Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film is known for its graphic portrayal of war, especially its depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. The film follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), the last surviving brother of four, the three other brothers having been killed in action. The film was a co-production between DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, and Mutual Film Company. DreamWorks distributed the film in North America while Paramount released the film internationally.
In 1996, producer Mark Gordon pitched Rodat's idea, which was inspired by the Niland brothers, to Paramount, which eventually began development on the project. Spielberg, who at the time was forming DreamWorks, came on board to direct the project, and Hanks joined the cast. After the cast went through training supervised by Marine veteran Dale Dye, the film's principal photography started in June 1997 and lasted two months. The film's D-Day scenes were shot in Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe Strand, Ballinesker, just east of Curracloe, County Wexford, Ireland, and used members of the Irish Army reserve as infantry for the D-Day landing.
Released on July 24, 1998, Saving Private Ryan received acclaim from critics and audiences for its performances (particularly from Hanks), realism, cinematography, score, screenplay, and Spielberg's direction, and was placed on many film critics' 1998 top ten lists. It was also a box office success, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1998 in the United States with $216.8 million domestically and the second-highest-grossing film of 1998 worldwide with $481.8 million worldwide. Additionally, it grossed $44 million from its release on home video in May 1999. The film won several accolades, including Best Picture and Director at the Golden Globes, Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, and Critics' Choice Awards. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards at the 71st Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hanks), and Best Original Screenplay, and won five: Best Director (Spielberg's second), Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing.
Since its release, Saving Private Ryan has been considered one of the greatest films of all time and has been lauded as influential on the war film genre. It is credited for renewing interest in World War II media. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Saving Private Ryan as the 71st-greatest American movie in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) and in 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". MOVIE REVIEW In the present day, an elderly man visits the Normandy Cemetery with his family. At a tombstone, he falls to his knees with emotion.
On the morning of June 6, 1944, American soldiers land at Omaha Beach as part of the Normandy invasion. They suffer heavy losses in assaulting fortified German defensive positions. Captain John H. Miller of the 2nd Ranger Battalion leads a breakout from the beach. Elsewhere on the beach, a dead soldier lies face-down in the bloody surf; his pack is stenciled Ryan, S.
In Washington, D.C., at the War Department, General George C. Marshall learns that three of the four sons of the Ryan family were killed in action within a short time of one another; Daniel Ryan in New Guinea shortly before D-Day, Sean Ryan at Omaha Beach, and Peter Ryan at Utah Beach; the fourth son, James Francis Ryan, is with the 101st Airborne Division somewhere in Normandy. After reading Abraham Lincoln's Bixby letter aloud, Marshall orders Ryan found and brought home.
Three days after D-Day, Miller receives orders to find Ryan and bring him back. He chooses seven men from his company—T/Sgt. Mike Horvath, Privates First Class Richard Reiben and Adrian Caparzo, Privates Stanley Mellish and Daniel Jackson, T/4 medic Irwin Wade—plus T/5 Timothy Upham, an interpreter from the 29th Infantry Division. They move out to Neuville, where they meet a squad of the 101st engaged against the enemy. Caparzo is killed by a German sniper, who is then killed by Jackson. They locate a Private James Ryan, only to learn that he is James Frederick Ryan. From passing soldiers, Miller learns that Ryan is defending an important bridge in Ramelle.