Matthew Hunter is a Seneca College student who lives with Asperger’s Syndrome. He loves movies, video games and television, and has agreed to review his favourites (and not-so-favourites!) for AO York.

Today, in honour of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Matthew is reviewing the 1962 film The Longest Day.

The Longest Day (Film, 1962)

By Matthew Hunter

June 6, 1944, D-Day, the largest invasion in human history. Over 400,000 allied soldiers landed along Normandy France. Met with heavy resistance, these soldiers had one objective:  secure the beaches to pave way for the liberation of Europe from Nazi hands. This is the story we mostly know about, but what happened prior to the landings? And how exactly did it all happen? That’s what this masterpiece has to show.

Filmed quite recently to the event (1962) The Longest Day does something that most if not all Hollywood movies don’t show, multiple viewpoints on the invasion. Not only does it show the allies’ perspective, but also the perspective of the Axis, the Nazi Germans, and how they prepared and reacted to an invasion of Normandy.

Sean Connery and company in The Longest Day

Much of what is shown in the movie is accurate; there was a French resistance who eliminated communications, and snuck people out of towns.  There was a diversionary force of paratroopers to confuse and unleash carnage against the Germans the night before.  The Germans did place millions of sea mines in the ocean to prevent allied invasion. As a historic movie I have to give it a 10/10 – they did their research, and it shows.

As an entertainment piece, it also shines. Because it was filmed back in the early 1960’s it had a distinct lack of something Hollywood shows too much of, CGI.  Everything on screen, every explosion, every bullet, every vehicle, every stunt, absolutely EVERYTHING was practical, real.  It’s no secret I’d prefer a real, practical action over the CG version of it, and yes I know that CG was barebones back then, but it works perfectly as just practical effects.

I love this movie, everything about it, it is a perfect example of the Golden Age of cinema. Well worth a watch if you have a chance.


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