I first saw this movie when it was first released 55 years ago, and have watched it perhaps 30 times since. This is the real deal, depicting actual events and actual personnel on both sides of the battle, played by a cast of the late greats of the Old Hollywood era. Some fictional personal scenes are nicely interwoven that contributes to the background, without spoiling authenticity. A guy opening his mother's letter containing a Rosary that he clutches the night before landing is very believable, and may have happened to many. German dialog by German speaking actors, with subtitles adds to the genuine realism. It doesn't get better than this. It's a great movie no matter how often it's viewed. What better movie to run on June 6th every anniversary. Let them never be forgotten.
We just got back from our second trip to Normandy. This time it was during the D Day week with all of the ceremonies, etc. We had to watch this movie (again!!!) and it is fun to see the scenes in the actual places we were at just a week ago. The bunker scenes, Pegasus Bridge, etc were all very accurate and had very little "Hollywood" in it. We also toured the beach sites and those were equally as accurate. Not sure about the actual portrayal of the people by Hollywood actors. One interesting fact is the actor Richard Todd who portrayed Major Howard was actually a British soldier that took part in that same battle at the bridge.
I love this movie... Yes it's "old". No, Spielberg did not make this movie. And I happen to love Spielberg's movies, absolutely. But you have to understand that these older movies were made in a different way at the time. I've been in love with older movies since I was a little girl. And I love movies about the Second World War. The Longest day is a brilliant movie for its time. A great cast for sure. The action is great. If you do not like it, that is up to you, of course. For me, with my love of these older movies, it's right up my alley.