6 comments on “Saving Private Ryan

  1. Fantastic movie.

    One of the things I especially appreciated was the linkage of beginning and end. Too many movies that set up a flashback in the opening sequence never return tp the present. This one does, bringing the story full circle.

    Few people realize that the story is loosely based on the Niland brothers. Fritz Niland was in the 101st Airborne Division, while his brother Bob, in the 82nd Airborne Division, died in Neuville-au-Plain on D-Day. Brother Preston was a junior officer (2nd Lieutenant) in the 4th Infantry Division who came ashore on Utah Beach and was killed the next day not far away. The fourth brother, Edward, had been captured by the Japanese in May. Fritz was pulled out of combat a few days after the link-up between sea-borne and airborne troops, though not at the order of General Marshall. Interestingly, the Bixby letter that General Marshall reads aloud before ordering Ryan’s return wasn’t entirely true – the letter was written, but only two of Mrs Bixby’s sons had actually died.

    Ultra-patriotic people love this movie. Being patriotic doesn’t mean you think war is some fun, dress-up camp. It means you love this country and it often comes with an appreciation that freedom isn’t free.

    In fact, in this movie, the Americans are unequivocally the “good guys”, with the one German who we get to know turning treacherous, by taking up arms and attacking our heroes to make them suffer for their kindness. Plus, in the end, the Americans do win, though at great cost. It’s hard to get more patriotic than this without becoming a comic book.

    “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” WWII veteran John F. Kennedy

    • “Being patriotic doesn’t mean you think war is some fun, dress-up camp. It means you love this country and it often comes with an appreciation that freedom isn’t free.”

      What an excellent point! Definitely something to think about this Fourth of July weekened

  2. Personally, I find this movie really over rated. The battle scenes and atmosphere are incredible, but overall, neither the story nor characters are very interesting. It’s a good film, but I don’t really feel it’s a great one.

  3. Great review. Saving Private Ryan features two of the best battle sequences ever put on film for me. I agree that it isn’t perfect and there’s perhaps more style than substance but film deserves to be remembered for the sensory overload that is the opening D-Day landing sequence.

  4. All I have seen of this film is part that they showed in a history class I was sitting in on. I think it was the battle at the very beginning. I just remember it being incredibly gory. I am interested in the story but just cannot handle the blood. I know war is really like that–and it’s awful–but I think if I were to see this in its entirety I would have to fast-forward that part. I am curious about the rest of the story though, and I really do have an interest in WWII.

  5. Pingback: Weekend Wanderings, 4th of July Weekend, 2011 « We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France

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