Propaganda In The 1962 Film “The Longest Day” Part 1 of 14

By Ben Howling


White Youths Celebrating The Solstice!

As both an expert in Propaganda, and a film buff, I feel it my duty to point out the various subliminal prejudices contained in the 1962 film, The Longest Day.  This movie was on television a few weeks ago as part of a salute to the uber-militaristic Memorial Day holiday, wherein we celebrate the killing of people, many of them non-whites, by a predominantly white military force.  Two days ago was the subjectively named “longest day of the year” aka the summer solstice, which marks the subjectively named, “first day of summer.”

In 1944, the dates of the summer solstice were: June 21 in northern hemisphere time zones west of and including UTC + 10 hrs.June 22 in northern hemisphere time zones east of and including UTC + 11 hrs.Dec. 21 in southern hemisphere time zones west of and including UTC.Dec. 22 in southern hemisphere time zones east of and including UTC + 1 hr.


You can refer to the time zone map for the details, but since the so-called invasion took place on June 6, 1944, this was at least two weeks away from being the longest day. But, the film was produced by FOX, so what else should we expect?

Now, the first example of bias is from assuming that just because the large majority of ethnically white people live in the Northern Hemisphere, that an event occurring on June 6 is close to being the longest day for everyone in the world. But of course, we don’t want to think about those Black persons living in sub-Saharan Africa! Or the Hispanics living in South America! For them, June 6 is closer to being the shortest day of the year! And closer to being the first day of Winter!

But not only are Blacks and Browns snubbed in the title, their dismissal continues into the film itself! Look at this list of subjectively-named actors:


Eddie Albert
Paul Anka
Richard Beymer
Red Buttons
Ray Danton
Fred Dur
Mel Ferrer
Henry Fonda
Steve Forrest
Peter Helm
Jeffrey Hunter
Alexander Knox
Dewey Martin
Roddy McDowall
Sal Mineo
Robert Mitchum
Edmond O’Brien
Ron Randell
Robert Ryan
Tommy Sands
George Segal
Rod Steiger
Tom Tryon
Robert Wagner
John Wayne
Stuart Whitman


Richard Burton
Sean Connery
Leo Genn
John Gregson
Donald Houston
Peter Lawford
Michael Medwin
Kenneth More
Leslie Phillips
Norman Rossington
Richard Todd
Richard Wattis


Jean-Louis Barrault
André Bourvil
Pauline Carton
Irina Demick
Fernand Ledoux
Christian Marquand
Madeleine Renaud
Georges Rivière
Jean Servais
Georges Wilson


Hans Christian Blech
Wolfgang Büttner
Gert Fröbe
Paul Hartmann
Werner Hinz
Karl John
Curt Jürgens
Richard Münch
Wolfgang Preiss

On and on the list goes and nary a Black actor in the bunch, and only one near-Hispanic, Mel Ferrer, who was of mixed Irish and Cuban (by way of Spain).  This is the sneakiest kind of Propaganda—Propaganda by Omission! Black pilots flying p-51 Mustangs could have been put into the film, but NO! This was a white folks only deal. The most expensive black and white film ever made, but there were no Blacks!

I plan for this to be a 14 part series delving into the nooks and crannies of the film, and exposing every cultural bias, every racist slant, and every white anglo-saxon attempt to marginalize the contribution of Blacks and Hispanics to the war effort. It may take me some time to write this, but I will keep plugging away!

Ben Howling

About Penelope Dreadful

An attorney, with a rye sense of humor.
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3 Responses to Propaganda In The 1962 Film “The Longest Day” Part 1 of 14

  1. Nick Spinelli says:

    I look forward to the series. The flick Wind Talkers told the story of the Navajo’s key role in Pacific communications. Too bad the movie sucked! I’ve been to the Wind Talkers museum on their rez in northern Arizona. It’s in a Burger King!


  2. It's Me Testicles, you see? says:

    Hey now…..under the “Americans” list is Roddy McDowell (thought he was a Brit) and Sal Mineo. Both homos. Fittingly, sort of, in a way, Roddy is on top of Sal. Gosh, acting is backbreaking work!

    Back in the so-called Dark Ages of 1962, we have two fruity boys playing brave Yank soldiers. So y’all quit complaining.


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