My WWII sites: D-Day | Battle of the Bulge | Kursk | my other history sites | email this page

Saving Private Ryan

Reviews | Interpretations and Opinions | Articles about the movie | Fan Sites | Other

Amazon. Saving Private Ryan (1998). Amazon includes 313 viewer reviews. Click here for DVD and widescreen.


Web Archive: "Dulce Et Decorum: A review of Saving Private Ryan" by Harvey Roy Greenberg, M.D. "Psychiatry in the News" for the New York State Psychiatric Association. Penetrating sympathetic review and analysis of the movie.

Saving Private Ryan's strong casting lends an astringent depth to its characters, major and minor, which transcends the regional/ethnic cliches Spielberg consciously invokes. Hanks' quiet integrity and Sizemore's profane toughness inform the best work of their careers. Amongst the GIs, Barry Pepper's devout Southern sharpshooter is especially -- and eerily -- striking.
Although it's off the subject, I enjoyed reading, (but disagreed strongly) with Dr. Greenberg's review of The Matrix and eXistenZ.

Boston Phoenix, "The horror and the glory: Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan goes to Hell and back" by Peter Keough. Interesting, though I think flawed, assessment. [ mirror ]

Web Archive: "Appraising the value of life in a sea of blood" by Desmond Ryan for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Ryan describes the opening as "a sequence of visceral intensity that makes all previous war movie action seem like still photography."

Web Archive: "Making 'Private Ryan' with a bloody, truthful lens" with excerpts from interviews with Spielberg, Hanks and Damon by Shawn Levy for the Oregonian, July 24, 1998.

"Nothing Special to Save" by Wen Qing for the Flying Inkpot, Singapore website. "A body count with no feeling attached to it." Includes dozens of reader contributions, many disagreeing strongly.

FuzzyDog review with numerous reader responses.

Web Archive: Jacksonville Film Journal by Chuck Dowling.

Memphis Flyer by Debbie Gilbert.

With Spielberg's graphic rendition, you'll feel as if you have been there. Some are calling Saving Private Ryan the best war movie ever made. Perhaps it is. But it's still a war movie; it's not an �important� film in the same sense that Schindler's List was (the latter should be required viewing for every person on the planet).

"Not your father's war movie" by Dan Craft for The Pantagraph (Central Illinois).

Tucson Weekly Review by Emil Franzi.

Gambit Weekly by Rick Barton.

Screen It! Entertainment Reviews for Parents provides a review and a humorously detailed summary of the violence, nudity, bad language and bad attitude in the movie.

Web Archive: Review by Greg (Roy) King of Melbourne Australia. Mixed-metaphor:

In a year devoid of truly great films, Saving Private Ryan stands out like a beacon amongst the dross.

Web Archive: "Oh. My. God." by Matt Easterbrook, a film-addict. Easterbrook is numbed, but gives the movie his highest rating.

Interpretations and Opinions

Stephen Ambrose on D-Day. Source unknown. Resides on History in Film website.

Things just leaped out at me that I hadn't thought about before. For example, there's almost no battle noise in Daryl Zanuck's The Longest Day. What little there is fades out for the dialogue. You don't want to miss a word of what John Wayne's got to say. In Private Ryan , you have to lean forward to hear what they're saying - and you lose a lot of it.

Web Archive: "EARN THIS!" Editorial by Dick Feagler for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, contrasts Hanks' final line with the current American situation. From Sid Harrison's WWII page.

"Saving Private Ryan: Saving Mankind" by Tim Bennet, an Amy Writing Award winner. The author find's the injunction to "Earn this!" objectionable, because salvation is unearned.

One can see that Private Ryan's attempt to "earn" his salvation resulted in guilt, condemnation, and a feeling of unworthiness for being rescued.
What ideological shoe-horning!

Articles about the movie

"Spielberg aims to tell truth about war in 'Saving Private Ryan'" by Paul Vercammen, CNN.

Web Archive: "Spielberg, Hanks team up for unflinching look at WWII in Saving Private Ryan" by Philip Wuntch for The Dallas Morning News

Fan Sites

Scruffles' Saving Private Ryan Page. A very comprehensive page. Includes an interesting set of Frequently Asked Questions, images, movie clips, star profiles and so forth. [ Frame structure prevents me from giving internal links ]

History in Film: Saving Private Ryan by John Woggon. Includes images, plot summary and thoughts from Stephen Ambrose and a homework assignment.

Saving Private Ryan Webring.

Web Archive: A Tribute to the Best Movie Ever Made by Justin Hall.

Errors in Saving Private Ryan. Collection of alleged continuity and historical errors. Typical assertion:

"I don't think there would have been any dead fish on the beach because of all the boats and men, unless the Germans were shooting 50 yards into the sea."

Web Archive: Saving Private Ryan, unofficial website. Includes images, cast profiles and so forth. Page needs maintenance.


Web Archive: Letter to Mrs. Bixby, 1864 from's Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6th, 1944 .

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may also like these other sites by me:

The Battle of the Bulge on the Web. Comprehensive guide to over 500 resoures, including 160 personal accounts.

The Battle of Kursk on the Web. Everything on this pivotal clash of Nazi and Soviet armor.

Alexander Hamilton on the Web. A comprehensive guide and web directory to Alexander Hamilton, the forgotten founding father.

( See all my WWII and American history sites )