Friday, June 21, 2013

HISTORY or HOLLYWOOD: The Longest Day


           The Longest Day” is a movie about D-Day that was based on the nonfiction book by Cornelius Ryan.  I thought it would be interested to see what Hollywood added and altered from the book.  Here are some statements about events in the movie, try to determine if they also appear in the book.

1.  Rommel said, "Believe me, Gentleman, the first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive. For the Allies as well as the Germans, it will be "the longest day… the longest day"! 

2.  Dutch Shultz wins a lot of money in a crap game, but a rosary from his mother causes him to purposely lose it all before potentially dying.

3. “Pips” Priller complains about his squadron being withdrawn leaving only he and his wingman.

4.  Janine Boitard hides downed airmen in her basement.

5.  Capt. Ernst During puts his boots on the wrong feet.

6. A paratrooper lands in a well.

7. Steele’s parachute gets caught on a church steeple and he was hit in the foot.

8. A British chaplain goes bobbing for his mass kit.

9. A group of soldiers including Schultz pass by a group of Germans without either side noticing the other was the enemy.

10. Col. Vandervoort broke his ankle on landing.

11. Pluskat sights the armada and relays that it is coming “right for me!”

12. Private Flanagan (Sean Connery) stumbles and falls in the water and says “they’re trying to drown me before I even get on the beach!”

13. There was a bagpipe player with Lovat.

14. The beachmaster had a bulldog and started a stalled vehicle by hitting it with his cudgel.

15. The reporter yelled “damned traitors” when the carrier pigeons went the wrong way.

16. Janine Boitard helped blow up a train and was almost drowned by a German soldier.

17. Gen. Cota says “Two kinds of people are staying on this beach, those who are dead and those who are going to die.”

18. When two Germans try to surrender, a Ranger shoots them and then says “I wonder what ‘bitter, bitter’ means.”

19. Flight Commander Campbell (Richard Burton) was shot down, crippled, and shot During (who still had his boots on wrong). 

20. Priller and his wingman made the only appearance by the Luftwaffe that day.

21. A British paratrooper landed at a German headquarters and told a German general “Awfully sorry, old man, but we simply landed here by accident.”

22. A group of nuns walk through the chaos of Ouistreham to care for the wounded French.

23. Fuller uses Bangalore torpedoes to blow a lane through the barbed wire and then blows a hole on the sea wall to open up Omaha Beach.

 HERE ARE THE ANSWERS:
 
1. Rommel said, "Believe me, Gentleman, the first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive. For the Allies as well as the Germans, it will be "The Longest Day… The Longest Day"!  History

2.  Dutch Shultz wins a lot of money in a crap game, but a rosary from his mother causes him to purposely lose it all before potentially dying.  History, except he had received the rosary earlier and remembering it caused him to reenter the game.

3.  “Pips” Priller complains about his squadron being withdrawn leaving only he and his wingman.  History, the squadron was needed for the defense of Germany.

4.  Janine Boitard hides downed airmen in her basement.  History.

5.  Capt. Ernst During puts his boots on the wrong feet.  History.

6. A paratrooper lands in a well.  History, he climbed out by using the parachute shroud lines.

7. Steele’s parachute gets caught on a church steeple and he was hit in the foot.  History, but he was hit in the foot on the way down.

8. A British chaplain goes bobbing for his mass kit.  History, but it actually happened to an American chaplain.

9. A group of soldiers including Schultz pass by a group of Germans without either side noticing the other was the enemy.  History, but both sides knew who the other was, they just did not do anything about it.

10. Col. Vandervoort broke his ankle on landing.  History, but it was not a compound fracture.

11. Pluskat sights the armada and relays that it is coming “right for me!”  History.

12. Private Flanagan (Sean Connery) stumbles and falls in the water and says “they’re trying to drown me before I even get on the beach!”  History, except his name was McQuaid

13. There was a bagpipe player with Lovat.  History.

14. The beachmaster had a bulldog and started a stalled vehicle by hitting it with his cudgel.  Histywood.  Capt. Maud was actually on Juno Beach and his dog was an Alsatian.  He did not cane start a vehicle.  he did have a cudgel.

15. The reporter yelled “damned traitors” when the carrier pigeons went the wrong way.  History.

16. Janine Boitard helped blow up a train and was almost drowned by a German soldier.  Hollywood.  The actress (Irena Demick) was the producer’s mistress so her role was expanded.

17. Gen. Cota says “Two kinds of people are staying on this beach, those who are dead and those who are going to die.”  Histywood.  Actually said by Col. George Taylor of the 16th Regiment of the 1st Division.

18. When two Germans try to surrender, a Ranger shoots them and then says “I wonder what ‘bitter, bitter’ means.”  Histywood – actually happened on the bluff of Omaha Beach.

19. Flight Commander Campbell (Richard Burton) was shot down, crippled, and shot During (who still had his boots on wrong).  Hollywood, the Campbell character was created for Burton.

20. Priller and his wingman made the only appearance by the Luftwaffe that day.  History, although they might not have been the only appearance of the Luftwaffe and they were still drunk from the night before. 

21. A British paratrooper landed at a German headquarters and told a German general “Awfully sorry, old man, but we simply landed here by accident.”  History.

22. A group of nuns walk through the chaos of Ouistreham to care for the wounded French.  Hollywood.

23. Fuller uses Bangalore torpedoes to blow a lane through the barbed wire and then blows a hole on the sea wall to open up Omaha Beach.  Hollywood.  There is no Fuller in the book and the egress from the beach was not that simple.  It involved small groups of men fighting their way to the top and taking out the German positions.


RATING  =  .76

2 comments:

  1. Overall the movie is astonishingly accurate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes the things you think are most made up turn out to be true. I've learned to reserve judgment until I do some research.

    ReplyDelete

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