The Longest Day (movie)

1962 war film

The Longest Day is a 1962 American epic war movie, filmed in black and white. It is based on Cornelius Ryan's 1959 non-fiction book of the same name.[3] It is about the D-Day landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

The Longest Day
Directed by
Screenplay by
Based onThe Longest Day
by Cornelius Ryan
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
Edited bySamuel E. Beetley
Music byMaurice Jarre
Darryl F. Zanuck Productions, Inc.
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • September 25, 1962 (1962-09-25) (France, U.S.)
  • October 4, 1962 (1962-10-04) (Canada)
  • October 23, 1962 (1962-10-23) (Germany, Mexico, UK)
Running time
178 minutes
CountryUnited States
  • English
  • German
  • French
Budget$7.75 million[1]
Box office$50.1 million[2]

It was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck.[4]

Shot in a docudrama style, the film opens in the days leading up to D-Day, concentrating on events on both sides of the English channel. The allies wait for a break in the poor weather conditions while anticipating the reaction of the Axis forces defending northern France.

Multiple scenes document the early hours of June 6. Allied airborne troops being sent in to take key locations inland, away from the beaches and the French resistance reaction to the news that the invasion has started.

Also important events surrounding D-day; British troops glider missions to secure Pegasus Bridge, the counterattacks launched American paratroopers scattered around Sainte- Mere-Eglise, the infiltration and sabotage work conducted by the French resistance and SOE agents and the response by the Wehrmacht to the invasion. also shown is the uncertainty of German commanders regarding whether this is a feint in preparation for Allied crossings at the Strait of Dover where the senior German staff had always assumed where the invasion would take place.

The German generals blame a so called German corporal for not seeing the coming of the invasion.

Set piece scenes include the parachute drop into Sainte-Mere- Englise, the advance inshore from the Normandy beaches, the U. S. Ranger Group assault on the Pointe du Hoc, the attack on Ouistreham by Free French Forces and the strafing of the beaches by two lone Luftwaffe pilots. The film concludes with the montage showing various Allied units consolidating their beachheads before they advance inland by crossing France to eventually breach Germany.


  1. Solomon, Aubrey (1989). Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1.
  2. "The Longest Day – Box Office Data". The Numbers. 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  3. Ryan, Cornelius (1959). The Longest Day (1st ed.). New York City: Simon & Schuster. ASIN B002YJG2WU. Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  4. "Operation Overblown". TIME. October 19, 1962. Archived from the original on August 9, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2018.