Saving Private Ryan Review and Research Paper

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“Our Duty as Soldiers”

The movie Saving Private Ryan ranks seventy-one on the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of the one hundred best movies of all time. In 1998, the American Film Institute selected the one hundred best American movies of all time and updated the list in 2010. Saving Private Ryan, directed by Stephen Spielberg, written by Robert Rodat, and produced by Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon, Gary Levinsohn, and Stephen Spielberg, features actors Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore. The film begins with a dramatic scene of American soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy on D-day of World War II. Tom Hanks acts as Captain Miller, in command of the troops landing on the shore. Hundreds of soldiers die within the first ten minutes of the film. Once relatively safe, Cpt. Miller gets assigned to find Private Ryan, played by Matt Damon, and bring him safely to his mother who just received word of the death of her three other sons; all died in battle. The main conflict develops while on the journey Cpt. Miller and his group of eight soldiers take to find Private Ryan among thousands of soldiers spread across endless terrain. Conflict arises when the soldiers begin to question why several men should risk their lives in the outside chance of saving a single man. (McCarthy). The film, Saving Private Ryan, deserves to be on the American Film Institute’s list of the best one hundred films due to its accurate portrayal of World War II through set design, costumes, and actors’ performances. To begin, the exquisite set design makes the historic war setting believable. In the first twenty minutes, the dessert, beach setting makes the audience feel as if the film takes place on the actual location in Normandy. This setting becomes even more believable through the use of wrecked ships sinking as the troops land on the shore. The extraordinary set design continues past the first scene as “the long walk across Normandy takes the squad into skirmishes...
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