Short Thoughts on “Longest Day”

Watching the “The Longest Day” which at times seems to be “The Longest Movie.” Way too many cameos–including serial draft dodger John Wayne as a parachuting colonel with the classic line: “Don’t ask any questions, Just send’ em to hell.” However, that said, this is the first time round I can keep track of all the different story lines, including the Germans’.

Best thing about the movie is the graceful scene where French paratroopers take a town. One camera moving back shows the troops moving like ballet dancers. It was clearly down in one take. I know historic events are hard to film–I’m no fan of “Saving Private Ryan,” but I admire the intent. That said, this could be remade as a miniseries….

One other advantage to the film: You can play “Find the Star.” Mitchum, Fonda, Wayne, Lawford, Burton, even Gert Froebe–Auric Goldfinger. (He has a German stamp in his likeness.) Incidentally, his rival, James Bond, AKA Sean Connery makes a brief appearance in the middle of the movie. Then there is Richard Burton, playing the angry man of the 1950s,  as a downed RAF pilot, ruminating in a kind of pointless coda.