'The Longest Day' voted best war film ever made

LONDON - The 1962 classic, 'The Longest Day' has been voted the best war film of all time by British veterans, according to a new nationwide survey carried out by Sky Movies Classics and the Forces Reunited website.

Based on the 1959 book of the same name by Cornelius Ryan, 'The Longest Day' charts the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6 1944, during the Second World War.

The film was directed by Ken Annaki and Bernhard Wicki and features a large ensemble cast including Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Richard Burton and Sean Connery.

'The Longest Day' set itself apart from other films depicting the Second World War by having characters speak in their own language and using English subtitles whenever French or German was spoken.

The survey was commissioned by Sky Movies Classics to promote their 'War Stories' season of films, where "40 of the best war films ever made" will be shown on the channel between Monday November 5 and remembrance Sunday, November 11.

Forces reunited has over 350,000 subscribers, who polled the other top films to be: Steven Speilberg's 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998) at number two, which also begins with a harrowing D-Day landing scene; Richard Attenborough's 'A Bridge too Far' (1997) at number three; 'The Dam Busters' (1955) at number four; and 'The Cruel Sea' (1953) at number five.

One of the British leads in 'The Longest Day', Richard Todd, who was himself one of the first British soldiers to land in Normandy on D-Day, said: "What sets 'The Longest Day' apart from so many popular and successful war films is that it is grounded in fact.

"It has the attention to detail that is often missing from the extravagant, special-effects ridden films of today."

Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies and Sky Box Office also commented on the poll results: "The films in the Top Ten are compelling, stories about real heroes, told honestly.

"Films like 'Saving Private Ryan' and others that can be seen in our 'War Stories' season, resonate because they are some of the most celebrated and realistic war depictions ever committed to celluloid."

The Top Ten:
  1. The Longest Day (1962)
  2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  3. A Bridge Too Far (1977)
  4. The Dam Busters (1955)
  5. The Cruel Sea (1953)
  6. Battle of Britain (1969)
  7. Schindler’s List (1993)
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
  9. The Great Escape (1963)
  10. Das Boot (1981)

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