John Landis on

The Longest Day

Released 1962
Distributor 20th Century Fox

Although three directors are credited, veteran producer Darryl F. Zanuck was the true auteur behind this elaborate all-star multi-national recreation of the battle of D-Day, shot mostly on the actual locations (hundreds of live land mines had to be cleared from various beaches before filming). At the time 20th Century-Fox was overspending on Cleopatra and there was a lot of pressure to scuttle “Zanuck’s folly”, but Zanuck rammed through what was then a monumental physical undertaking, and at $10 million the most expensive black-and-white movie ever made. Gerd Oswald, Zanuck and John Wayne directed sequences uncredited.

About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal HouseThe Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In LondonTrading PlacesComing To America, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and the recent Burke and Hare for Ealing Studios,  among many other films and television shows. His documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO and won an Emmy for Best Music, Comedy or Variety Special.  He is also the subject of noted film critic Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan’s recent book “John Landis” and his own book “Monsters in the Movies’ was published to critical and popular acclaim in 2012.