War is a favorite subject for filmmakers, and often the strongest stories are nonfictional ones. This past weekend, the film "Lone Survivor," based on a real series of events in Afghanistan, triumphed with critics and at the box office. Viewers who liked "Lone Survivor" should see the classic World War II film "Saving Private Ryan," another story of survival which came out in 1998.
"Saving Private Ryan" begins with the D-Day invasion in 1944. Captain John Miller (played by Tom Hanks) and some of his team are among the few survivors. Shortly after the invasion, it is learned that three of four Ryan brothers have died in the war. The fourth brother, James Ryan (played by Matt Damon), is missing in action. The military establishment does not want one family to lose all its sons in the war nor does it want the bad morale and publicity that would accompany such a tragedy. Captain Miller and his team are sent on a dangerous mission to find James Ryan.
"Saving Private Ryan" begins and ends with two of the most impressive battle scenes ever filmed. These scenes make you feel like you are in the battle, and real veterans have praised the authenticity of these scenes.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Director for Steven Spielberg. He deserved to win as he makes the whole film intense, not just the combat scenes. We see their is a lot of danger just to find Private Ryan.
The movie has an excellent cast. Tom Hanks earned an Oscar nomination for his work as Captain Miller. He gives a great performance as someone who does not like to talk about his past. Jeremy Davies is also very strong. He plays a nervous soldier who tries to ignore combat.
"Saving Private Ryan" ranks among the best World War II films of all-time.