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.
Darryl F Zanuck
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.