The Longest Day: 75 Things You Don’t Need to Know
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The Longest Day: 75 Things You Don’t Need to Know

August 26, 2019


75 years ago this week, the largest seaborne
invasion in history took place on the beaches and in the towns of Normandy France in an
operation codenamed Overlord, but better known today simply as D-Day. The courage, devotion to duty, and the skill
in battle shown by the nearly 160,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen who crossed the English
Channel that day have been memorialized in several movies including classics like The
Big Red One, Band of Brothers, and of course, Saving Private Ryan. But for me, the definitive D-Day movie will
always be the 1962 classic, The Longest Day. So join me as I explore some of the behind
the scenes stories, and several of the true heroes, that played a part in making The Longest
Day. Let’s start with the source material…
and The Longest Day w as based on book with the same title by Cornelius Ryan. Ryan crafted the book after he and his researchers
completed more than 3,000 interviews, and like we see in the movie, the book presents
the history through the stories of a cross-section of people involved with the invasion, including
U.S., Canadian, British, French, and German officers and civilians. The movie rights to Ryan’s book cost producer
Darryl Zanuck $175,000, but Ryan was such an authority on the invasion that Zanuck also
signed Ryan on to write the screenplay. Zanuck made this deal despite the fact that
he and Ryan reportedly disliked each other from their very first meeting. The job of getting the two of them to work
together landed on associate producer Elmo Williams, who helped smooth out their disagreements
so the project could keep moving forward. In addition to Cornelius Ryan, Zanuck asked
other screenwriters to help on the final script, including Romain Gary, David Pursall, Jack
Seddon, and James Jones. In fact, this is the first screenwriting credit
for James Jones, who up to this point was known primarily as a novelist, having written
From Here to Eternity ten years earlier. It’s hard to imagine now, but making The
Longest Day with its $10 million budget was a real gamble for 20th Century Fox. Part of that risk was that Fox was making
Cleopatra at the same time, and with that film’s unprecedented $40 million budget,
there were concerns that if both films failed, it could ruin the entire studio. Ultimately, Cleopatra did well at the box
office, but not well enough to earn back its costs. Fortunately The Longest Day turned out to
be one of their biggest hits of the year and helped to offset Cleopatra’s losses. Zanuck didn’t want The Longest Day to be
just another war movie. One of the innovations he added to the production
was to have each group speak their own language in the movie, meaning the Germans spoke German,
the French spoke French, and the Americans and the British spoke English. The Longest Day was one of the very first
war films made by an American studio to use this technique. In fact, even though it’s an American movie,
English is not heard until 10 minutes into the movie. That’s not to mean that Zanuck didn’t
hedge his bets on this. The scenes shot with non-English speakers
were also shot with the actors performing in English. A second version of the movie was made with
these English performances, but that version is rarely shown now. The version where each group speaks their
own language is the better known and more often seen version. As part of the focus on accurately telling
each side’s story, and to create a more sympathetic perception of each of the different
groups, Darryl Zanuck had Englishman Ken Annakin direct the British segments, the American
parts were handled by American action specialist Andrew Marton, and German Bernhard Wicki took
care of the scenes with the German Army officers. Even with three directors on the team, there
was more work to be done. To help out, Zanuck brought in Gerd Oswald
to direct the parachute drop scenes, and Zanuck himself even directed some of the pick-up
scenes to keep the production moving. Zanuck and Wicki deliberately tried not to
present the Germans in the stereotypical style used in earlier movies. Phrases like “Sieg Heil” were kept out of
the script, although they can be seen written on a bunker wall in Ouistreham. Also, Adolf Hitler doesn’t make an appearance
in the movie, which is appropriate since during the real invasion, Hitler had taken a sleeping
pill and slept through the start of the D-Day landings. With the creative team in place, the next
focus was on getting the right gear for the battle scenes. One of Zanuck’s biggest worries was that
he wouldn’t be able to find any working German Messerschmitts, which strafed the beach, or
British Spitfires, which chased the Messerschmitts away. As the filming date got closer and closer,
he finally found two Messerschmitts that were being used by the Spanish Air Force, and two
Spitfires that were still on active duty with the Belgian Air Force. Zanuck rented all four of them for the invasion
scenes. And, while clearing a section of the Normandy
beach near Pointe du Hoc, the film crew found a tank used in the invasion buried in the
sand. They cleaned the tank up and used it for the
British Invasion scenes. Unfortunately, Zanuck wasn’t able to find
the right kind of gliders that were used on D-Day, so he reached out to the company that
made the originals and commissioned them to make some new gliders for the movie. Actually renting a fleet of ships though wasn’t
in the budget, but Zanuck worked with the Navy to get approval to film 22 ships from
the US Sixth Fleet while they were sailing off the coast of Corsica. The only issue was that while shooting this
footage, they had to be careful not to get the aircraft carriers in the shots since aircraft
carriers were not involved in the actual invasion force. All of these steps helped give the film a
more authentic look, but the gear wasn’t the only element that helped make the film
seem more real. Zanuck also reached out to people who had
actually fought on D-Day to help behind and in front of the camera. One of the best examples of this was Richard
Todd, who played Major John Howard, the leader of the unit that captured and help hold Pegasus
Bridge. Todd was actually one of the soldiers who
helped take and hold the bridge. In fact, he was originally offered the chance
to play himself in the film, but jokingly replied that he didn’t want a part that
small, so he asked to play the commanding officer instead. There is a lot of unit-specific references
in The Longest Day, and Todd has one of his own. As he’s leading the assault on the bridge,
Todd as Major Howard cries out to his men… [“Up the Ox and Bucks!”] “Up the Ox and Bucks!” refers to the Oxfordshire
and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, the group that he and his men belonged to. Another insider reference happens in the scene
just after the unit captures the bridge where Todd worries about a counterattack. A soldier suggests that the paratroopers will
help, but Todd replies dismissively that the paratroopers are always late. This was a private joke, as Todd himself had
been a member of the 7th Parachute Battalion on D-Day and did help relieve the forces on
the bridge. The 7th Parachute Battalion did eventually
arrive and Todd and his men joined Major Howard to defend the bridge. In fact, during the scene of Todd as Howard
waiting for additional reinforcements, an officer in a Para beret next to Todd is an
actor playing the real Richard Todd. One more interesting overlap between real
life and the film is the beret Todd is wearing. Although he changed the cap-badge to that
of Major Howard’s regiment, the beret that Todd wears in this movie, is the one that
he actually wore on D-Day. The fact that Richard Todd was even alive
to appear in The Longest Day was thanks to a fluke of fate. Just before the invasion flights took off,
Todd was moved onto another plane. The plane he had been scheduled to fly on
was shot down during the invasion and everyone inside was killed. Richard Todd wasn’t the only D-Day veteran
to appear in the movie. Joseph Lowe, who plays Sparrow, scaled the
Point-Du-Hoc cliffs at Omaha beach as a 22 year old Private, and he did it again in The
Longest Day. Donald Houston, who plays an RAF pilot alongside
Richard Burton, was actually an RAF pilot on D-Day. And John Robinson, who plays Admiral Ramsay,
took part in the D-Day invasion as a member of the UK’s Reconnaissance Corps. Even the character who calls the homing pigeons
on Juno beach “Traitors” when they appear to fly east towards Germany was there on D-Day… He’s Canadian journalist Charles Lynch,
who landed with the Canadian troops and covered the landings for Reuters. And, there were many veterans who served in
other parts of the world that appeared in the film, including Eddie Albert, who played
Colonel Thompson. Albert fought in the Pacific, and won the
Bronze Star in 1943 when during the invasion of Tarawa he rescued 47 Marines and supervised
the rescue of 30 more while under heavy enemy machine-gun fire. And it wasn’t just the Americans and British
veterans who played key roles. Hans Christian Blech, who played Werner Pluskat,
was a veteran of the German Army, though he fought on the Eastern front. Making an invasion as big as D-Day look real
required a lot of people to fill the scenes. So, in addition to the actors, the US, British
and French all assigned soldiers to help out as extras in the battle scenes. In all, about 23,000 soldiers were used. So many troops were brought in for the filming
that producer Darryl Zanuck technically commanded more troops while making The Longest Day than
any single general commanded during the actual invasion. Even trained soldiers had their limits though,
and during the filming of the landings at Omaha Beach, it looked like the extras might
mutiny rather than jump out of the landing craft into the cold water. Robert Mitchum, who played General Norm Cota,
finally got frustrated enough with them that he decided to set the example and jumped into
the water first, at which point the soldiers had no choice but to jump in after him. One of the more unbelievable moments in The
Longest Day is when Lord Lovat’s commandos stormed ashore accompanied by a bagpiper. Amazingly, this actually happened, and the
piper was Bill Millin. Despite it being against English regulations
for pipers to be on the front lines, Lord Lovat convinced, or to be exact, he ordered
Millin to uphold his Scottish roots and accompany the commandos. Wearing a kilt and armed only with his black
knife sheathed on his right calf, the real Bill Millin played “Highland Laddie” “The
Road to the Isles” and “All The Blue Bonnets Are Over The Border” as the unit attacked
on Sword Beach. Millin claimed that after the invasion he
spoke with two German snipers who told him they didn’t shoot at him because they thought
he’d gone mad. Following that, Millin was often referred
to as the Mad Piper. Today, Millin’s set of pipes is a featured
exhibit at the Dawlish Museum in Devon. The piper we see playing the part of Millin
in The Longest Day is Pipe Major Leslie de Laspee, who at the time Pipe Major of the
London Scottish Pipe Band, and personal piper to the Queen. Another artifact from the actual battle that
made it into the movie is the shillelagh Kenneth More carried while playing Capt. Colin Maud. The real Capt. Maud loaned the shillelagh
to More himself. However, despite having the authentic shillelagh,
the portrayal of Captain Maud contains one of the few inaccuracies in The Longest Day,
and it has to do with Maud’s dog. In the real battle, Capt. Maud’s dog, Winnie,
was actually a German Shepherd. The dog was changed to an English Bulldog
for contrast because German Major Werner Pluskat also has a German Shepherd in the film. Another memorable prop from The Longest Day
are the “Crickets” that John Wayne demonstrated to the troops. These toys, which were really used during
the actual invasion, were made by J. Hudson & Co., a whistle manufacturer in Birmingham,
England. The company is still in existence, and has
become famous for their ACME whistles, and they still produce an exact replica of the
D-Day crickets using the original tooling. And one thing many people remember about The
Longest Day are the dummy paratroopers shown in the movie, referred to as Rupert. These dummies were also real, and about 500
of them were dropped on the eve of D-Day to distract and divert the enemy. However, D-Day was not the first time these
paradummies had been used. The Germans themselves used dummies like Rupert
over Holland and Belgium during the opening of the Battle for France. The real Ruperts were not as detailed as the
ones shown in The Longest Day. The actual Ruperts were canvas or burlap sacks
filled with sand and decorated with boots, helmets, and sometimes a lifelike doll face. And, because they were designed to self-destruct
when they hit the ground, very few of the original paradummies still exist. As production got underway, Fox executives
were nervous when Darryl Zanuck decided to shoot the film in black-and-white. When Zanuck was asked how audiences would
distinguish it from newsreel footage, Zanuck replied, “Don’t worry, I’ll put a star in
every shot!” In fact, The Longest Day features six Academy
Award winners: Red Buttons, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Edmond O’Brien, Rod Steiger,
and John Wayne. It also had an additional eleven Academy Award
nominees, including Richard Burton, Sal Mineo, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, and George Segal. Even in a cast of more than 40 stars, John
Wayne as Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Vandervoort took top billing. Wayne’s age was a point of criticism at
the time the movie came out since the real Benjamin Vandervoort was 12 years younger
than Wayne, and on D-Day Vandervoort was just 27 years old, while Wayne was already 54 when
the movie was filmed. The role was a pretty good one for Wayne. He was coming off of the disappointing box
office of The Alamo, a film he produced, directed and starred in. The cost overruns on The Alamo meant Wayne
needed a to recoup some of his losses. He negotiated top billing and a payday of
$250,000, all for just four days of shooting. Wayne wasn’t the only actor singled out
for being older than the real soldiers would have been. At 52, Robert Ryan was 15 years older than
General James M. Gavin had been on D-Day. And Richard Burton said he felt that both
he and Donald Houston were too old to play RAF pilots. During his national service in the RAF, Burton
says he never saw a pilot older than 30. Many of the roles were essentially cameos
where the actors would come in for a few days, shoot their scenes, and head back home. In the case of Roddy McDowall, he took a role
out of sheer boredom. He had been in Italy for the filming of Cleopatra,
but became so frustrated with the numerous delays during its production that he begged
Darryl Zanuck for a part in The Longest Day just so he could do some work. Sean Connery took a role too, but asked that
his scenes be filmed quickly so he could get to Jamaica in time to star in Dr. No. According to Director Ken Annakin, Zanuck
took a dislike to Connery. Zanuck was quoted as saying, “That Limey mumbles
his lines and looks like a slob!” After filming his scenes, Sean Connery did
head down to Jamaica to make his debut as James Bond. But Connery wasn’t the only actor in The
Longest Day who would go on to appear in a Bond film. Two future Bond villains were also in the
cast – Curd Jürgens played Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me, and Gert Fröbe would
later go on to play Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger. In The Longest Day, Curd Jürgens played General
Blumentritt. In real life, Jurgens had actually been imprisoned
by the Nazis. He had been critical of National Socialism
in his native Germany, and in 1944, he was sent to an internment camp in Hungary as a
“political unreliable”. It’s always fun to imagine how the film
would have been different if the directors’ first choices for some roles had taken the
parts. For example, the team really wanted Dwight
Eisenhower to play himself in the film. Unfortunately, they abandoned the idea because
they thought Eisenhower looked too old to play such a recognizable part. Henry Grace was picked to fill the role of
General Eisenhower instead, despite the fact that he was not an actor. His remarkable resemblance to Eisenhower got
him the role. Maybe it’s a good thing that Eisenhower
wasn’t picked to play himself. There are reports that when Eisenhower saw
the movie, he walked out after only a few minutes, frustrated by the inaccuracies he
saw in the film. Another what if is John Wayne’s role, which
was originally offered to Charlton Heston. William Holden was also offered the role,
but he turned it down, as he was exhausted after finishing Satan Never Sleeps, The Counterfeit
Traitor and The Lion. Brigitte Bardot and Marina Vlady turned down
the role of French Resistance fighter Janine Boitard. Ultimately, the role went to Irina Demick,
who happened to be producer Darryl Zanuck’s girlfriend at the time. Christopher Lee, who fought in the War as
an intelligence officer with the RAF, auditioned for any role he could get. Despite being a veteran officer, he was turned
down because the producers felt he didn’t look enough like a military officer. One other casting issue that got headlines
was the absence of any African-American actors in the film. In 1963, the NAACP accused Hollywood studios
of racial discrimination and used The Longest Day as an example. Approximately 1,700 African-American soldiers
took part in the actual D-Day landings, but none were shown in the film. Shooting the movie was a challenge in a number
of ways, some legitimate and some not so legitimate. For example, just before shooting began in
Corsica, a man claiming that he represented the beach owners approached Darryl Zanuck. He demanded a $15,000 payment or else the
owners would drive modern cars along the beach and ruin the shots. Zanuck paid the money, but it was later discovered
to be a scam since there are no private beaches in Corsica. Zanuck eventually got his money back plus
damages, but only after an eight-year lawsuit. In addition to the challenges of con men,
the production also had to worry about nudists while shooting the beach scenes. There was a nudist camp just two miles from
the beach where they were shooting, so the crew posted signs asking the nudists to stay
away from the water during production. The set could also be a dangerous place to
be. During shooting in Ste. Mère-Eglise, traffic was stopped, stores
were closed, and the power was shut down to make it safer for the paratroopers to land
during the night drop scenes. Even with those precautions, the lights and
fake gunfire made the jumps difficult, and only one or two jumpers managed to land in
the square. Several of the stuntmen performing the jumps
suffering injuries, including one jumper who broke both his legs during his landing. Ultimately, the producers stopped using real
jumps and instead dropped the paratroopers from high cranes. These same issues affected the real paratroopers
on D-Day too. It’s estimated that only about 6% of the
paratroopers hit their landing targets, and as much as 60% of the men and equipment were
lost across the fields of Normandy. One of the paratroopers whose story was shown
in the film is Private John Steele of the 82nd Airborne F-Company, as played by Red
Buttons. Private Steele really did land on the St Mere
Eglise bell tower. He hung there for two hours, pretending to
be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. Later on, he escaped from the Germans and
rejoined his division when US troops of the 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment
attacked the village, capturing thirty Germans and killing another eleven. Steele was awarded the Bronze Star for valor
and the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat. Since the war, Private Steele has become sort
of a local celebrity. On the 50th anniversary of D-Day, a dummy
on a parachute was hung up on the tower in his memory, and it’s still there. He and other paratroopers also appear in a
stained glass window in the church that he once hung from. A chance meeting helped Red Buttons get the
part of Private Steele. Darryl Zanuck cast Red Buttons in the part
after running into Buttons in a Paris café. Music plays a big part in The Longest Day,
especially the theme song, which can be heard in various forms throughout the film. After the film was released, the song, which
was written by Paul Anka, was adopted as the regimental march of the Canadian Airborne
Regiment from 1968 to 1995. In addition to the theme song, throughout
the movie, a drum can occasionally be heard in the background. It hits three high notes and a fourth that
is lower… [play sounds]. In addition to being the opening notes to
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the notes also represent the three dots and a dash of the
Morse code for the letter “V”, as in “V for Victory”. In fact, the film starts off with these drums,
setting an ominous tone for the film to come. Perhaps so as not to disrupt the mood the
film was trying to set from the very start, Fox decided not to show their famous logo
at the start of the film. When Fox released Patton several years later,
they repeated this strategy, letting the film go straight into the story without the logo
appearing on the screen first. Even though the film has a documentary feel
to it, there were some elements shown that weren’t exactly true to the real event. For example, in the movie, the German soldiers
defending the coast appeared to be seasoned soldiers. During the real invasion, many of the German
soldiers at Normandy were young boys from the Hitler youth and old men from reserve
regiments. Most of the core fighting units had been moved
to other locations thanks to the Allies’ disinformation campaigns. Some locations in the movie are still around
to see today. A great example is from the scene of the French
commando assault in Ouistreham. That scene was filmed in the nearby town of
Port-en-Bessin. One of the buildings shown in that scene originally
said “Bazar de Port-en-Bessin”, but the town name was painted over to say “Ouistreham”
for filming. After the movie was completed, the original
“Bazar de Port-en-Bessin” lettering was restored on the building. However, after more than 50 years of weathering,
the paint has faded. Today, both the “Port-en-Bessin” and “Ouistreham”
lettering can be seen on the building. Another memorable scene was the battle at
the casino at Ouistreham. While researching this scene, screenwriter
Romain Gary discovered that even though the casino is mentioned in Cornelius Ryan’s
book, it had already been destroyed by June 6, 1944. However, the casino sets were already built,
so the scenes stayed in despite not being 100% accurate. The actual building used for the casino in
the movie was really a hotel that marked the division between Gold and Omaha beaches. By 1961, the hotel had been set for demolition,
so its destruction was used as part of the movie. Once the film was complete, Fox was planning
on just doing a quick wide release to earn some cash they needed to offset their pre-release
losses from Cleopatra. Upset with this strategy, Darryl Zanuck threatened
to take The Longest Day to Warner Brothers if Fox didn’t do a proper roadshow release. Since Fox needed The Longest Day to be a hit,
they complied with Zanuck’s demand and gave the film a larger release. The film was a huge hit for Fox, and was the
highest grossing black and white film for the next 30 years, beaten out in 1993 by another
movie set during World War II, Schindler’s List. In addition to delivering some great box office
receipts, The Longest Day also scored at the Academy Awards. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards,
including Best Picture, and won two Oscars – for Best Cinematography and Best Special
Effects. And there you have it, my list of facts about
the 1962 classic The Longest Day. If you’d like to learn more about D-Day
and all of the heroics that happened that day and throughout World War II, I highly
recommend making a visit to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. And to all of the soldiers, sailors, Marines,
airmen and Coast Guardsmen out there, active duty and retired… thank you for your service.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Is Schindler's List really a true black & white movie? Oliwia Dabrowska, played the red-coat-girl, so there was a touch of colour in the movie…

    Or is that a nitpick too far?

  2. My wife will be getting up in about 45 minutes to go to her night nursing job. Guess what I'll be plugging in the dvd at 9pm?

  3. Interesting about the box office record. I would have thought that Young Frankenstein would have surpassed it. I guess not….good trivia. Steven Ambrose found a second paratrooper stuck to the church like the guy memorialized in the film by Red Buttons.

  4. John Wayne never served in WWII nor was he in the armed forces at any time. Clark Gable, Robert Mitchum, Lee Marvin…and, General Jimmy Stewart did. And many others.
    But not John Wayne. Never much cared for him. Cared even less when I found out what a real life non-hero he was.

  5. The overhead tracking shot as the French troops storm through the town and over the little foot bridge is one of my favourite scenes in any movie.

  6. One thing I remember from the movie is when John Wayne is told he has a compound
    fracture from his parachute landing and he angrily tells the doc to just lace up his boot
    and hand him a rifle to use as a cane. Doc says don't yell at me I didn't break it to which Wayne responds you don't have to walk on it either.
    I assume they made it a compound fracture to make injury sound worse. Since compound means fractured bone sticking out of soft tissue doubt he'd try to stay in action much less
    do any walking. Did eventually commandeer a cart but sitting up while riding that would
    be hard to tolerate as well. Now of course if doc handed him a canteen to wash down
    some demerol………

  7. Well done! The museum in New Orleans is amazing…there are docents there who were actually in the war and the displays and artifacts are a real treat for anyone with an interest in WW2!

  8. Several years ago I and friends were on a ferry to Cherbourg to attend the D Day celebrations. We were privileged to have a conversation with an elderly gentleman from Corpus Christy Texas. he was with one of the Ranger battalions who scaled Point Du Hoc. He was wounded early on in the attack and had lain on the beach all day. He told us he still had the bullet in his body. Impossible to imagine what those men went through. I humbly thank all of them who suffered and sacrificed for the Allied cause and for my 75 years of freedom which they won for all of us.

  9. Thank you for doing this. I knew one of the men who piloted ship to shore at Omaha beach. I also retired from the military.

  10. A great movie. I can't help but to feel sorry for all the combatants who suffered and lost their lives. I wish the Americans and our allied friends were ALL alive today to tell their stories. My father arrived in the European Theater(as they called it) late in the war and served during the battle of the bulge. He was a Combat Medical Aidman(medic) in the 580th Anti-Aircraft Artillery and Automatic Weapons Battalion. After the war he served with the occupational forces and I was born in Germany during that time. He also served in the Korean conflict for two years, and Vietnam for 3 and a half years. He retired from the Army in 1967, and sadly, was killed by a drunk driver a few months later.

  11. Although one of the best films made on the subject of WWII, I cringe a bit every time somebody dies. I understand you couldn't have a gory death at the time this was filmed, but that takes a way a bit of the accuracy. Also John Wayne's speech involving the crickets was odd to me. But those are just me being nitpicky. I really do like this film!

  12. Saw this movie when it was released in 1962. All the actors spoke English in the version I saw. Movie admission price was 50 cents.

  13. If it weren't for these movies, John Wayne wouldn't have anything to tell his grand kids about his role in the service.

  14. Thank you so much for this vid.
    I remember watching this film on TV with my Dad when I was a nipper. He was a WWII veteran (Bren Gun Carrier Driver /engineer) though he never spoke about the war, he was in tears every time this film was shown. As a kid I didn't understand why, today though I too always have a lump in my throat and something in my eye when I watch this great movie, one of my all time favourite films. I'll always remember Richard Burton saying what's wrong with the dead German soldier in the farmyard? His boots were on the wrong feet………. Brilliant.

  15. Was one of my favorite war movies, but the large number of errors dealing with the equipment made it a little disappointing.

  16. My favorite movie…still makes me cry for the heroes we lost.
    God keep their souls, for they died for love of their brothers.

  17. Look at how dated and bloodless it is compared to Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers…and if you have read a few books about D-Day you can easily spot the numerous errors in this movie which is just much more propaganda than it is fact…like most war movies made in the 1950s.

  18. After the war, and until he retired, "Piper Bill" Millin was a nurse at the psychiatric hospital that my Grandfather ran just outside Dawlish Devon (Langdon Hospital). My Grandfather was a psychiatrist and was also in the D-Day landings as a Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps. (He was a pioneer in the treatment of PTSD). Bill Millin played the pipes for our family at my Grandfather and Grandmother's 50th wedding anniversary in Dawlish.

  19. John Wayne is in TLD?! What a disgrace — the man did everything he could to stay OUT of a real uniform while it was in progress! When the war began he married a girl he hardly knew just b/c she had a sick, dependent mother he could be the "sole support" of — thus exempting him from the draft. He climbed the ladder in Hollywood while Stewart and Gable and the most of his peers were away risking their necks, running around relentlessly on his wife with every starlet he performed with. As soon as the Japs surrendered, he filed for divorce. He spent the rest of his career playing "tough guys" — mostly in uniform — to burnish a false image instead of admitting to his real role as a self-promoting careerist chicken.

  20. I have been to the WWII museum in New Orleans, and I have also been to the WWII museum in Normandy.
    The museum in New Orleans beats the Normandy museum HANDS DOWN! NO CONTEST!
    I Highly recommend a visit to the New Orleans WWII museum.

  21. Interesting – but fails by putting Marian Wayne in the film. 'The Duke' as we ALL know NEVER wore a military uniform, and NEVER heard a shot fired in anger…

  22. PLEASE… do some research on pronunciation of English names Specifically Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and Lovat as it makes my ears burn.. In Passing i knew Bill Millin the Lovat,s Piper and played along side him on many occasions

  23. It's not "Roman Geary." This renowned French author's name, Romain Gary, is pronounced "Romeh Gah-ree" (the 'ee' should be short)

  24. Man, it's crazy to try to understand the producers, at first, attempted to land stuntmen jumping from real planes to land on the actual movie set!
    I'm glad they switched to cranes because I never doubted the realism of that scene.
    Only tiny nag: at the start of the scene, with the paratroopers at high altitude, they are clearly small dummies.

  25. Strange how the great hero of so many war movies was not mentioned for his service during WW2 but wait, all Marion was entitled to was a white feather!

  26. Very good movie that lasted 2 hours and 58 minutes, done to remember the greatest invasion in world history, too bad the younger generation won't watch as iphones and drugs shape their minds with no regard to the word FREEDOM.

  27. Excellent piece of work about an excellent film. The best film about WW2? I think you would be pushed to find a better and more accurate depiction than 'A Bridge Too Far'. Maybe you could do a piece on that? Keep up the good work!

  28. Yes there were 2 Messerschmitts used by the germans to strafe the beaches on D Day, but in this movie they were BF 108 sport planes, not BF 109.
    I know the germans pulled the Luthwaffe back in order to protect it from the preparation bombings , but was there really two BF 108 equipped with guns used on D Day by the germans ?

  29. Another point of interest for the landings, there are probably a lot of people who don’t know this, “Scotty” from Star Trek, was in the invasion of Juno Beach.

  30. Great decisive war film of the allies offence in Normandy during w w 2 this film in my opinion it is very interesting because the director brought out in a such beautiful way all the important informations of true events that took place at that time & all the problems that following that seal the German defeat & the consequences I personally I have a copy of this great war film because showing light in details of the invacion that took place it really worth to see it

  31. I loved the movie despite the fact that the French appeared to play a larger part than the British, a bit of bias somewhere. The French navy scuttled themselves in the Mediterranean instead of joining the allies, yet they still seemingly had battleships to bombard the beaches. The number of French soldiers was also small in the hundreds compared to the 146000 British, plus Canadians and plus other commonwealth troops

  32. Brilliant video. My dad landed on d day I’m proud to say, and we loved the film. He was a great man and died New Year’s Day 2013 aged 92. I’ll treasure his medals forever.

  33. 5:00 The beach (Omaha) on D-day was NOT strafed by Messerschmitts. They were two Focke Wulf 190 A-8 from Stab/JG 26 „Schlageter“ and were flown by Oberstleutnant Josef „Pips“ Priller and Feldwebel Wodarczyk.
    The „Messerschmitts“ used in the movie were french copies of the Me 108 and not with the original Argus engine, but Renaults instead. And they were NOT used by the Spanish Air Force, but by the French.

  34. Os ingleses são mesmo estranhos,desembarcam com cães,gaitas de foles,etc,;trabalham para a rainha de Inglaterra…

  35. I'll tell you something you might not know about D Day . Prior to the D Day landing the very wise and intelligent ( the Brass ) decided that it was best to practice the landings first. So a suitable English stretch of coast that was the same as the Normandy coast was found and it was organized to have artillery shell the beach to show the US soldiers what to expect on D Day . The shelling was suppose to end at a specific time, before the US landing craft hit the beach to offload the US soldiers but the brass stuffed it up and the shelling started after the troops hit the beach. More US soldiers died in this rehearsal then in the actual landing. And there only concern was how to cover it up. Someone should have been held responsible for all the deaths but no one was. So much for the Brass . Not worth their wait in salt.

  36. The largest land invasion ever?? The movie 300 must have been a lie or somebody doesn't know what their talking about, one or the other.

  37. Thanks for your great interpretation. And mentioning the many services: Army, Army Air Forces, Navy and Marines…and I'll add the Public Health Service and Coast and Geodetic Service. Blessings to those who served. Keith

  38. The British beaches were named after fish…Sword, Gold, and originally Jelly….but Churchill did not want British mothers and fathers being notified that their sons died on "Jelly Beach" so he told them to change it and the third beach was renamed Juno.

  39. The thumbnail of this video should have the military genius Ike Eisenhower, not a guy who never served in the military but was shooting blank bullets on plywood set.

  40. Hammy, if I've done this properly, I am sending you a 25- min video detailing various facts about "The Longest Day" film. Hope you receive it, and enjoy it as much as I have just done.
    (If my attempt doesn't work, let me know such that I can try another procedure . . .)

  41. 22:49 There were indeed many seasoned soldiers as well as Eastern conscripts, recuperating wounded, and older men. For example, the German 352nd Infantry Division were seasoned veteran troops at Omaha who caused a lot of Allied casualties. The "old men and boys" myth shouldn't be propagated.

  42. Probably the scene that loses the most accuracy is the assault on Point Du Hoc. The Rangers made the climb as shown. And the German guns were gone. But the Rangers eventually discovered they'd been moved by the Germans. The Rangers found the guns and knocked them out of action. Protecting the landings on Utah and Omaha beeches. A brilliant, brave battle by the U.S. Rangers.

  43. I saw the English version by complete accident. When I was watching it on Netflix for re-watch, they were speaking English. I tried changing the settings, but it seemed I couldn't change it. I just refused to watch it, because, while I have no problems with English for translation, I was used to the film having foreign language.

  44. Kenneth Moore is going astern. In the close-ups on the beach hitting the APC he has his left shoulder board the wrong way around. As they are usually provided in pairs the one on his right shoulder is probably also wrong. How embarrassment, given that Moore had been a British naval officer during WW2 and should have known better.

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