Saving Private Ryan Historical Review

923 words - 4 pages

Saving Private Ryan

     I chose Saving Private Ryan, the 1998 movie directed by Steven Spielberg about the invasion at Normandy and a special mission that follows, as the topic of my paper. The mission is for eight men to go behind enemy lines and rescue a soldier who’s brothers have died in battle and bring him back.
     The movie starts with the D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach, a very tragic and great day at the same time. Allied troops were being shot the second the landing vehicles opened, mortars were dropping all over, there was no cover, and those who sought refuge in the water were drowned by the weight of their equipment. As all of this happens, we follow members of one unit as they struggle to make their way on shore. Bodies are dropping everywhere, the wounded are piling up, and things are looking down. After intense battle and effort, however, the Allied forces finally take the beach, but not without a high cost of life.
     From what I know and have heard about the D-Day invasion, the movie was very accurate on it’s portrayal of the attack. The action was so intense at the movie theater I first saw it in that a veteran got up and left for a while because he was crying so bad. I later found out that he had actually been there and that seeing it so vividly on screen had brought back too many bad memories. If that doesn’t convey realism, I don’t know what does.      
     Once the territory is in Allied hands and bases have been set up, we are introduced to the characters we have been following; namely Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and the rest of his unit. They are then given an assignment. Washington brass has discovered that all of Ma’ Ryan’s boys have been K.I.A. except for one, and his whereabouts are unknown due to a bad air drop. Captain Miller and his men must track him down so that he can be shipped back to the U.S.
     Now, the mission may not be historically accurate, but the practice may have been. From what I have heard, GI’s were sent back home if two or more of their siblings our immediate relatives were lost in combat. This may just be hearsay, but it’s sounds like a reasonable policy.
     None of Captain Miller’s troops are happy about this and there is much discussion on the worth of sacrificing eight men for one. Miller, however, is hearing none of it and they push on. Occasionally they happen upon a fire fight, randomly scattered troops, and downed gliders that had been off course. One particular battle they encounter gives them an...

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