1962 Certificate: pg


With four directors and a cast including John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, Sean Connery, Richard Burton and Hollywood's leading German Curt Jurgens, this dramatic account of the D-Day landings is an epic in every sense. Despite the scope, every character makes an impression in one of the most ambitious and expertly assembled war movies of all time.


  • Ken Annakin

  • Gerd Oswald

  • Darryl F Zanuck

  • Andrew Marton

  • Bernhard Wicki


  • Robert Mitchum

  • Henry Fonda

  • Robert Ryan

  • John Wayne

  • Richard Burton


Just about the war film to end them all, with more than 50 stars - one of them, Richard Todd was actually in Normandy on D-Day - this is a massive reconstruction of the events leading up to 6 June 1944, when the Allied forces invaded Nazi-held Europe.

It sticks closely to the facts, shoots its events in semi-newsreel manner and relates countless stories of heroism and tragedy in its three hours-plus.

To inject added realism, the Germans speak their own language - with subtitles. The first half, dealing with the events leading up to D-Day, is really only a warm-up, and a rather lengthy one at that, for the tremendous action on the Normandy beaches.

When these scenes do come, however, director Andrew Marton deserves a bouquet for his handling of them. How admirably he marshals his forces, taking our attention easily from one embattled group to another with a pan of the camera, or via the path of an aeroplane skimming low over the beach battlegrounds.

Cameo scenes are skillfully woven into the larger patchwork of the D-Day operation, allowing room for small-scale but excellent performances from Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Eddie Albert, Red Buttons and Curt Jurgens.