THE LONGEST DAY BEGINS AT 9 A.M.
The Longest Day may not be the greatest of the three-hour multi-star WWII epics of the '60s, but the 20th Century Fox production remains one of the most piercing. Unlike many other such films of the time, it chooses to ignore turning the action of the war into a boy's adventure, instead concentrating purely on sheer reportage of the D-Day invasion at Normandy told from the point of view of both the Allies and the Germans while featuring more stars than can possibly be listed here — John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Red Buttons, Sal Mineo, Sean Connery immediately before playing James Bond for the first time and, taking a break from Fox's never-ending production of Cleopatra, Richard Burton and Roddy McDowall. Three directors — Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki — were at the helm of the massive operation, divided up among the various sections, but it was really producer Darryl F. Zanuck who was in charge of it all, the most expensive black-and-white movie made at that time, and the massive scope offered in some of the battle scenes remain impressive to this day. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the restored version of the film will be screening at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival, with Robert Wagner, yet another member of its huge cast, in attendance. Grauman's Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd.., Hlywd.; Sat., April 14, 9 a.m.; $20. tcm.com/festival/
Sat., April 14, 9 a.m., 2012