intricacy of the planning for D-Day, and the many characters and huge egos involved, some upset by Eisenhower's insistence of being the Supreme Commander, always holding one's attention. The expectation of the massive casualties for D-Day makes one wonder how this type of operation would be viewed in today's media age, where long-term objectives are rarely considered. Eisenhower in addressing King George VI (Mick Rose) on the king's fear of expected losses says "...
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Format: DVD
I admit that I love Tom Selleck. He was always a childhood hero of mine, "Magnum P.I." that is. Let's face it, Tom is a Man's Man. The perfect Hero. He can do light comedy, hard drama and everything in between. Tom rules.
It is only because Tom headlined this story that I was willing to watch it at all. From the first 2 minutes, I was hooked! Instead of your traditional "beginning, middle and end" the first 60 seconds of the story dumps you straight into heavy drama. There is no joking around. Thousands of allied troops are at stake and losses could reach from 80% to Total if these men get this wrong.
The acting is strong and earnest. The director uses many close shots that assist the audience in the feeling that they are also at this tiny table surrounded by smoke. You can feel the tension in the air as the intelligence and counter-intelligence reports come in.
How much do the Germans know? How many troops can we secretly move without being detected? Are all the allied nations and their respective troops on the same page here with us? Is there anything we've missed? Is the new equipment really going to perform as it should? What if it doesn't? What will happen if the weather goes bad?
These and other questions way heavily on Dwight Eisenhower as he tries to negotiate and coordinate the most massive commitment of air, sea and land troops the world had ever seen. So much could go wrong and everything hinged on minutes, not hours to turn the tide of battle.
Tom is fantastic in a role that is unlike anything he's ever done. You can feel the tension and anguish in his voice as he talks about projected allied casualties. You can feel as if you're in the room with his senior staff and even though you may know the history, this film presents the story as fresh.
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Format: DVD
I didn't see this movie until a year ago when it ran on The History Channel, and was unprepared for its excellence. That it received 6 Emmy nominations offers ample proof of the way Selleck's peers saw his efforts.

I've read quite a bit on Ike from his own writings, to Kay Summersby's writing, to other biographies so I was not unfamiliar with background on either Eisenhower or D-Day. And I've been a fan of Tom Selleck for years not only for his adaptable abilities as an actor, but more down to earth that he is an ex-basketball player for U.S.C.

I was not prepared for how well Tom Selleck blended into the role of Ike, I didn't see Tom Selleck, I saw and heard Dwight Eisenhower. For me this is the role of Tom Selleck's life, just as Sean Connery was made for Bond, and Jeremy Brett for Holmes, Tom Selleck was destined to be Ike. I cannot believe anyone will ever improve on his portrayal of Ike.

So if you want a fairly factual movie on the countdown to D-Day when the lives of millions rested on what one man decided and willed, this is the movie for you.

Without any hesitation, nor reservation, I recommend this DVD.

Semper Fi.
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Back when this movie first premiered on TV on A&E, I had the chance a couple of days later to be sitting around a Doctor's waiting room and an elderly gentleman asked if I had seen the movie. I told him I had and furthermore I was always very interested in WWII history. He was happy to hear that as he was not only a WWII vet, but had had the opportunity to meet and talk with Ike during WWII.

He was quite impressed with Tom Selleck's performance as was I. I think he captured the essence of Ike quite well as a man who was born to lead. The movie seemed historically accurate and the fact that there was so much debate over the D-Day invasion was quite fascinating. I also enjoyed James Remar as Gen. Omar Bradley. Better than average TV movie.
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