Sixty years ago, Hollywood released The Longest Day, a movie about the D-Day landings in the summer of 1944. For Dad it was a must because he’d been in World War II, sort of. I’d read the book version, sort of (I skimmed a lot), and it gave me a chance to talk with Dad about “The War.”
So, I was looking forward to the movie with great anticipation, because Dad was, and because I loved movies, and because The Longest Day featured pretty much every movie star ever made. It was the film event of the year!
It was also three hours long.
I wanted to love it, I really did. But honestly (did I mention it was three hours long?), it seemed to go on forever! Afterward, I made the mistake of calling it The Longest Movie. Mom pinched me. Dad was steely, but I think he got why it didn’t have the same resonance for me as it did for him.*
So, where am I going with all this?
Today is the longest day of the year (Summer Solstice). See how I’m tying all this together? Clever, huh? (Oh, shut up.) As a kid I reacted to summers a lot like I did that movie: I looked forward to them with great anticipation, but some were stifling and seemed to go on forever! We didn’t have AC, after all, just box fans to push the haze around. But movie theaters had AC, so I saw a lot of movies during the summer (did I mention I loved movies?).
This summer looks to be a scorcher, btw, so we’ll probably see a lot of movies. See how I tied all these strings together? Clever, huh?
(Oh, shut up.)
* I later rewatched The Longest Day as an adult. It’s informative and beautifully filmed, but still a little slow-moving. So my go-to D-Day movie is Saving Private Ryan. Also, I can never watch The Best Years of Our Lives or Schindler’s List without weeping, and I can never see Casablanca too many times because, well, Casablanca!