Back in the late 90s, everyone was finally realizing that they could have an incredible home entertainment set-up with surround sound. A similar moment happened with my own family. My Dad showed off this new advancement in audio technology with the D-Day Omaha beach landing sequence in Saving Private Ryan. The sounds of bullets and explosions flying all around me left me traumatized. That sequence can’t possibly compare to what it’s like actually being there. It’s an immersive, combat-filled scene with a realistic style that is probably still concerning viewers about joining the army.
D-Day took place on June 6th, 1944. This was a historic moment that saw Allied forces going head-first into Nazi-occupied France. As troops landed on Omaha beach they were greeted by relentless gunfire from hidden German forces. Many Allied forces perished before they even stepped foot on that beach. Those who actually made it to the beach soon found that cover from enemy fire was very minimal. In this movie, as in life, it really can be game over if you get hit by a bullet.
Saving Private Ryan is all about the journey. After surviving the D-Day landing, Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) goes in search of Private Ryan (Matt Damon). His mission is to find Private Ryan and deliver the news about his deceased brothers. The film explores the grim realities of war. Captain John Miller and his team are trying to make sense of the violence and chaos that surrounds them. It’s an emotional and savage journey for these heavily tested soldiers.
Another great moment that brings that dangerous element home is when Private Mellish (Adam Goldberg) has to have a knife fight with a Waffen SS Soldier. The scene hits like a ton of bricks! It feels way more personal than people firing guns at each other from a distance. In another timeline, maybe these enemies could be friends, but here they are, fighting for their lives. It’s intimate. It’s tragic. Saving Private Ryan captures that gut-wrenching, terrifying feeling time and time and time again.
One final thing that really stands out is the cast as it’s simply incredible. Heading to the front lines you’ve got: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Jeremy Davies, Paul Giamatti, Nathan Fillion, Bryan Cranston, Barry Pepper, Tom Sizemore. Some of these actors weren’t quite as famous as they are now. If you decide to re-visit, you’ll be like the Leonardo DiCaprio meme from Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood where his character Rick Dalton points at the TV pointing at celebrities! The ensemble is led under the guidance of director Steven Spielberg, and
This feature barely scratches the surface of Saving Private Ryan – I mean, how crazy is that sniper scene with Jackson for example? – So, what do you remember the most from watching the movie for the first time, and which sequence stands out to you the most?