Saving Private Ryan

1998 film directed by Steven Spielberg

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American war movie directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the movie is known for its graphic portrayal of war and for the intensity of its second scene of 24 minutes, a depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. The movie follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooper, Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), the last surviving brother of a family of four, with his three other brothers having been killed in action.

Saving Private Ryan
Directed bySteven Spielberg
Written byRobert Rodat
Produced bySteven Spielberg
Ian Bryce
Mark Gordon
Gary Levinsohn
StarringTom Hanks
Edward Burns
Matt Damon
Tom Sizemore
CinematographyJanusz Kamiński
Edited byMichael Kahn
Music byJohn Williams
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures (North America)
Paramount Pictures (International)
Release date
July 24, 1998
Running time
169 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$70 million
Box office$482.3 million

In 1996, producer Mark Gordon pitched Rodat's idea, which was inspired by the Niland brothers, to Paramount, which eventually began development on the project. Spielberg, who at the time was forming DreamWorks, came on board to direct the project, and Hanks joined the cast. After the cast went through training supervised by Marine veteran Dale Dye, the movie's photography started in June 1997 and lasted two months. The movie's D-Day scenes were shot in Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe Strand, Ballinesker, just east of Curracloe, County Wexford, Ireland and used members of the Irish Army as infantry for the D-Day landing.

Released on July 24, 1998, Saving Private Ryan received acclaim from critics and audiences for its performances (particularly from Hanks), realism, cinematography, score, screenplay, and Spielberg's direction, and was placed on many movie critics' 1998 top ten lists. It was also a box office success, becoming the highest-grossing movie of 1998 in the United States with $216.8 million domestically and the second-highest-grossing movie of 1998 worldwide with $481.8 million worldwide. Additionally, it grossed $44 million from its release on home video in May 1999. The movie won several accolades, including Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes, Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, and Critics' Choice Awards. The movie was nominated for eleven Academy Awards at the 71st Academy Awards, where it won five: Best Director (Spielberg's second), Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing, though it lost the Academy Award for Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love in a controversial Oscars upset.

Since its release, Saving Private Ryan has been considered one of the greatest war movies of all time and has been lauded as influential on the war movie genre. It is credited for renewing interest in World War II media. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Saving Private Ryan as the 71st-greatest American movie in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) and in 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

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