Before we drown in statistics - three languages, four directors, 43 major roles and 23,000 extras - it's worth remembering this epic recreation of the Normandy landings would never have been made without Darryl F Zanuck. Bouncing back from a string of flops and a minor stroke to give an ailing Fox one of its biggest hits, the ex-honcho's extravagant signature is on every frame of this three-hour epic.
After Saving Private Ryan's gory revisionism, Day's sanitised celebration of mass slaughter feels as old-fashioned as its gung-ho jingoism. The parade of A-list cameos undermines any attempts at documentary realism and it takes so long to get going, it could have been titled The Longest Build-Up.
For sheer chutzpah, though, you just can't beat it, the star wattage and awesome pre-CG spectacle making this the Gone With The Wind of World War Two movies - bloated, flawed but totally irresistible, a landmark in Hollywood history.