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Longest Day, The (clr) [Blu-ray]
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The Longest Day is a vivid, hour-by-hour recreation of this historic event. Featuring a stellar international cast, and told from the perspectives of both sides, it is a fascinating look at the massive preparations, mistakes, and random events that determined the outcome of one of the biggest battles in history. Winner of two 1962 OscarsÂ(r) (Special Effects and Cinematography), The Longest Day ranks as one of Hollywood's truly great war films.
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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.Read more ›
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).
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great cast. Great history lesson. Should be required for all school age children along with their studies about WWII and why it was fought.Published 10 hours ago by C M Shelton, Jr
Has always been one of my favorites, I always watch this movie at least a couple of times a year. It shows what kind of a nation we once were and how our morals were of a much... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Chris Schlieper
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