Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Encore Review 5


“I don’t know. Part of me thinks the kid’s right. He asks what he’s done to deserve this. He wants to stay here, fine. Let’s leave him and go home. But then another part of me thinks, what if by some miracle we stay, then actually make it out of here. Someday we might look back on this and decide that saving Private Ryan was the one decent thing we were able to pull out of this whole godawful, shitty mess. Like you said, Captain, maybe we do that, we all earn the right to go home.” – Sergeant Horvath

Number of Times Seen – Too many times to count (Twice in the theater, video, DVD,  2 May 2013, 1 Jul 2014 and 22 Feb 2016, 2 Jul 2017, 9 Jul 2017 and 12 Jun 2018)

Link to original reviewHere, Here, Here Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – In the days after the assault on Omaha Beach on D-Day, a squad of soldiers are sent on a mission to find a young private whose three brothers were killed that week in order to send him home.

My Take on it – It’s no surprise t many of you that this is one of my favorite films.

I have seen it so many times and still enjoy watching it as often as I can because it gets even better every time that I see it.

This is one of Steven Spielberg’s (nuemrous) masterpieces and he once again proved with this film how amazing a film maker he can be.

He shot this (anti-war) film in a unique way that allows the viewer to feel as if they are right there with the characters.

He achieves this by use of sound and sight which helps place the viewer right on the battlefield as things play out next to us in order to help us experience it all so fluidly.

The cast is superb and the diverse characters helps the viewer see the various types of men who were sent to fight for freedom in Europe during World War II.

We also get to see how genuine their emotions can get while in the thick of battle where they might act bravely or cowardly depending on the situation.

This film clearly shows the anti-war message of the futility of war as we get to see it all directly through the eyes of the men who fought, lived and died to preserve freedom.

John Williams once again gives an amazing musical score for his friend Spielberg and the music is sublime.

There are those that feel that a film nearly 3 hours long is too long, but in this case, I think that this film feels too short because after spending some much time developing the characters and situations so well, we want to spend even more time with these brave men.

It still irks me after 20 years that this film lost Best Picture at the Oscars to Shakespeare in Love (1998).  It is still clear after so much time that they made a mistake with their votes and gave the wrong film the Oscar even if is is quite clear even now which film is the better of the two.

As least they got it right when they gave Spielberg the Oscar for Best Director.

This film is one of the best war films ever made and remains among the best films in the history of film.

Bottom Line – Amazing film that gets better and better after each viewing. Spielberg shows his genius in the way that this (anti-) war film is shot.  He uses both sound and visuals to help the viewer feel as if they are part of the experience as it is taking place.  The cast is superb and they help the viewer see the different kinds of soldiers who fought for freedom in WWII and we get to see how genuine and realistic their emotions can get during the heat of battle which makes them sometimes brave and sometimes cowardly. The antiwar message of this film rings true so well here and it’s hard not to see the futility of war through the eyes of the men who fought, lived and died for freedom.  The musical score by John Williams is amazing to listen to. Some people might think that this film may be too long at nearly 3 hours, but to me, it feels too short because of the way that the characters and situations are developed because we want to spend even more time with these men. Truly a travesty that this film lost Best Picture at the Oscars that year to Shakespeare in Love (1998) and even after 20 years, this remains probably the worst decision in Academy history because this film is clearly the better of the two.  This was the best film of 1998 and remains one of the best films ever made. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  Private Jackson killing the German sniper by firing a shot through the man’s scope and into his eye, was based on a true incident, though not in World War II, and not by a Private Jackson. It was accomplished by Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathcock II during the Vietnam War. Hathcock was a sniper who was being fired at by a concealed NVA sniper. He finally managed to catch a glimpse of the man’s sniperscope, and put a round through it, killing him. The similar sequence in this film is rumored to be a tribute to Hathcock, who has been regarded as one of the U.S.’ most famous snipers. (From IMDB))

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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6 thoughts on “Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Encore Review 5

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