Monday, 6 June 2011

Only two kinds of people are gonna stay on this beach: those that are already dead and those that are gonna die.

The Longest Day (1962)
Chosen by Darron Bowley who had this to say about it: 'I don't know where to start about this film, there is just so much to say. It's actually a dramatised documentary as everything that happens in this film really happened. The one thing I like most about this film is how fairly it treats the Germans. Most of the soldiers in the German army were just soldiers and not Nazis, a distinction that is often overlooked in most war films (and sadly, by most people too). The call and response of 'sometimes I wonder who's side God is on' subtley and perfectly humanises the enemy and is perhaps my favourite bit of movie dialoge ever (actually, 'No mister Bond, I expect you to Die!' is probably my favourite). D-Day is a pivital moment in British history (hell, World history!) and, the struggle and sacrifice of those that died on that day of days should never be forgotten. Genuinely, essential viewing.'

A clunky but worthwhile effort. It threatens to be swamped by it's guest stars (and seems to introduce each one the same with them turning around and basically winking at the camera) and is essentially just a series of anecdotes about the day. But those stories are often interesting, sometimes outrageous (it has to 'hang a lampshade on it' a couple of times - one German Officer offers up that no-one will believe what happened actually happened) and occasionally quite funny.
Some of the cast fare better than others (Mitchum is great, Wayne's performance feels lazy) but most of the film is strikingly shot and holds attention for it's considerable running time.

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