CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

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: Edward Burns, Adam Goldberg, Barry Pepper, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Tom Sizemore
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Writer: Robert Rodat
  • Producer: Ian Bruce, Steven Spielberg, 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 Johnny English Reborn

    Johnny English Reborn

    Rowan Atkinson returns as the inept secret agent, this time taking on international assassins

  • Film4 Maps To The Stars

    Maps To The Stars

    Julianne Moore, John Cusack and Mia Wasikowska star in David Cronenberg's Hollywood caricature.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share