Saving Private Ryan (DVD)

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Saving Private Ryan (DVD)

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 ...

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Review of "Saving Private Ryan (DVD)"

published 12/05/2001 | Spoonmonkey
Member since : 10/05/2001
Reviews : 16
Members who trust : 1
About me :
Pro Authentic, moving, excellent screenplay, acting and directing
Cons May scare a younger audience
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"Best thing to come out of 1998"

Stephen Spielberg has been turning out classic films for years, ranging from Jaws to ET, but over the last few years he and his new studio, Dreamworks, have been turning out World War II related films and games at an astounding rate. The moving classic Schindler's List and the classic action game Medal of Honour are just a few examples. Then he turned his hand to a brand new project charting the experiences a group in search of a missing man in wartorn France.

That man is of course the infamous Private Ryan. His three brothers were all killed in action and he is the last of the family still alive. As a mark of respect to his mother and his dead sibling the US military want him drafted home, for him the war will be over. Enter Tom Hanks and his band of hardened soldiers who are sent in search of Private Ryan.

The film tracks them throughout a Nazi occupied France as they encounter death on a huge scale which reaches a crechendo as they must defend a bridge from a Nazi Panzer divison with nothing more than light explosives and limited bullets. The story twists and turns throughout and the reality of no one being invincible to the bullet is starkly translated into the movie.

Tom Hanks puts a superb performance as a former high school teacher forced into a war he didn't want and his comrades in action all put in moving and authentic displays. In particular the 'hardmen' of this film are exellent and all are convincing in their roles but all show an inner emotion befitting one of their more poetic combrades.

There are none of Spielbergs trademark special effects here as the gritty reality is rammed down the throat of the viewer. There are numerous gory scenes filled with blood and guts. The first 20 minutes is dedicated to the men landing at Dunkirk as they are torn apart by Nazi gunfire. Viewers of a sensitive nature may find this, and numerous other, section disturbing. Another scene in which German prisoners, who have surrendered, are brutally shot by the American soldiers may also upset less hardened watchers. By including the scenes, I assume, Spielberg wanted to put across the message of war being an awful thing and in this he certainly succeeds. Teenagers may be drawn in by the promise of blood and guns but will be almost certainly be affected by this moving film.

This is certainly one of the best films to be released in the last few years and well deserves its numerous awards and accolades. There is no part of this film that is a fault and as a result it lives up to previous World War Two films and will surely help to portray the atrocities of war to a new generation.

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Comments on this review

  • yilllllllled published 29/07/2006
    great film indeed
  • MAFARRIMOND published 23/12/2005
    A well-directed and acted film. Maureen
  • Sweep1 published 25/04/2002
    keep meaning to watch this - thanks for reminding me! :-) good op
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Product Information : Saving Private Ryan (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

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.

Product Details

Video Category: Feature Film

Production Year: 1998

Plot: A war epic which tells the story of four brothers from the same family who are all fighting in the Second World War. On Washington's orders Captain Miller is sent behind enemy lines to bring back the sole surviving brother, Private Ryan. Winner of five Academy Awards.

Country Of Origin: United States of America

Classification: 15 years and over

Genre: War

Colour: Colour

Director(s): Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg

Actor(s): Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Edward Burns, Ted Danson, Dennis Farina, Adam Goldberg, Jeremy Davies, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Tom Sizemore, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Edward Burns, Ted Danson, Dennis Farina, Adam Goldberg, Jeremy Davies, Paul Giamatti

Release Details

DVD Region: DVD


Catalogue No: PHE 8600, PHE 8362, PHE 8040

Barcode: 5014437860033, 5014437836236, 5014437804037

No of Discs: 2, 1

Release date: 01/11/2004, 01/09/2003, 06/11/2000

Executive Producer: Gary Levinsohn, Steven Spielberg

Featured: Steven Spielberg

Editor: Michael Kahn, Michael Kahn

Screenwriter: Robert Rodat, Steven Spielberg, Robert Rodat

Producer: Mark Gordon, Ian Bryce, Gary Levinsohn, Steven Spielberg, Mark Gordon, Ian Bryce, Gary Levinsohn, Steven Spielberg

Production Designer: Thomas Sanders, Thomas Sanders

Director of Photography: Janusz Kaminski, Janusz Kaminski

Composer: John Williams, John Williams, John Williams

Special Effects: Neil Corbould, Stefen Fangmeier, Roger Guyett


Main Language: English

Subtitle Language: English

Hearing Impaired Language: English

Technical Information

Dubbing Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1<br>Dolby Digital Surround<br>DTS, DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 English

Special Features: An Inside Look With The Filmmakers, Looking Into The Past The research The Screenplay And The Vision, The Making Of A Platoon, Boot Camp For The Cast, Recreating DDay Omaha Beach

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Surround, DTS

Aspect Ratio: 1.78 Anamorphic Wide Screen, 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Award Information

OSCAR: Best Director 1999 (Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg)

BAFTA: Best Achievement In Special Effects 1998 (Stefen Fangmeier, Roger Guyett, Neil Corbould)

Professional Reviews

Review: Ranked #3 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the '90s" -- "...[A] masterpiece....One soul-shattering experience..." (Entertainment Weekly, 2000-04-01)<br><br>Ranked #3 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the '90s" -- "...[A] masterpiece....One soul-shattering experience..." (Entertainment Weekly, pp.159-60, 01/04/2000)<br><br>...Unprecedented immediacy [in] the battle scenes....Uniformly superb performances... (Movieline, 1999-06-01)<br><br>"...Unprecedented immediacy [in] the battle scenes....Uniformly superb performances..." (Movieline, p.91, 01/06/1999)<br><br>...Soberly magnificent....It is the ultimate devastating letter home... (New York Times, 1998-07-24)<br><br>"...Soberly magnificent....It is the ultimate devastating letter home..." (New York Times, p.E14, 24/07/1998)<br><br>...Sheer gut-wrenching immediacy....[Spielberg] has come of age as an artist... (Sight and Sound, 1998-09-01)<br><br>"...Sheer gut-wrenching immediacy....[Spielberg] has come of age as an artist..." (Sight and Sound, p.34-52, 01/09/1998)<br><br>


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