World War II World War II was a pivotal event of the 20th century and a defining
moment for America and the world. It shifted the borders of the globe.
It forever changed those who lived through it, and shaped generations
to come. It has been called "the last great war." Nothing could have
the soldiers at Omaha Beach for the battle they are about to wage.
Filled with hope and resolve, none of them knows if they will survive
the small strip of beach ahead of them. As his eyes scan the Normandy
coast, Captain John Miller (TOM HANKS) believes that getting himself
and his men
past the gauntlet is the greatest challenge he has faced in the war.
But his most difficult task still lies ahead.
Even as the Allied forces begin to get a foothold at Omaha, Miller is
ordered to take his squad behind enemy lines on a dangerous mission to
find and retrieve one man: Private James Ryan (MATT DAMON). The
youngest of four brothers, Ryan is the last survivor, the other three
having all been killed in action within days of one another. As the
squad pushes deeper into enemy territory, Captain Miller's men find
themselves questioning their orders. Why is one man worth risking
eight... why is the life of this private worth more than their own?
Amid the chaos and terror of those days in early June 1944, this
remarkable story searches to find decency in the sheer madness of war.
The release of "Saving Private Ryan" generated a massive hype due to
Steven Spielberg having also directed that other Second World War
opus, "Schindler's List". Now that Hollywood has moved on and the fuss
has subsided, it's clear that an important movie remains. Much has
been written and gasped about the opening 20 minutes as the GIs land
on the beaches, only to be mown down by the Germans. Some recoiled at
the graphic violence, others praised the realism, while some
questioned whether war is really like that at all. The percentage of
an audience who can accurately comment is surely small.
What is abundantly clear is that in the massive body of films that
deal with World War II, this is one that pulls no punches. It
consistently explores the unpredictable and random violence that
engulfs and blinds the men within it. The plot serves only to drag a
squad of characters through uncharted peril with few fitting the
normal pre-determined 'hero' tag of war films. They're off on a PR
mission to find a Private James Ryan and take him home to his mother,
who is shortly to learn that her other three sons are dead.
While the men are constantly under threat from the Germans, they are
not engaged in a key battle that will help win the war. Without a
major event to eclipse proceedings, a greater examination of each