The Longest Day (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

The Longest Day
Original movie poster for the film The Longest Day.jpg
original movie poster
Directed by
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay by
Based onThe Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan
Starring
Music byMaurice Jarre
Cinematography
  • Jean Bourgoin
  • Walter Wottitz
Editing bySamuel E. Beetley
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 25 September 1962 (France/US)
  • 4 October (Canada)
  • 23 October (UK/Mexico/Germany)
Running time178 minutes
CountryUnited States
Language
  • English
  • German
  • French
Budget$7.75 million[1]
Box office$50,100,000[2]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
The Longest Day
Original movie poster for the film The Longest Day.jpg
original movie poster
Directed by
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay by
Based onThe Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan
Starring
Music byMaurice Jarre
Cinematography
  • Jean Bourgoin
  • Walter Wottitz
Editing bySamuel E. Beetley
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 25 September 1962 (France/US)
  • 4 October (Canada)
  • 23 October (UK/Mexico/Germany)
Running time178 minutes
CountryUnited States
Language
  • English
  • German
  • French
Budget$7.75 million[1]
Box office$50,100,000[2]

The Longest Day is a 1962 war film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II. Producer Darryl F. Zanuck paid the book's author, Cornelius Ryan, US$175,000 for the film rights.[3] The screenplay adaptation was written by Romain Gary, James Jones, David Pursall, Jack Seddon, and Ryan. It was directed by Ken Annakin (British and French exteriors), Andrew Marton (American exteriors), Gerd Oswald (parachute drop scene), Bernhard Wicki (German scenes), and Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited).

The Longest Day, which was made in black and white, features a large ensemble cast including John Wayne, Kenneth More, Richard Todd, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Rod Steiger, Leo Genn, Peter Lawford, Gert Fröbe, Irina Demick, Bourvil, Curd Jürgens, Robert Wagner, Paul Anka and Arletty. Many of these actors played roles that were virtually cameo appearances and several cast members such as Todd, Fonda, Steiger and Genn saw action as servicemen during the war.

The film employed several Axis and Allied military consultants who had been actual participants on D-Day. Many had their roles re-enacted in the film. These included: Günther Blumentritt (a former German general), James M. Gavin (an American general), Frederick Morgan (Deputy Chief of Staff at SHAEF), John Howard (who led the airborne assault on the Pegasus Bridge), Lord Lovat (who commanded the 1st Special Service Brigade), Philippe Kieffer (who led his men in the assault on Ouistreham), Pierre Koenig (who commanded the Free French Forces in the invasion), Max Pemsel (a German general), Werner Pluskat (the major who was the first German officer to see the invasion fleet), Josef "Pips" Priller (the hot-headed pilot) and Lucie Rommel (widow of Erwin Rommel).

Although the Canadian Army landed at Juno Beach on 6 June 1944, it was only mentioned but not shown in the film.

Plot[edit]

The Longest Day is filmed in the style of a docudrama. Beginning in the days leading up to D-Day, the film concentrates on events on both sides of the channel such as the Allies waiting for the break in the poor weather and the anticipation of the Axis forces defending northern France. The film pays particular attention to the decision by General Eisenhower, supreme commander of SHAEF, to go after reviewing the initial bad weather reports as well as the divisions within the German High Command on when an invasion might happen or what response to it should be.

Numerous scenes document the early hours of 6 June when Allied airborne troops were sent in to take key locations. The French resistance is also shown reacting to the news that an invasion has started. The Longest Day chronicles most of the important events surrounding D-Day. From the British glider missions to secure Pegasus Bridge, the counterattacks launched by American paratroopers scattered around Sainte-Mère-Église, the infiltration and sabotage work conducted by the French resistance and SOE agents, and the response by the Wehrmacht to the invasion and the uncertainty to whether it was a feint in preparation for crossings at the Pas de Calais (see Operation Fortitude).

Set piece scenes include the advance in shore from the Normandy beaches, the US Ranger Assault Group's assault on the Pointe du Hoc, the attack on Ouistreham by Free French Forces and the strafing of the beaches by two lone Luftwaffe pilots.

The film concludes with a montage showing various Allied units consolidating their beachheads before the advance inland begins to liberate France.

Cast[edit]

Americans[edit]

ActorRole
Eddie AlbertColonel Thompson, 29th Infantry Division
Paul AnkaUS Army Ranger
Richard BeymerPrivate Arthur 'Dutch' Schultz, 82nd Airborne Division
Red ButtonsJohn Steele, 82nd Airborne Division
Mark DamonPrivate Harris
Ray DantonCaptain Frank
Fred DurUS Army Ranger Major
Fabian ForteUS Army Ranger
Mel FerrerMajor General Robert Haines
Henry FondaBrigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Deputy Commander 4th Infantry Div.
Steve ForrestCaptain Harding, 82nd Airborne Division
Henry GraceGeneral Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander
Peter HelmYoung GI
Jeffrey HunterSergeant (later Lt.) John H. Fuller
Alexander KnoxLieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith, SHAEF Chief of Staff
Dewey MartinPrivate Wilder (role cut from released version)
Roddy McDowallPrivate Morris, 4th Infantry Division
John MeillonAdmiral Alan G. Kirk, Senior US Naval Commander
Sal MineoPrivate Martini
Robert MitchumBrigadier General Norman Cota, Asst. Commander 29th Infantry Div.
Edmond O'BrienMajor General Raymond O. Barton, Commander 4th Infantry Div.
Ron RandellJoe Williams
Robert RyanBrigadier General James M. Gavin, Asst. Commander 82nd Airborne Div.
Tommy SandsUS Army Ranger
George SegalUS Army Ranger
Rod SteigerDestroyer Commander
Nicholas StuartLieutenant General Omar N. Bradley, Commander US First Army
Tom TryonLieutenant Wilson, 82nd Airborne Division
Robert WagnerUS Army Ranger
John WayneLt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort, Commander 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Reg.
Stuart WhitmanLieutenant Sheen, 82nd Airborne Division

British[edit]

ActorRole
Patrick BarrGroup Captain J.M. Stagg
Richard BurtonFlying Officer David Campbell
Bryan ColemanRonald Callen
Sean ConneryPrivate Flanagan
Leslie de LaspeePrivate Bill Millin, No. 4 Commando (Piper on Beach)
Frank FinlayPrivate Coke, 2nd Oxford & Bucks L.I.
Harry FowlerPrivate, 2nd Oxford & Bucks L.I.
Leo GennBrigadier Edwin P. Parker Jr.
Harold GoodwinPrivate, 2nd Oxford & Bucks L.I.
John GregsonPadre, 6th Airborne Division
Jack HedleyRAF Briefing Officer
Donald HoustonRAF pilot at flight base
Simon LackAir Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Commander Allied Air Forces
Peter LawfordBrigadier Lord Lovat, Commander 1st Special Service Brigade
Victor MaddernPrivate Hutchinson, 3rd Infantry Division
Howard Marion-CrawfordGlider Doctor
Michael MedwinPrivate Watney, 3rd Infantry Division
Kenneth MoreCapt. Colin Maud Royal Navy beach master
Louis MounierAir Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander
Leslie PhillipsRoyal Air Force officer
Trevor ReidGeneral Sir Bernard Montgomery, Commander Allied Ground Forces
John RobinsonAdmiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, Commander Allied Naval Forces
Norman RossingtonPrivate Clough
Richard ToddMajor John Howard, OC D Company, 2nd Oxford & Bucks L.I.
Richard WattisBritish Paratrooper officer, 6th Airborne Division

French[edit]

ActorRole
ArlettyMadame Barrault
Jean-Louis BarraultFather Louis Roulland
André BourvilMayor of Colleville
Pauline CartonMaid
Gil DelamareNaval Commando (also was the leading stunt director of the film)
Irina DemickJanine Boitard (French Resistance)
Fernand LedouxLouis
Christian MarquandCapitaine de Frégate Philippe Kieffer
Commander French Navy commandos
Madeleine RenaudMother Superior
Georges RivièreSergeant Guy de Montlaur
Jean ServaisContre-amiral Jaujard
Georges WilsonAlexandre Renaud

Germans[edit]

ActorRole
Hans Christian BlechMajor Werner Pluskat, 352nd Infantry Division
Wolfgang BüttnerGeneralleutnant Dr. Hans Speidel, chief of staff, Army Group B
Robert FreitagMeyer's aide
Gert FröbeUnteroffizier "Kaffeekanne" ("coffee pot")
Paul HartmannGeneralfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt, commander OB West
Werner HinzGeneralfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, commander Army Group B
Karl JohnGeneralleutnant Wolfgang Häger
Curd JürgensGeneral der Infanterie Günther Blumentritt, chief of staff, OB West
Til KiweHauptmann Helmuth Lang, Rommel's aide
Wolfgang LukschyGeneraloberst Alfred Jodl, chief of staff, OKW
Kurt MeiselErnst Düring
Richard MünchGeneral der Artillerie Erich Marcks, commander LXXXIV Army Corps
Hartmut ReckBernhard Bergsdorf
Heinz ReinckeOberst Josef Priller, commander JG 26
Ernst SchröderGeneraloberst Hans von Salmuth, commander 15th Army
Heinz SpitznerHelmuth Meyer
Wolfgang PreissGeneralmajor Max Pemsel chief of intelligence, 7th Army
Peter van EyckOberstleutnant Ocker, Pluskat's Commanding Officer
Vicco "Loriot" von BülowLuftwaffe Chief's aide

Production[edit]

Filming[edit]

Casting[edit]

John Wayne in The Longest Day

Release[edit]

The film premièred in France on 25 September 1962, followed by the United States on 4 and 23 October for the UK.

Unique for British and American produced World War II films of the time, all French and German characters speak in their own languages with subtitles in English. Another version, which was shot simultaneously, has all the actors speaking their lines in English (this version was used for the film's trailer as all the Germans deliver their lines in English). However this version saw limited use during the initial release. It was used more extensively during a late 1960s re-release of the film.

The English-only version has been featured as an extra on older single disc DVD releases.

Awards & nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p253
  2. ^ Box Office Information for The Longest Day. The Numbers. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Operation Overblown". – TIME. – 19 October 1962. – Retrieved: 23 June 2008
  4. ^ Editors of La Presse de la Manche Notre Jour Plus Long 2012
  5. ^ Omama Beach, 6 June 1944, Joseph Baloski
  6. ^ Wills, Garry (1997). John Wayne's America: The Politics of Celebrity. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-80823-9. 
  7. ^ "Piper Bill Millin". The Pegasus Archive. Retrieved 1 November 2007. 
  8. ^ "D-Day Piper – Bill Millin". The Miniatures Page. 3 August 2006. Retrieved 1 November 2007. 
  9. ^ Notre jour le plus long La Presse de la Manche 2012
  10. ^ a b c d e "The Longest Day (1962) Awards". Turner Classic Movies, A Time Warner Company. Retrieved 30 April 2008. 

External links[edit]