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D-Day the Sixth of June

D-Day the Sixth of June(1956)


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The working title of this film was The Sixth of June. The picture opens with the following written prologue: "The ship carrying Special Force Six was put to sea forty minutes in advance of the main Allied Fleet." It closes with this written acknowledgment: "The Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation thanks the United States Army for its generous cooperation in the production of this motion picture." At dawn on June 6, 1944, approximately 9,000 ships carrying Allied infantry troops landed on the beaches at Normandy, France, launching an invasion that would provide the Allied forces their first foothold in German-occupied France. Over 10,000 men lost their lives when they landed on the beaches, which were heavily fortified with German land mines and artillery emplacements. The release of the picture was timed to coincide roughly with the twelfth anniversary of the Normandy invasion. A June 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item adds that 1,000 veterans of D-Day were guests at a special anniversary screening.
       Hollywood Reporter news items add Pat Cortland, Garth Magwood, violinist January Rubini, Herbert Deans, Ralph Hickey and Jim Leppert to the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A November 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Jean Simmons was to play the role of "Valerie." Although pre-production Hollywood Reporter news items indicate that the picture was originally to be filmed in England, studio production notes contained in the file on the film in the AMPAS Library state that the embarkation scenes were shot at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard and that the battle scenes were filmed at Point Dume, CA. D-Day the Sixth of June marked the screen debut of Tom Pittman, who made a number of films before his death in 1958.
       Other films dealing with D-Day include the 1962 Twentieth Century-Fox film The Longest Day, starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum and directed by Ken Annakin (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70); the 1964 Filmways, Inc. production The Americanization of Emily, starring James Garner and Julie Andrews and directed by Arthur Hiller; and the 1998 DreamWorks Pictures film Saving Private Ryan, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg.