D-Day The Sixth Of June (1956) DVD Mar 23, 2010 22:36:00 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Mar 23, 2010 22:36:00 GMT -5
D-Day The Sixth Of June?
International Wartime Romance of 1942-1944 would have been a more accurate title.
This isn't a bad movie at all - in fact it's quite good - but the title is more than a little misleading. So is the DVD packaging. Why? Because for all of the War Movie packaging and promotion this movie got there's only about 10 minutes of the D-Day battle on screen. It's really a love story. Not just a love story, but a rather complex, somewhat convoluted, and, to a degree, an adult one.
The movie revolves mainly around Captain Brad Parker, an American in England initially assigned to HQ there, and Valerie Russell, a british girl who is the daughter of a rather stuffy British Brigadier General. She is already engaged (well, maybe - the movie isn't clear on that) to a British officer, John Wynter. Captain Parker is, by the way, married. His wife is faithfully waiting for him at home, and he has no intention of getting involved with a woman in England - no matter whether or not the opportunity arises. His resolve doesn't last long in the face of Valerie's charm and beauty. She has no intention of falling for anyone else - Lt. Col. Wynter is in Africa fighting the Nazi tank corps, and she is dedicated to him.
While this movie does follow Hollywood formula to a point, the fact that each of the parties involved in this romance are involved with someone else, and the fact that there's this war going on, gives the story a little more gravitas than the typical Hollywood love story of the 50's. The script is actually pretty believable, and the performances - for the time the movie was made - were actually quite good. They sell the story well.
Not to be left out of the conversation is the great Edmond O'Brien as Parker's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Alexander Timmer, who is one heck of a character as written. He's an even better character as played by O'Brien, who makes the most of his scenes.
It's actually the battle scenes that let the movie down. D-Day The Sixth Of June doesn't even show the main invasion. Instead, it depicts a pre-invasion raid attacking a fortified outpost for a large gun that could sink some of the ships carrying soldiers for the beach landing. The battle scenes look small and only moderately well executed when compared to those in The Longest Day which was made just a few years later. Still, the battle scenes aren't bad - just awfully short given the film's 106 minute running time.
If you're looking for a war movie with some good battle scenes, this isn't the movie for you. If you're looking for a good movie from the classic era then you could do far worse than to watch D-Day The Sixth Of June.
The picture quality on the DVD from Fox is, like the movie, good. It isn't a fully restored print, but the print is in good shape, and the DVD transfer/mastering was above average.
While the title and packaging is misleading, D-Day The Sixth Of June is still an entertaining movie worth watching for classic movie fans.