The Longest Day (Dir. Ken Annakin and Andrew Marton 1962): On June 6 1944 the Allied Invasion of France marked the beginning of the end of Nazi domination over Europe. The attack involved 3 000 000 men 11 000 planes and 4 000 ships comprising the largest armada the world has ever seen. Presented in the original black & white version The Longest Day is a vivid hour-by-hour re-creation of this historic event. Featuring a stellar international cast and told from the perspectives of both sides it is a fascinating look at the massive preparations mistakes and random events that determined the outcome of one of the biggest battles in history. Sink The Bismarck! (Dir. Lewis Gilbert 1960): In the Spring of 1941 Nazi Germany’s greatest battleship – the Bismarck scourge of Atlantic shipping – is pinned down at her anchorage in Norway. Making a break for freedom and the safety of air cover from the Luftwaffe the great ship is chased by the Royal Navy. Eventually after heavy casualties including the loss of HMS Hood the Bismarck is finally trapped and sunk. Kenneth More stars as Captain Shepherd – the Admiralty’s Director of Naval Operations – who embittered by the death of his wife in an air raid is assigned to this post just as the Bismarck makes its escape. The Desert Rats (Dir. Robert Wise 1953): Richard Burton stars in this exciting film about the courageous men who held off notorious German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel despite being hopelessly outnumbered. The year is 1941 and all that stands between Rommel and the Suez Canal is the fortress of Tobruk which is manned only by a small Australian battalion whom Captain MacRoberts (Burton) must whip into shape – fast! James Mason co-stars in a stunning portrayal as Rommel in this stirring action-packed story of the World War II heroes known as the Desert Rats. Twelve O’Clock High (Dir. Henry King 1949): Convinced an Air Force Commander is at breaking point Brigadier General Savage (Gregory Peck) takes over his struggling bomber group. At first resentful and rebellious the flyers gradually change as Savage guides them to amazing feats. But the stress of command soon takes its toll and the weary general reaches his own breaking point. Authentic aerial battle footage and numerous acclaimed performances make Twelve O’Clock High a credible stirring tale of courage and sacrifice. A Farewell To Arms (Dir. Charles Vidor 1957): This dense adaption of Ernest Hemingway’s novel features Rock Hudson as American soldier Lt. Henry and his ill-fated love affair with British Nurse Catherine portrayed by Jennifer Jones during World War I. The two lovers will stop at nothing to be together but Lt. Henry’s internal struggles ultimately threaten the relationship. Hemingway’s theme of questioning the nature of war and fighting is fully recognised under Charles Vidor’s direction.
10 October 2005
Andrew Martin, Robert Wise, Henry King, Charles Vidor, Ken Annakin
Rock Hudson, Jennifer Jones, Vittorio De Sica, Alberto Sordi, James Mason, Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell, Kurt Kasznar, Dana Wynter, Robert Douglas, Dean Jagger, Mercedes McCambridge, Carl Mohner, Torin Thatcher, Robert Arthur
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Box set, PAL