Saving Private Ryan (1998)


Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

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Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set in 1944 in France during World War II, it follows a group of soldiers, led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks), on their mission to extricate Private James Ryan (Matt Damon) from the war after his three brothers are killed in battle. The cast also includes Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies.

Inspired by the books of Stephen E. Ambrose and accounts of casualties among members of a single family such as the Niland brothers, Rodat drafted the script and Paramount Pictures hired him to finish the writing. The project came to the attention of Hanks and Spielberg, whose previous successes secured the project’s development. Spielberg wanted to make Saving Private Ryan as authentic as possible, and hired Frank Darabont and Scott Frank to perform uncredited rewrites based on research and interviews with veterans. The main cast went through a week-long boot camp to understand the soldier experience. Filming took place from June to September 1997, on a $65–$70 million budget, almost entirely on location in England and Ireland. The opening Omaha Beach battle was the most demanding scene, costing $12 million to film over four weeks with 1,500 extras.