Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency, and courage.

Saving Private Ryan Quote: “James, earn this… earn it.” – Captain Miller

You’d be hard-pressed to find a movie critic or cinema-goer that doesn’t love or at least respect Saving Private Ryan. From its iconic opening depiction of D-Day, this is unlike any war movie we’ve covered.

Listener JE Urseth commissioned this 1998 WWII classic to honor all servicemen and women and as a special tribute to his grandfather who served in the Pacific. From the start, Big D and Gene talk about the inspiration they found from the film to serve their country, and Roger talks about his one call back from the marines.

We cover the complexities of war, the film’s violent depiction of battle, and a missed opportunity for a Garth Brooks’ cameo. Roger asks Big D to explain how to blow up a bridge. Gene calls out Spielberg’s sentimentality, and Big D explains the secrets soldiers tell one another in the dark.

We also ask what morality looks like in wartime. What would have happened if Tom Sizemore had not destroyed his career? And did Private Ryan make the right choice at the movie’s close?

Plot Summary: “Saving Private Ryan” Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency, and courage.

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