Ike: Countdown to D-Day

2005

Drama / History

0
IMDb Rating 7.1

Synopsis


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1080p
1.69G
Normal
English
/
89 min
P/S 61 / 97

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by trpdean 7

I would really recommend seeing the DVD due to the excellent commentary by Selleck, the writer and director. <br/><br/>Argument about the Second World War - what went wrong, what went right, why things were done - and of course about the historical accuracy of any depiction in film - is one of those great indulgences of mankind.<br/><br/>But I think this movie very faithful to history - and those who say that a single particular meeting with Churchill at which Y was decided did not occur, because instead there were a dozen meetings in which Y was gradually decided -- or that there were also A, B and C people at other meetings - are simply not dealing with every movie&#39;s need to compress a true story. <br/><br/>I think this movie (though it does acknowledge that there was some condensing of character and incident) is truly excellent.<br/><br/>There is a maturity about the playing (and Selleck is really superb - a tribute to the seriousness with which he took the task of playing a hero who had an obviously immense impact on history) and sober approach to the issues -- that make it very moving.<br/><br/>The movie does a wonderful job at showing Ike grappling with: <br/><br/>a) the difficulties of others&#39; personalities (DeGaulle, Patton, Miller, Montgomery), <br/><br/>b) the tactical decisions (how near to the landing do you have the paratroops drop - and do you change your mind as you learn of German troop movements? The need for a full or half moon as well as good weather; the likelihood of further delay to see if things improve -causing a loss of German surprise about place of invasion).<br/><br/>It&#39;s just superb in every way - it will make you wish this were part of a 12 or 14 hour series about Eisenhower in wartime. <br/><br/>Selleck (with his Midwestern accent and - for this movie - very deliberate in movement and speech - makes a superb Eisenhower).

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Reviewed by lawprof 9

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the perfect choice for Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces that stormed French beaches on the one D-Day that indelibly evokes 6 June 1944. Having successfully commanded the forces that invaded North Africa and subsequently Sicily, Eisenhower was the right man at the right time, the indispensable molder of a coalition with perhaps too many headstrong generals and admirals. All these senior officers had combat command experience-Eisenhower never left the United States during World War I. He was a remarkably competent staff officer whose abilities were noted by, probably, the shrewdest judge of Army men in America, George Marshall. And Marshall elevated his protege from lieutenant colonel to General of the Army in a very short period.<br/><br/>The problem with portraying Eisenhower in the tense and confusing period before the actual invasion is that never-ending talk, not action - briefings, meetings, staff reports - were the basis for the Supreme Commander&#39;s decision to launch the invasion or postpone it. Weather issues were critical but The Weather Channel has much more excitement every night than that found in the calm, Scottish-accented reports RAF Group Captain Stagg, Eisenhower&#39;s meteorologist, delivered several times a day.<br/><br/>&quot;Ike: Countdown to D-Day&quot; has no battle sequences nor does it explore the emotional territory of the fighting men who would begin what Eisenhower termed &quot;The Great Crusade,&quot; the title of his postwar bestselling memoir.<br/><br/>Tom Selleck, in an outstanding performance, captures the nuances of a general with high ideals and a simple but consummate love of his country. British generals and some American ones, including Patton, decried Eisenhower&#39;s lack of battlefield command experience and even his ability to grasp complex tactical situations. They were, to a certain degree, correct but what they missed was that his job was not to micro-manage combat but to hold together men of extreme temperaments and often mutual dislikes against the forces that might pull them apart and damage the coalition effort.<br/><br/>Selleck&#39;s Eisenhower is quiet, thoughtful and fully engaged in being an ALLIED leader and his gifts in that capacity are well reflected by this actor. Yes, some incidents are perhaps subject to challenge by the historically knowledgeable (including me) but in the main this is as accurate a movie dramatization of D-Day planning and decision-making as we&#39;re likely to get.<br/><br/>While Eisenhower&#39;s driver and confidant, Kay Summersby, an attractive Englishwoman in uniform, is present kudos go to the writers and director for not hyping up the film with an unnecessary romantic digression into the general&#39;s alleged extramarital affair with the winsome chauffeur.<br/><br/>This film might bore some but it&#39;s a fairly good capture of the tensions and issues preceding the issuance of one of the most momentous orders in the history of warfare: &quot;Let&#39;s go!,&quot; Eisenhower simple command that translated years of preparation into a massive assault that presaged the liberation of Europe.<br/><br/>9/10

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Reviewed by Lupercali 8

Ike: Countdown to D-Day (Australian title) is a fine movie relating the 90 days prior to the Normandy landings from the point of view of Dwight D. Eisenhower. It&#39;s a film about the hardships of responsibility and leadership, about decisions which you know will cost the lives of perhaps tens of thousands of men. It&#39;s not blood and guts and explosions. It&#39;s weather reports, terse meetings, and agonising decisions.<br/><br/>There is no action at all in &#39;Ike&#39;. It&#39;s very much a drama and a character study. The ensemble cast is uniformly superb, and none are better than Selleck, who turns in an unforgettable performance. It&#39;s ironic that for the longest time Selleck was relegated to B-movies and lightweight fare, his movie career never really managing to take off. It seemed his famous good looks were to consign him to a brief stint as a TV hunk, followed by a decline into obscurity.<br/><br/>In &#39;Ike&#39;, Selleck emerges reborn, balding, moustache long-gone, dour, sensitive and intense. If this movie doesn&#39;t finally kick-start his movie career and give him the sort of break that Travolta got with &#39;pulp Fiction&#39;, there is no justice.

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