It has been 75-years and one-month since Operation Overlord, aka the Normandy Invasion of World War Two, occurred on June 6th, 1944. The movie Saving Private Ryan (1998) shows a highly realistic depiction of the human cost of a decisive invasion of World War Two, culminating in the central stories of a group of soldiers tasked with saving one soldier, Private James Francis Ryan, whose three brothers had died in separate battles of the same war.
The United States Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall, gives the order to alleviate the grief of Private James Francis Ryan’s mother shortly after the Normandy Invasion. It is Marshall who decides to send out 8 men (Captain Miller as played by Tom Hanks and select members from 2nd Rangers). These rangers had experienced the brutality of war in advance of the mission of mercy, and it was from their reputation for capability and excellence that many of these eight rangers would give their lives in saving the bereavement of a fourth child in seeking James Francis Ryan, as portrayed by Matt Damon.
(Barry Pepper as Private Jackson, left, and Giovanni Ribisi as T-4 Medic Wade in the film Saving Private Ryan).
The mission for bringing Private Ryan home takes the 8 men through Nazi occupied territory to establish contact with Ryan’s unit, an element of the 101st Airborne Division. The war thriller of a movie brings the reality of history’s bloodiest war does a remarkable and compassionate means of bringing the humanity of the soldiers and in some cases civilians into full emotional color. The reality of broken and lost families in a time of full blown war, and the emotional toll of a mission that poses the question of what is an appropriate cost for compassion. The film hits on multiple scores in showing a breadth of human emotion in excruciating detail that resonates for me.
(Matt Damon as Private James Francis Ryan, left, and Edward Burns as Private Reiben in the film Saving Private Ryan).
Matt Lynn Digital is a fan of movies produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, as was Saving Private Ryan. It is with high appreciation of the craft of this film that we recommend you see this film for its humanity, its truth, and that it steps out of the normal fare of a Steven Spielberg film while maintaining the moral compass that we appreciate in movies by this consummate maker of movies. Overall, I give Saving Private Ryan 4.5-stars on a scale of one-to-five stars.
Matt – Saturday, July 6, 2019