Midday at the Movies: On D-Day+75, the Cinema of War | WYPR

Midday at the Movies: On D-Day+75, the Cinema of War

Jun 6, 2019

A scene from the opening D-Day invasion sequence in the 1998 Spielberg epic, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
Credit Image courtesy imdb.com, Amblin Entertainment

Today, the world marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day -- the massive Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France that began on this day in 1944.  Early this morning, eastern time, Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron of France, and President Donald Trump spoke at a ceremony marking the anniversary, which included more than 60 World War Two veterans, and a large crowd in Normandy, France, near the graves of more than 9,300 Americans killed in the epic battle.  Over the course of three months, a million Allied soldiers joined the battle to turn the tide of the Second World War.  Nazi Germany surrendered less than a year later.

The existential threat to liberal democracies was a preoccupation not only of the political and military leaders of the day, but also of scores of filmmakers – then, and ever since.  Today, we’re going to talk about the movies about and inspired by World War Two; films that were made during and soon after the conflict, and in the decades that followed. 

Joining Tom are Midday's go-to movie mavens: Jed Dietz is the founding director of the Maryland Film Festival;  Ann Hornaday is the film critic for the Washington Post and the author of the book TALKING PICTURES: HOW TO WATCH MOVIES

Listeners are invited to join the conversation. What’s your favorite World War 2 movie?  How do you think movies about that war have helped succeeding generations understand the sacrifices made 75 years ago to defeat fascism in Europe?