D-Day the Sixth of June (1956)

106 mins | Drama | June 1956

Director:

Henry Koster

Producer:

Charles Brackett

Cinematographer:

Lee Garmes

Editor:

William Mace

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Lewis H. Creber

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

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 6 Jun 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 Jun 1956 HR news item adds that 1,000 veterans of D-Day were guests at a special anniversary screening.
       HR news items add Pat Cortland, Garth Magwood, violinist Jan Rubini, Herbert Deans, Ralph Hickey and Jim Leppert to the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A Nov 1955 HR news item notes that Jean Simmons was to play the role of "Valerie." Although pre-production HR 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. ... More Less

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 6 Jun 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 Jun 1956 HR news item adds that 1,000 veterans of D-Day were guests at a special anniversary screening.
       HR news items add Pat Cortland, Garth Magwood, violinist Jan Rubini, Herbert Deans, Ralph Hickey and Jim Leppert to the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A Nov 1955 HR news item notes that Jean Simmons was to play the role of "Valerie." Although pre-production HR 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. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Jun 1956.
---
Daily Variety
29 May 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
29 May 56
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 55
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 55
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 55
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 56
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 56
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 56
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 56
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 56
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 56
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 56
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Jun 56
p. 921.
New York Times
29 May 56
p. 31.
New York Times
30 May 56
p. 13.
Variety
30 May 56
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop man
COSTUMES
Exec ward des
Men's ward
Men's ward
Women's ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styling
Makeup
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Dial coach
Asst prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Sixth of June by Lionel Shapiro (New York, 1955).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Sixth of June
Release Date:
June 1956
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 May 1956
Production Date:
28 December 1955--early February 1956
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
29 May 1956
Copyright Number:
LP6938
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
106
Length(in feet):
9,557
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17873
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As a ship carrying Special Force Six, the forty intrepid infantrymen assigned to disable the massive German machine gun on Normandy Beach in advance of the Allied Fleet, nears its target, John Wynter, the British commander in charge, confers on deck with Brad Parker, an American captain. While awaiting landing, John reflects back to 1942, a happier time in his life: In an English village, John visits his sweetheart, Valerie Russell, the daughter of Brigadier Russell, to say goodbye before embarking upon a secret mission to Cairo. Before parting, they exchange pledges of everlasting love. As John's thoughts return to the present, Brad reflects on his arrival in Britain three years earlier: After suffering a broken leg in a parachute accident, Brad is discharged from the Air Force and assigned to limited service. Brad leaves his wife Janey behind in the States, and is sent to serve in Great Britain under the command of Col. Alexander Timmer. During their first meeting, Timmer sternly warns Brad about breaching security. Meanwhile, in the village, Val's father chastises several rowdy American soldiers about their lack of respect. Brad and Maj. Mills are then sent to apologize to the brigadier for the men's behavior. When Russell bristles and suggests that the entire village be put off limits to the boorish Americans, Brad becomes incensed and reminds Russell that the Americans are willing to sacrifice their lives in defense of Britain. After Brad and Mills leave, Val runs after them and apologizes for her father's behavior. Val explains that the British are a proud people who have never had to ask for help and therefore resent the ... +


As a ship carrying Special Force Six, the forty intrepid infantrymen assigned to disable the massive German machine gun on Normandy Beach in advance of the Allied Fleet, nears its target, John Wynter, the British commander in charge, confers on deck with Brad Parker, an American captain. While awaiting landing, John reflects back to 1942, a happier time in his life: In an English village, John visits his sweetheart, Valerie Russell, the daughter of Brigadier Russell, to say goodbye before embarking upon a secret mission to Cairo. Before parting, they exchange pledges of everlasting love. As John's thoughts return to the present, Brad reflects on his arrival in Britain three years earlier: After suffering a broken leg in a parachute accident, Brad is discharged from the Air Force and assigned to limited service. Brad leaves his wife Janey behind in the States, and is sent to serve in Great Britain under the command of Col. Alexander Timmer. During their first meeting, Timmer sternly warns Brad about breaching security. Meanwhile, in the village, Val's father chastises several rowdy American soldiers about their lack of respect. Brad and Maj. Mills are then sent to apologize to the brigadier for the men's behavior. When Russell bristles and suggests that the entire village be put off limits to the boorish Americans, Brad becomes incensed and reminds Russell that the Americans are willing to sacrifice their lives in defense of Britain. After Brad and Mills leave, Val runs after them and apologizes for her father's behavior. Val explains that the British are a proud people who have never had to ask for help and therefore resent the intrusion of the Americans. Brad and Val meet again on a train bound for London, where Val is to work at the Red Cross Club. While sitting together, Brad tells Val about Janey and Val speaks of her absent soldier sweetheart. Because they are both lonely, Brad invites Val to dinner and she gladly accepts. As their relationship develops, Val encourages Brad to talk about his wife because it makes her feel "safe." One day, Val reads that eight officers have been killed in a desert raid, and fearing that John may be one of them, begins to feel guilty. When Val confides to Brad that she is falling in love with him, they decide to stop seeing each other, but Brad discovers that he is unable to stay away and they resume their affair. Timmer, determined to best his rival, Lt. Col. Cantrell, for a promotion, decides to join the invasion of a German stronghold in Dieppe, France, and orders Brad to accompany him as an observer. Timmer returns from the raid somber and shaken, one of the few survivors. On the road back to London, Timmer stops at a pub for a drink and boasts that he was at Dieppe. A reporter overhears him and prints the story in a newspaper, and Timmer is accused of violating an Allied prohibition against speaking to the press. Upon reaching London, Brad races into Val's arms. Soon after, Timmer's rival is promoted and Timmer's unit dispersed. When Brad learns that he is to leave immediately for Algiers, he tries to notify Val, but she has just left London to arrange for her father's funeral. The brigadier, depressed about his inability to serve his country, has committed suicide. Ten months pass, and Brad learns that his only chance of returning to London is to get assigned to Special Force Six, a perilous mission headed by Timmer. Ten days before he is to report for duty, Brad and Val joyously reunite and Brad informs Val that his wife has discovered their affair. Six days later, John, weak and wounded, arrives in London and goes to the Red Cross Club in search of Val. Overhearing that Val has a boyfriend, John hastily departs to wander the London streets. When a woman from the club notifies Val that John is looking for her, she bids Brad goodbye and goes to find John. Brad, meanwhile, proves himself physically fit for combat and is welcomed to Special Force Six by Timmer. Before leaving on the mission, Brad seeks out Val at the Red Cross Club. When Brad vows never to give her up, Val responds that she is devoted to John, who has regained his health. Soon after, Timmer suffers a nervous breakdown and is arrested for divulging secret plans before a crowd of strangers. Brad finally meets his rival when John is made the new mission commander. Brad's thoughts return to the present as the troops prepare to storm the beach. In the assault, Brad is seriously wounded, but the mission is successful. As Brad, confined to a stretcher, awaits his transport back to England, John praises him and wishes him good luck. After Brad is carried away, John pensively strolls along the beach and is killed by a landmine. In an English hospital, Brad, unaware of John's demise, sends a message to Val that he and John have survived. Val, who has been informed of John's death, receives the message and visits Brad, who is to be shipped home. From his hospital bed, Brad tells Val that he is reconciled to returning to Janey. Withholding news of John's fate, Val kisses Brad goodbye and walks away, alone. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.