Video Release: February 2, 2010
Rating: R (MPAA)
Studio: DreamWorks Home Entertainment
- Runtime: 169 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Originally in English
Steven Spielberg's award-winning film is a brutal look at the devastation that war leaves behind, both physically and emotionally. Standouts in the film include Tom Hanks as the seemingly hardened leader, Ed Burns as the cocky New Yorker, and Jeremy Davies as the wanna-be writer who'd rather be carrying a typewriter than a gun. A closing battle nearly matches the opening scene's in impact, and Spielberg concludes matters with a present-tense bookend, as in SCHINDLER'S LIST, that drills the point home.
Spielberg's WWII tour-de-force chronicles the journey of an outfit who is under orders to track down Private James Ryan and return him to his mother in America, where she is grieving the unimaginable loss of her three other sons. After an unforgettable opening twenty minutes which realistically and horrifically depicts the Normandy Invasion, the script falls back into conventional Hollywood-isms, as we meet and greet the individuals in the outfit: the seemingly hardened leader (Hanks), the cocky New Yorker (Burns), and the wannabe writer who'd rather be carrying a typewriter than a gun (Davies). When they finally find Ryan (Damon), he wants to stay and fight for his country. A closing battle nearly matches the opening scene in impact, and Spielberg concludes matters with a present-tense bookend, as in SCHINDLER'S LIST, that drills the point home.
Theatrical release: July 24, 1998. The film was shot in England, Ireland, and France. Estimated budget: $70 million. The film grossed more than $215 million at the domestic box office and nearly $475 million worldwide. Steven Spielberg won an Academy Award for Best Director for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. In preparation for their roles, the actors went through a week of boot camp with retired Marine Dale Dye-- except Matt Damon (Private Ryan), who was excused from the training so that a real-life resentment of him by the others would be formed. D day, June 6, 1944, was the largest invasion in military history--175,000 soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force invaded Normandy. Spielberg was honored with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, presented to him by Prince Andrew for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, in Los Angeles in November 2000.