A fan of war films and the son of a fan of war films, it’s amazing I’ve somehow never seen this before.
They just don’t make war films like this these days and perhaps it’s a mercy. A gigantic and sweepingly ambitious project, this ensemble piece is almost an anthology of vignettes - very similar to the Longest Day, which is unsurprising since they were written by the same man.
Parts are thrilling, but you can’t help but feel that no one gets enough screen time - whole movies following one of Caine, Connery, Hopkins or O’Neal would have been brilliant, but in going for everything Attenborough leaves us frustratingly just short of any one thing.
Saving Private Ryan changed the way war movies work, and almost nothing from before then quite feels comparable since, this being a particular example - not intimate enough or, strangely, violent enough to ultimately feel like more than an interesting extended history lecture.