The Longest Day
- 2 hr 58 min
The Longest Day is an epic historical war drama that is based upon the book from 1959. The screenplay was written by Cornelius Ryan. Producer Darryl F. Zanuck paid the author $175,000 for screen rights to produce the film. The screenplay was adapted by Cornelius Ryan, James Jones, Romain Gary, David Pursall and Jack Seddon. The various parts of the film were directed by Gerd Oswald, Ken Annakin, Darryl F. Zanuck, Andrew Marton and Bernhard Wicki. The film is a rare 1960s epic in that it was created in black and white. Featuring an ensemble cast, the movie is also distinctive since it includes many heavy weight actors from the time such as Henry Fonda, Richard Burton, John Wayne, Rod Steiger and Sean Connery. Also featured are Richard Todd, Robert Wagner, Kenneth More, Robert Mitchum, Roddy McDowall, Red Buttons, Sal Mineo, Jeffrey Hunter, Peter Lawford, Leo Genn, Gert Frobe, Bourvil, Irina Demick, Curd Jurgens, Arletty and Paul Anka. The story concerns D-Day and the Normandy landings that took place during World War II on 6 June 1944. Many military consultants, veteran and advisers helping on the film were participants in actual D-Day historical events. Some of the participants included among them were former German general, Gunther Blumentritt, American general, James M. Gavin, Deputy Chief of Staff at SHAEF, Frederick Morgan, and airborne assault leader on Pegasus Bridge John Howard, among numerous others. The United States Sixth Fleet supported the film, making available many aircraft and landing ships for scenes shot in Corsica, though many of them were actually of modern vintage. The USS Little Rock and USS Springfield were both reconfigured as guided missiles and used in pivotal shore scenes, despite the fact that they did not resemble actual wartime configurations. The movie was shot at various French locations that included the Ile de Re, Haute-Corse, Saleccia beach in Saint-Florent and Port-en-Bessin-Huppain to fill in for Ouistreham, Les Studios de Boulogne and locations in Pegasus Bridge near Benouville, Calvados. The film won several Academy Awards that year for Best Picture, Art Direction, Cinematography, Editing and Special Effects.