Saving Private Ryan – 1998

Saving Private Ryan 3Saving Private Ryan – 1998
Drama, World War II

If you enjoy war movies, you’ll love this one; if you are faint at heart, maybe not. Combat Veterans, beware. The fire fights, and especially the landing on Omaha Beach in the opening scene, are very graphic and realistic. It brings home clearly the reality of what these brave men faced, their courage, and the magnitude of lives lost.

The screenplay for the movie Saving Private Ryan was written by Robert Rodat. It was directed by Steven Spielberg, who won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Director. In addition, it won a Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama) and was the top-grossing film of 1998.

Matt Damon plays the role of Private Ryan. He is not the lead actor in this action packed World War II movie but his character is central to the story line. The main character, Captain John H. Miller, 2nd Ranger Battalion, is played by Tom Hanks. Capt Miller is selected to go out into the field, behind enemy lines and find Private First Class James Francis Ryan and return him home safely, after it is discovered that Ryan is the last of four brothers alive and actively serving in combat. A team is assembled to help him accomplish his mission. As always, Tom Hanks’ performance was flawless, and recognized by his Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

The team members assembled were Ed Burns, who played the role of Private Richard Reiben, Tom Sizemore as Sergeant Horvath, and Barry Pepper, as sharp shooter Private Daniel Jackson. Vin Diesel played Private Caparzo, Giovanni Ribisi as Medic Wade, Adam Goldberg as Private Mellish, and Jeremy Davies as Corporal Upham. Other actors who popped in and out of the movie that caught my attention were Ted Danson, Dennis Farina, and Paul Giamatti. Casting for this movie was excellent and I believe that the personalities of each soldier was excellently developed and portrayed.

One actor that deserves special mentioning is Dale Dye who played a small part as a War Dept. Colonel in the movie. My husband, a former Marine, pointed out to me that Capt Dye is a retired U.S. Marine Captain who served in Vietnam with the First Marine Division. He is the founder of Warriors, Inc., a company that works with film makers to perfect the portrayal of the military in movies. It is my opinion that this movie more than adequately demonstrates the loyalty and brotherhood that develops between soldiers serving together, something which I have personally witnessed through my husbands continued association with his former Marine comrades. On all counts, this movie meets its objectives.

For a list of all the movies awards and honors

Fun Film Facts

Saving Private Ryan is what I call a Flash Back movie. Can you name 5 other Flash Back movies?

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