Saving Private Ryan
Movie Stats & Links
||Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Matt
Damon, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg
||Dreamworks Pictures & Paramount
Don't even think of taking them unless you want
to give them nightmares.
She might cower onto your shoulder, and you'll
probably ask her for a tissue.
More violence than the most graphic horror film
It's a war film by Spielberg - lots.
Some chuckles that make you connect with the
actors even more so that when they get blown away
you are crushed.
- A wounded soldier, in shock, with his arm
missing, reaching down to pick up his arm.
- The private's sniper shot killing the German
sniper in the tower.
- The death scene at the radar installation.
- The ending.
- Oh, hell, the entire freakin' movie.
"Don't shoot. Let them burn."
Steven Spielberg & Ian Bryce
My uncle was part of the D-Day
invasion. I don't know exactly where he fit in, what wave,
or the events that unfolded around him, mostly because he
never really talked about it. Growing up I sometimes found
that odd because I was raised on the movies that sure, they
didn't always glamorize war, but there was something that
didn't seem so horrific that you wouldn't want to talk about
it. Those movies showed the heroes, almost how it was cool
to be there, and nothing that would make you not want to
recollect the memories. Then I saw "Saving Private Ryan." If
my uncle's experience was even one fourth of the experience
depicted in this movie, I now understand why the subject was
Saving Private Ryan
A Movie Review
There is nothing fun about "Saving Private Ryan," and for
what this movie is about there shouldn't be. It opens with a
grandfather bringing his family to a war cemetery, and
quickly shifts to the story of Captain Miller (Tom Hanks),
leading the first wave of troops during the D-Day invasion.
I don't know if there has ever been 25ish minutes of film
that have set the tone for the rest of the movie as there
have been here. 25ish minutes of seeing men die, 25ish
minutes of seeing the ocean turn red, 25ish minutes of
seeing gunfire whiz by people's heads, 25ish minutes of
overcoming the greatest of odds not to wind up dead, and
25ish minutes of war that has never been depicted in such
potential accuracy. You can try sometimes to imagine how bad
it might have been in an invasion such as D-Day, but even if
this movie blows it slightly out of proportion (though I
doubt it does) I sat there stunned, wondering how many of
the men ever made it through.
Alright, so the first 25ish minutes were pretty
gut-wrenching, what about the rest of the film? Well, the
previews sum up the story line pretty well - Three of
Private Ryan's brothers were killed all around the same time
in different battles, and his mother found out about them
all at once. Now the government wants to find Private Ryan,
who was dropped behind enemy lines, and return him home. It
is up to Captain Miller and his small squad to find him and
bring him home, alive. That sounds pretty simple, but along
the line of the opening sequence we get to see that the
trials of war aren't limited to the battles, but to the
personal opinions that most of the time had to be
suppressed, to the emotional ties that grew in less than a
day, how those ties needed to be severed in an instant, and
to the lasting memories, like those my uncle probably had,
which are many times too powerful to be recanted.
For the over two hours left in the movie we follow
Captain Miller, a sergeant, and a bunch of privates as they
venture into German held territory looking for Pvt. Ryan
(played by Matt Damon). Most of the times they are treated
as the support team for the various platoons they come
across, all leading to more battles, and after the battle is
won, they travel on, even becoming their own platoon in one
instance overtaking a left-over radar support team which led
to, at least for me, the second most emotional moment in the
movie. Each man is his own man, the boy from Brooklyn, the
medic, the god-fearing sharp-shooter, the 'talian with the
'tude, and the writer who hasn't shot a gun since basic
training. They each are their own, but through it all they
form a bond, necessary for survival in the field, as well as
off of it, and "Saving Private Ryan" does one of the best
job of any movie I have seen in showing that bond,
responsible both because of the excellent screenplay, but
also because of the incredible acting and portrayals every
actor gives in this film (can you give an Academy Award to a
group of actors, because in this film the entire bunch
And do they save Private Ryan? Yes, they do, but that
doesn't mean that the ending is sappy, that the ending makes
you leave forgetting the rest of the film, or that the
ending will make you leave saying "Wow, what a good movie,
except for that cheesy ending." No, the beginning of this
movie may be the most gut-wrenching of any movie ever made,
but the ending is the most heart-wrenching, as we end back
in the cemetery where the movie began. From beginning to end
your emotions will hit levels that a movie can rarely bring
out. Spielberg, Hanks, and everyone else in this movie
spared nothing in keeping the realism on the highest level.
Well, it looks like a new challenge has begun - the most
realistic movie loosely based on a historical event. It
started earlier with "Titanic" and Jim Cameron's pushing for
the most realistic sinking of one of the most famous ships
of all time. Now that challenge has been pushed to another
limit with Spielberg's portrayal of D-Day and war. And you
know, I saw "Titanic" a couple of times, and remember the
little girlies balling their eyes out when Jack faded into
the ocean. The end of "Saving Private Ryan" put that
emotional level ten-fold higher. The movie ended, the lights
began to come up, and the majority of the crowd just sat
there in an emotional silence, with hands wiping the tears
from their eyes, and sniffling all of the way out the door.
I was one of them.
It's too bad that list of the 100 best movies ever made
already came out because "Saving Private Ryan," for me, is
the best movie I have ever seen. 6 stars out of 5.
That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right!