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A great film
Mar 23, 2001 12:32 AM 3012 Views





This film, must be one of the greatest war type films I have ever seen and was wonderfully portrayed by actors such as:

-Tom Hanks as Captain John Miller

-Matt Damon as Private James Ryan

-Edward J. Burns as Private Reiben

-Tom Sizemore as Sergeant Horvath

-Jeremy Davies as Corporal Upham

-Vin Diesel as Private Caparzo

-Adam Goldberg as Private Mellish

-Barry Pepper as Private Jackson

-Giovanni Ribist as Medic Wade

-Dennis Farina as Lt. Col. Anderson

-Ted Danson as Captain Hamill

and was brilliantly directed by Steven Spielberg

Ever since seeing the first production pictures of Saving Private Ryan (SPR) in a UK film magazine, I had always wondered what the film would be like. Upon my learning of the plot, Tom Hanks sent out to the battlefields of France to find one man, my interest waned. It just didn't catch on with me.

Then as usual, the film opened in the US and seemed to be doing very well, with nearly everyone praising the film. What negative comments existed, seem to totally hate the film. There was no middle ground. My expectations were heightened, but I still didn't know what to expect.

Saving Private Ryan starts off with the invasion of the Normandy beach on June 6th 1944, D-Day. We follow Captain Miller and his squad as they try to make their way inland. The first twenty or so minutes of film is this sequence alone. Eventually the American army manage to overthrow the Germans who are positioned on the beach.

Then the scenery changes, we see a room full of typists. They are writing the many letters, that are going to be sent home to the bereaved. One typist stops and looks at the letter she is writing and then flicks through a pile on her desk to find another. She crosses the room to another desk and finds another letter there. She takes these three letters to the officer in charge of the office. It turns out that three brothers have died all within a two day period and the mother is going to receive all three letters in one day. The top field marshal is told of this and he orders a troop of men to go and find the last surviving brother, private James Ryan.

Back at Normandy, the American troops have successfully taken the beach and captured many Germans. The orders come through and Captain Miller is informed of his mission. He gathers his men and also takes a rookie with him who has never seen war up close because he is a map reader but he does speak fluent German and none of Millers men can. Together the eight of them head off into the French countryside.

I think everyone should see this film, this film is probably the most realistic World War II film I have ever seen. There are no Hollywood infinite ammo clips, people don't take on entire armies and live and things can and do go wrong. The first twenty minutes of the film set up the situation straight away. There's no gentle introduction and you are thrown into the thick of the situation along with the American army.

The film starts as mentioned earlier with the boats landing on Normandy beach, As soon as the loading ramps drop down, German machine gun nests mow down nearly all of the soldiers on the boat. Many jump over side into the sea, but they are still not safe. Bullets speed through the water and kill still more soldiers. The ones who aren't hit get tangled in their own equipment and are weighed down and drowned in blood red sea water.

Those who make it to the beach have little protection and are either gunned down or caught in a mortar explosion. We see one soldier with this arm blown off, walking around looking for something, He picks up the remains of his arm and walks off. He is in such a state of shock that he doesn't fully realise what has happened to him.

It is images like this that Spielberg has used to show us the horrors of war. This isn't a film you watch saying ouch when someone gets hit. Everyone in the cinema was in total silence stunned at the images being thrown at us. In fact apart from one or two amusing incidents, there was total silence all the way through. This isn't all that happens in the film but I don't want to ruin a brilliant story for you, if you want to find out more you're going to have to see it. I would thoroughly recommend this film and it could have been even better if Spielberg had acknowledged that there were other countries fighting the war, not just the Americans and let the plot thicken into a war, not just a movie. But this wasn't to be but I can say this is a great film, very emotional and dramatic, and it is well-worth watching for all the family, (well maybe not the kiddies) but a superb 5/5 from me.

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