Saving Private Ryan

July 1998169 minutes
Action & Adventure
7,372

Steven Spielberg directed this powerful, realistic re-creation of WWII's D-day
invasion and the immediate aftermath. The story opens with a prologue in which a veteran
brings his family to the American cemetery at Normandy, and a flashback then joins Capt.
John Miller (Tom Hanks) and GIs in a landing craft making the June 6, 1944, approach to
Omaha Beach to face devastating German artillery fire. This mass slaughter of American
soldiers is depicted in a compelling, unforgettable 24-minute sequence. Miller's men
slowly move forward to finally take a concrete pillbox. On the beach littered with
bodies is one with the name "Ryan" stenciled on his backpack. Army Chief of Staff Gen.
George C. Marshall (Harve Presnell), learning that three Ryan brothers from the same
family have all been killed in a single week, requests that the surviving brother, Pvt.
James Ryan (Matt Damon), be located and brought back to the United States. Capt. Miller
gets the assignment, and he chooses a translator, Cpl. Upham (Jeremy Davis), skilled in
language but not in combat, to join his squad of right-hand man Sgt. Horvath (Tom
Sizemore), plus privates Mellish (Adam Goldberg), Medic Wade (Giovanni Ribisi), cynical
Reiben (Edward Burns) from Brooklyn, Italian-American Caparzo (Vin Diesel), and
religious Southerner Jackson (Barry Pepper), an ace sharpshooter who calls on the Lord
while taking aim. Having previously experienced action in Italy and North Africa, the
close-knit squad sets out through areas still thick with Nazis. After they lose one man
in a skirmish at a bombed village, some in the group begin to question the logic of
losing more lives to save a single soldier. The film's historical consultant is Stephen
E. Ambrose, and the incident is based on a true occurance in Ambrose's 1994 bestseller
D-Day: June 6, 1944.
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Cast and credits

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Additional Information

4K
Available
HDR
Available
Audio Language
English (5.1)
Subtitles
English [CC]
Rental Period
Start within 30 days, finish within 48 hours.
Info Cards
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Eligible for Family Library
Eligible if purchased with select payment methods. Rentals are not eligible. Learn More
Run time
169 minutes
Rating
R
Documentary
We reveal exclusive US Army radio transmissions of the climatic battle of Oct 3rd 1993. Speaking to both Americans and Somalis involved, we unravel the hour-by-hour drama. US helicopters lowered troops armed to the teeth into the heart of nighttime Mogadishu as Somali gunmen advanced by the hundreds. Within minutes the hapless Americans came under fierce fire. Many fighting for the first time, the young marines found themselves in a nightmare they were not prepared for. Both helicopters were shot down. 19 Americans died. The radio tapes sound like Apocalypse Now. 'We got a black hawk crashed in the city. Going in hard! We're taking a lot of RPG fire.' At the height of the battle US forces experienced the nastiest piece of action seen since the Vietnam War, details of which makes this narrative full of tension. 'I've got urgent casualties at the crash site, people still alive in the wreckage... We're running out of medical supplies and ammo.' A US soldier involved in the bid to capture warlord Aideed candidly describes 'turning the handle' of a meat grinder of death. In one day the Americans estimate they killed more than a 1000 Somalis. We speak to the US envoy, Admiral Howe, who saw months of hard work destroyed as the UN and US collided with Aideed and his men, the same men who speak today of their lack of remorse for dragging the bodies of US marines through the streets of Mogadishu. On July 12th, nearly 80 Somali elders were killed by US gunships in Mogadishu. In revenge, 4 international journalists were hacked to death as they worked. How did America go from guardian angel to imperialistic devil? Did the US leadership bargain for the unique Somali environment? Black Hawk Down takes the viewer behind the headlines to reconstruct this perverse battle. With thousands of civilian lives lost and millions in international peace keeping reserves spent, the Somalia story is an important backdrop to the question of foreign military intervention.
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