Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Longest Day, The (1962)

Longest Day, The (1962)

This epic film depicts the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day – the turning point of World War II, and in many ways the day that changed the world. The invasion marked the end of Nazi domination over Europe and involved 3 million men, 11,000 planes and 4,000 ships.


The large international all-star cast is absolutely exceptional, helping The Longest Day to become an all-time screen classic.

The endless parade of stars – John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Richard Burton, to name just a few – makes for an astute mix of realism and Hollywood star-power.

In addition to the 50 international stars, 10,000 extras were involved in the movie – which cost $10 million to make. No black and white movie has ever cost as much.

Based on a book by Cornelius Ryan, The Longest Day is almost The Longest Film, clocking in at just over three hours (183 minutes).

Three directors were assigned to the movie – Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton and Bernhard Wicki – but there was never any doubt about who was in charge.

Darting from location to location in a helicopter, the cigar-chewing producer Darryl F. Zanuck declared “this is my picture. When one wants to take the credit for something one must also take the responsibility. I don’t mind the hard work. There is plenty of compensation in the pride one can feel when it’s over”.

The massive preparations, mistakes and random events that determined the outcome of 6 June 1944 are shown in the movie and add to the realism.

The screenplay by Cornelius Ryan, based on his own authoritative and best-selling book, is as factually accurate as possible and the set-piece battles are truly spectacular.

The movie won Academy Awards for special effects and cinematography.

Col Thompson
Eddie Albert
Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort
John Wayne
Pvt Flanagan 

Sean Connery
Flying Officer David Campbell 

Richard Burton
Brig. Gen. Norman Cota
Robert Mitchum
Pvt John Steele 

Red Buttons
Major of the Rangers 

Fred Durr
US Army Ranger 

Paul Anka
US Army Ranger 

Theodore Roosevelt Jr 

Henry Fonda
Destroyer Commander
Rod Steiger
Pvt. Morris
Roddy McDowall
Pvt. Martini

Sal Mineo
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel 

Werner Hinz
Brig. Gen. James M. Gavin
Robert Ryan
Maj Gen Robert Haines 

Mel Ferrer
Capt Harding 

Steve Forrest
Sgt Kaffeekanne 

Gert Fröbe
Sgt. John H. Fuller
Jeffrey Hunter

Ken Annakin
Andrew Marton
Bernhard Wicki