The Long and Short of It
On the heels of my posting the West Point video of the theme to The Longest Day, the movie was shown on Turner Classic Movies on June 6. I watched it again, and enjoyed it again. And among the many memorable scenes, I noted the one where Sal Mineo's character parachutes into France as the invasion begins -- and almost immediately gets shot when he mistakenly misidentifies a safety response.
I envisioned this conversation months earlier back in Hollywood --
INT. AGENT’S OFFICE – DAY
Slouched in a chair, Sal Mineo is reading the screenplay his agent has given him, with his part highlighted so he can jump to those scenes. Suddenly, he bolts upright.
Oh, man!! I get shot three minutes into the invasion??!!!
I asked the producers if maybe the German could miss,
But they said no.
But it’s called “The Longest DAY.” Not “The Shortest
Still, it’s a very dramatic moment. People will remember it.
Remember it?? It’s the bloody D-Day invasion. They’re not
going to remember one guy who died after three minutes.
What if it takes me the rest of the movie to bleed out? I’m
really good at writhing.
I asked. They said they have storylines that sort of deal with
that with Red Buttons and Richard Burton. Sorry.
So I’m out of the movie after just three minutes into the invasion?!
Look at the bright side. The invasion doesn’t start for
two hours into the film.
Do you have Janet Leigh’s phone number? I want to find out how
she dealt with this sort of thing after being told she was going to star
in a Hitchcock movie. And then read the script.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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