Comparing "Apocalypse Now" and "Saving Private Ryan"
HIST 1302 – American History II
Mr. Daniel Bush
Central Texas College
January 4, 2010
The films "Saving Private Ryan" and "Apocalypse Now" were both critically acclaimed films depicting the dramas of war. They both had very realistic qualities and great cinematic values. The films had two great Hollywood directors in, Steven Spielberg directing "Saving Private Ryan" and Francis F. Coppola, directing "Apocalypse Now." While both films attempt to portray war and all its tragedy, "Saving Private Ryan" emphasizes the toll of war, whereas "Apocalypse Now" rather plainly stresses the mental toll of war. The main plot of both films is similar yet contrasting, in that they both star a soldier on a mission, but one is on a mission of honor and the other's a mission of darkest. The films were based on, one, World War II, i.e. "Saving Private Ryan" and the other, "Apocalypse Now," depicts the Vietnam War. Both films attempt to give the viewer a relative realistic presentation of both those particular wars.
War is a subject that has been well explored in many Hollywood films throughout the years. When compared to other films that attempt to examine the inhumanity and seeming incoherence of war, Francis Ford Coppola's surreal masterpiece "Apocalypse Now" is widely regarded as a cinema classic and one of the defining moments of ‘70s filmmaking. The film is based on the novel "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, but it's setting is in the jungles of Vietnam. While some critics found the film belabored and muddled, most agreed that it was a powerful and important examination not only of America's military involvement in Vietnam, but like Conrad's novel, a disturbing treatment of the darkness potentially inherent in all human hearts. "Apocalypse" means the end of the world, as when the earth is destroyed by...
References: Coppola, F (Producer), & (Director), (1979), Apocalypse Now, [Motion picture]. USA: Zoetrope Studios.
Gordon. M (Producer), & Spielberg, S (Director), (1998), Saving Private Ryan [Motion picture]. USA: Mark Gordon Productions.
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