Just about the war film to end them all, with more than 50 stars - one of them, Richard Todd was actually in Normandy on D-Day - this is a massive reconstruction of the events leading up to 6 June 1944, when the Allied forces invaded Nazi-held Europe.
It sticks closely to the facts, shoots its events in semi-newsreel manner and relates countless stories of heroism and tragedy in its three hours-plus.
To inject added realism, the Germans speak their own language - with subtitles. The first half, dealing with the events leading up to D-Day, is really only a warm-up, and a rather lengthy one at that, for the tremendous action on the Normandy beaches.
When these scenes do come, however, director Andrew Marton deserves a bouquet for his handling of them. How admirably he marshals his forces, taking our attention easily from one embattled group to another with a pan of the camera, or via the path of an aeroplane skimming low over the beach battlegrounds.
Cameo scenes are skillfully woven into the larger patchwork of the D-Day operation, allowing room for small-scale but excellent performances from Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Eddie Albert, Red Buttons and Curt Jurgens.