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What Makes a Great War Movie? You Can Use The Longest Day as Your Guide

Clint Eastwood’s recent duet of war films, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima, won accolades for daring to show both sides of a legendary battle. But lest anyone forget, the WWII drama The Longest Day got there first in 1962, and did it with more stars, directors, and authentic touches than even Eastwood could have wrangled. The movie’s star-power is taken for granted by now: John Wayne, Sean Connery, Paul Anka, Henry Fonda, Fabian, Robert Mitchum, Red Buttons … Big names turn up even in the briefest roles. Perhaps even more improbably, the film achieved its glimpses of the war from all sides via four different directors.

So when it comes to a great war movie, is it the director, the stars, or the story that counts? Have an opinion on which one is the greatest? Vote in our poll. (For a full schedule of The Longest Day on AMC, click here.)


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