This week’s digital movie deal of the week is the 1998 Spielberg wartime epic Saving Private Ryan which is currently available to purchase from £4.99. Check out the original trailer below:
Saving Private Ryan is one of two films that Spielberg has given us set during World War 2, the other being Schindler’s List, and both are excellent. This is particularly memorable for how uncompromisingly brutal the D-Day landing segment was. The film follows a squad of army rangers as they try to find the eponymous Private Ryan of the title and get him home after all his brother are killed in action.
Saving Private Ryan has a pretty impressive cast anchored by Tom Hanks, who is generally reliable for a good performance and an incredibly young Matt Damon. It also has a cheeky cameo from Ted Danson which is never a bad thing. I can’t speak for the accuracy of the time period, but from what I’ve read and seen it seems as authentic as it could be but regardless of that it’s a very entertaining film that doesn’t shy away from the unpleasantness of the war, it’s possibly one of the best war movies I’ve seen.
Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII’s D-day invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a prologue in which a veteran brings his family to the American cemetery at Normandy, and a flashback then joins Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks) and GIs in a landing craft making the June 6, 1944, approach to Omaha Beach to face devastating German artillery fire. This mass slaughter of American soldiers is depicted in a compelling, unforgettable 24-minute sequence. Miller’s men slowly move forward to finally take a concrete pillbox. On the beach littered with bodies is one with the name “Ryan” stenciled on his backpack. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall (Harve Presnell), learning that three Ryan brothers from the same family have all been killed in a single week, requests that the surviving brother, Pvt. James Ryan (Matt Damon), be located and brought back to the United States. Capt. Miller gets the assignment, and he chooses a translator, Cpl. Upham (Jeremy Davis), skilled in language but not in combat, to join his squad of right-hand man Sgt. Horvath (Tom Sizemore), plus privates Mellish (Adam Goldberg), Medic Wade (Giovanni Ribisi), cynical Reiben (Edward Burns) from Brooklyn, Italian-American Caparzo (Vin Diesel), and religious Southerner Jackson (Barry Pepper), an ace sharpshooter who calls on the Lord while taking aim. Having previously experienced action in Italy and North Africa, the close-knit squad sets out through areas still thick with Nazis. After they lose one man in a skirmish at a bombed village, some in the group begin to question the logic of losing more lives to save a single soldier. The film’s historical consultant is Stephen E. Ambrose, and the incident is based on a true occurance in Ambrose’s 1994 bestseller D-Day: June 6, 1944.
Release: July 1998
Genre: Action, Adventure, War
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, Vin Diesel