Saving Private Ryan History Essay

Saving Private Ryan Historical Review

Saving Private Ryan

     I chose Saving Private Ryan, the 1998 movie directed by Steven Spielberg about the invasion at Normandy and a special mission that follows, as the topic of my paper. The mission is for eight men to go behind enemy lines and rescue a soldier who’s brothers have died in battle and bring him back.
     The movie starts with the D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach, a very tragic and great day at the same time. Allied troops were being shot the second the landing vehicles opened, mortars were dropping all over, there was no cover, and those who sought refuge in the water were drowned by the weight of their equipment. As all of this happens, we follow members of one unit as they struggle to make their way on shore. Bodies are dropping everywhere, the wounded are piling up, and things are looking down. After intense battle and effort, however, the Allied forces finally take the beach, but not without a high cost of life.
     From what I know and have heard about the D-Day invasion, the movie was very accurate on it’s portrayal of the attack. The action was so intense at the movie theater I first saw it in that a veteran got up and left for a while because he was crying so bad. I later found out that he had actually been there and that seeing it so vividly on screen had brought back too many bad memories. If that doesn’t convey realism, I don’t know what does.      
     Once the territory is in Allied hands and bases have been set up, we are introduced to the characters we have been following; namely Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and the rest of his unit. They are then given an assignment. Washington brass has discovered that all of Ma’ Ryan’s boys have been K.I.A. except for one, and his whereabouts are unknown due to a bad air drop. Captain Miller and his men must track him down so that he can be shipped back to the U.S.
     Now, the mission may not be historically accurate, but the practice may have been. From what I have heard, GI’s were sent back home if two or more of their siblings our immediate relatives were lost in combat. This may just be hearsay, but it’s sounds like a reasonable policy.
     None of Captain Miller’s troops are happy about this and there is much discussion on the worth of sacrificing eight men for one. Miller, however, is hearing none of it and they push on. Occasionally they happen upon a fire fight, randomly scattered troops, and downed gliders that had been off course. One particular battle they encounter gives them an...

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Relations between History and the Saving Private Ryan movie

Saving Private Ryan

The film “Saving Private Ryan” has, on the whole, fairly well respected the history of the landing.

The first part, that of the landing at Omaha Beach, is quite respectful towards History, except for what will be mentioned below:

The sea, after the landing, was not red with blood, but black because of the German shells which sank into the mud and made it rise to the surface.

– The place found to turn the scene (in Ireland) does not resemble the beaches of the landing of Normandy.

– The landing in the film seems very short compared to what the American soldiers endured on June 6, 1944 in the morning. Some units remained more than 5 hours on the beach without being able to advance an inch.

– The beach defenses called “Rommel Asparagus”, whose purpose was to damage the hulls of the landing craft, are placed upside down in the film.

– Contrary to an idea too widespread and shared again in this film, not all American amphibious tanks have flowed in the English Channel. Indeed, some units were very severely hit, but no fewer than 58 tanks reached the beach in the early hours of the assault at Omaha Beach. To learn more about amphibious armored vehicles, click here.

The second part of the film, which represents the vast majority of the Battle of Normandy, delivers the plot of the film and is inspired by the environment of these 90 days of fighting for Americans in the Normandy bocage. The fact is that at the beginning of the war four brothers, the Niland brothers, who were united within the same unit, were killed when the boat they served was sunk during a Japanese attack In the Pacific. This loss to the Niland family provoked a strong reaction on the part of American public opinion and all the brothers who served in the same unit were separated to avoid such a misadventure. The film “Saving Private Ryan” is inspired by this real fact but adapts it. To learn more about the Niland brothers, click here.

This film is the most realistic of the feature films on the landing of Omaha Beach. The camera games, which have been used on the shoulder, give a presence effect to the very innovative action that all modern warfare films take up (for example, Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor” movie, 2001) .

Sound is a fundamental part of the film. To the point of perfection, the sounds of bullets entering the flesh were taken by specialists who fired live bullets on lifeless carcasses of cattle.

The equipment carried by the actors of “Saving Private Ryan” are authentic. Director Steven Spielberg wanted his actors to feel the weight of weapons, fighting bags and vintage shoes so that their movements would be the most faithful to those of the soldiers of the Second World War. This detail has its importance in that the unity represented by Tom Hanks and his men is the Ranger Battalion, an elite unit of the US Army.

To represent the story in the smallest details: this notion appears to be essential to the filmmakers of war films since the end of the 1990s. It was an era too close to the war where the films had to remember the victory without the pain and the sacrifices, And who were ultimately not respectful of history in large part. Nowadays, directors seem to be seeking perfection, in the most realistic possible way, while being careful not to forget these pains and sacrifices. Our need to commemorate the past and to remember the facts of war like these go through a high level of detail, like films like “Saving Private Ryan” or “Band of Brothers”, often violent but realistic.

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