Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Action, Drama
  • 1998
  • 169 mins

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan

Synopsis

Spielberg shockingly takes you into the heart of the D-Day landings action before following everyman soldier Tom Hanks on his Boy's Own mission into enemy territory

About

The first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan is a visual assault, acclaimed as one of cinema's most accurate realisations of warfare. Captain John Miller (Hanks), a schoolteacher turned soldier, is among the US troops storming Omaha Beach on D-Day. Acting as the eyes of the audience, everyman Miller takes in the horrors of the experience: men maimed, deafened and terrified. The sequence, with its immersive, handheld cinematography, effectively carries popcorn-munching film-goers closer to the brutalities of war than they would ever choose to be.

Subsequently our nerves settle only as far as those of the traumatized but professional Miller. Miller is called up to lead a small force ahead of the main body of troops to find one Private Ryan (Damon), the surviving brother of three soldiers killed in the same week, in a kind of humanitarian military PR gesture.

Despite the familiar characterisations in Miller's troop (Sizemore, Burns, Pepper, Goldberg), and the dubious waving of the Stars and Stripes, Spielberg takes a traditional boy's own war story and crafts an effective, moving film.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel, Tom Hanks
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Writer: Robert Rodat
  • Producer: Steven Spielberg, Ian Bruce, Gary Levinsohn, Mark Gordon
  • Photographer: Janusz Kaminski
  • Composer: John Williams

In a nutshell

Thanks to Hanks, and Spielberg's technical finesse, this develops into a powerful and potent portrayal of men at war, and those opening 20 minutes are worth the price of entry alone.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Lawless Breed

    Rock Hudson stars in Raoul Walsh's western, which traces the evolution of a Texan gunslinger.

    On Film4: 18 Jan 5:15PM

  • Film4

    Yakuza Apocalypse

    Takashi Miike's ultra-violent, darkly comic horror about a vampire mobster seeking revenge.

  • Film4

    Wild In The Streets on Film4

    A thrillingly dark and dangerous season of anarchy, paranoia, violent action, gang warfare and urban crime

  • Film4

    The Grand Budapest Hotel on Film4

    Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan and Bill Murray star in Wes Andersons The Grand Budapest Hotel, playing for the first time on Film4.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF 2016: Top Ten

    Film4.com Editor Michael Leader runs through ten standouts from the Toronto International Film Festival...   The Oath I'd already seen three of the four Film4-backed films screening in Toronto (inc

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Baltasar Kormakur on The Oath

    As his Film4-backed Icelandic thriller The Oath premieres in Toronto, director/writer/actor Baltasar Kormakur speaks with Film4.com editor Michael Leader about making films in Hollywood, returning to

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share