Saving Private Ryan (1998)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  

USA, 1998.  DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Mutual Film Company.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , Steven Spielberg.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

The first half hour of Steven Spielberg’s excellent film is one of the best war movies ever made. Perfect editing, sound design and realistic photography draw you in and make you feel like you’re actually experiencing the D-Day landing with  and his platoon. Following that is a more familiar plot about Hanks’ platoon searching the battlefields of France in search of , the last remaining survivor of a family of five brothers who have already been killed in battle.  The war department does not want his mother to lose every single one of her children and so decides to send a group of men to find him, but the idea of making something sense in a world that suddenly makes none is more complicated than it at first seems. Though it doesn’t live up to the promise of its brilliant opening, it is so well put together and free of most hammy war movie cliches that have dogged the genre for so long, that it deserves the overwhelmingly positive response it has received. It’s no Schindler’s List, but thankfully it’s no Amistad either.

Academy Awards:  Best Director (Steven Spielberg); Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Sound Effects Editing
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Tom Hanks); Best Original Screenplay; Best Makeup; Best Art Direction; Best Original Score-Drama

Golden Globe Awards:  Best Picture-Drama; Best Director (Steven Spielberg)
Nominations: Best Actor-Drama (Tom Hanks); Best Screenplay; Best Original Score

European Film Award Nomination:  Screen International Award

Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations:  Outstanding Motion Picture Cast; Best Actor (Tom Hanks)

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