Big-budget WWII Spielberg epic finds eight soldiers, led by army captain Hanks, forced to go behind enemy lines in order to rescue downed paratrooper James Ryan (Damon). He's the sole surviving brother of four soldier siblings and the government wants some good PR--the men pulling the duty are less than enthusiastic, however. Pick your favorite reviewer-speak word--gripping, moving, intense, masterpiece--any or all of them will work. The opening 25-minute graphic depiction of Omaha Beach on D-Day is, on its own, Oscar-worthy. Hanks and the rest of the cast (which included a few surprise cameos) are excellent. Spielberg deglamorizes war, without belittling the sacrifices made by those who fought. The actors (except Damon) went through boot camp in England in order to get the proper attitude.
Universal Studios Home Video, 100 Universal City Plz., Universal City, CA 91608-9955, Phone: (818)777-1000, Fax: (818)866-1483, URL: http://www.universalstudios.com, Remarks: Does not handle retail queries from consumers; contact your local video distributor.
Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 175 minutes.
Oscars 1998: Cinematog., Director (Spielberg), Film Editing, Sound, Sound FX Editing; British Acad. 1998: Sound; Directors Guild 1998: Director (Spielberg); Golden Globes 1999: Director (Spielberg), Film--Drama; L.A. Film Critics 1998: Cinematog., Director (Spielberg), Film; N.Y. Film Critics 1998: Film; Broadcast Film Critics 1998: Director (Spielberg), Film, Score.
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