Director Steven Spielberg's World War II tour de force chronicles the journey of a GI squad on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), the unit is under orders to track down a soldier, Private Ryan (Matt Damon), so he might return home to his mother in America, where she is grieving the unimaginable loss of her three other sons to the war. The first unforgettable 20 minutes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN realistically and horrifically depicts the Normandy invasion as Miller. his second-in-command, Sergeant Horvath (Tom Sizemore), and the others in the unit land at Omaha Beach. Before the film began shooting, Hanks and the actors in his squad went through a one-week boot camp in the woods. All the actors, except Hanks, wanted to quit, but Hanks rallied their spirits by reminding them of the incredible tribulations endured by the real veterans of World War II. Production designer Tom Sanders found a beach in Ireland that perfectly matched the landscape of Normandy's. Spielberg gave great credit to the Irish army who helped re-create the Omaha Beach scenes.
1998 - Academy Awards - Best Director Winner
1998 - Academy Awards - Best Cinematography Winner
John Williams - American film composer, STAR WARS (1977)
John Towner Williams - American film composer, STAR WARS (1977)
Johnny Williams - American film composer, STAR WARS (1977)
Steven Spielberg - Oscar-winning director/producer/screenwriter
Steven Allan Spielberg - Oscar-winning director/producer/screenwriter
Adam Goldberg - Actor/"Dazed And Confused
Dennis Farina - American TV/film actor, CRIME STORY (1985)
Matt Damon - American actor, screenwriter, GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997)
Jeremy Davies - American actor, GUN CRAZY, LOST
Harve Presnell - Stage/Film Actor/Singer
Tom Hanks - Oscar-winning actor/director/producer
Thom Hanks - Oscar-winning actor/director/producer
Bryan Cranston - Actor, Dad on "Malcolm in the Middle"
Vin Diesel - American actor
Robert Rodat - Screenwriter
Ted Danson - American Actor
Michael Kahn - American Editor/ MAN CALLED HORSE-CLOSE ENCOUNTERS-A.I.
Mark Gordon - Producer
Thomas Sanders - Production Designer
Tom Sizemore - American Actor
Edward Burns - Director/Writer/Actor, THE BROTHERS McMULLEN
Ed Burns - Director/Writer/Actor, THE BROTHERS McMULLEN
Giovanni Ribisi - Actor
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.
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 $375 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.
"...Unprecedented immediacy [in] the battle scenes....Uniformly superb performances..." - 06/01/1999 Movieline's Hollywood Life, p.91
Ranked #3 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the '90s" -- "...[A] masterpiece....One soul-shattering experience..." - 04/01/2000 Entertainment Weekly, pp.159-60
"...Sheer gut-wrenching immediacy....[Spielberg] has come of age as an artist..." - 09/01/1998 Sight and Sound, p.34-52
"...Soberly magnificent....It is the ultimate devastating letter home..." - 07/24/1998 New York Times, p.E14
"...Effective the film is, communicating the gruesome nature of combat as few anti-war films ever have..." - 09/01/1998 Box Office, p.63
"...A powerful and impressive milestone in the realistic depiction of combat, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is as much an experience we live through as a film we watch on screen..." - 07/24/1998 Los Angeles Times, p.C1
"[I]t remains a spectacular, unequalled piece of action film-making." - 12/01/2004 Uncut, p.184
5 stars out of 5 -- "Spielberg's real achievement is to find telling notes in unlikely places -- here a group of soldiers ruminating on the meaning of an Edith Piaf song is as affecting as any skirmish." - 06/01/2010 Empire
4 stars out of 4 -- "One of the most harrowing and enthralling WWII epics ever made....Tom Hanks offers up a solid performance..." - 05/04/2010 Premiere