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Comparing The Longest Day with Saving Private Ryan

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Introduction

Comparing The Longest Day with Saving Private Ryan. The Longest Day was filmed in 1962, and was made to celebrate the victory for the Allies in World War II. All of the stars of the time appeared in it, including John Wayne and Richard Burton. Saving Private Ryan was filmed in 1998, and was purposely made to show how grim and horrific war is, and the director, Stephen Spielberg, researched a lot about the war by interviewing people involved in the specific events during the war. I am going to compare the D-Day sequences from both films, looking at the leaders, sergeants, the importance of individual soldiers and the way the Germans and Americans are filmed. I am also going to compare how each director tells the story using cameras, sound effects, mise-en-scene and editing. In The Longest Day, General Cota leads his men from the front, holding a cigar in his hand, looking rather relaxed. He announces, "There it is, men. Omaha Beach" and also waves the troops forward. Cota gives the troops a pep talk, as though he knows what to do. He also sends a soldier back through the battle to get his rifle, which tells the audience and the soldiers that he cares, but also is in control. In contrast, Captain Miller leads his men from behind, and seems nervous beforehand when we see his hand shaking to open the water bottle. ...read more.

Middle

Both sergeants give clear orders to their troops, and rally their men well. The Longest Day does not really have many individual shots of people; it is mainly midshots of lots of things or a long tracking shot. It is a very short scene compared to Saving Private Ryan, which is ten times longer, and contains a lot of ECU's and CU's, angle shots and tilt shots. At the beginning, we are shown close ups of lots of different soldiers, some being sick, some looking very determined to get out there, which gives us a sense of how they felt before going out to fight. There were lots of different ways in which soldiers die in this horrific film; some were shot down or blown up by bombs. It seemed absolutely terrifying and very painful. This is quite authentic because of the interviews with war veterans Spielberg did before directing the film. The medics are quite brutal, and just stab the wounded with needles loaded with morphine. They didn't have time to save anyone properly, but in The Longest Day, you see medics wrapping a soldier's arm with a clean white bandage, and the soldier was waiting as though his mum was going to come along and kiss it better. Private Jackson, in Saving Private Ryan, is an important character in the film. ...read more.

Conclusion

The cumulative effect of so many different details in this version was brilliant, as it really showed you how awful and unlike normal life war was, and is. It is not to be glorified. Spielberg does a wonderful job in creating an atmosphere where anything and anything could, and did, happen, along with some humour, too. For example, a soldier gets shot on his helmet, and takes it off thinking how lucky he was. He then gets shot in the head when he is holding the helmet in his hands in awe. I think the two films are trying to say different things about war and heroism because of the different purposes. Back in 1962, the war was still quite fresh in people's minds, and nothing could have been made which would have offended these people. So The Longest Day was made to show how brave and strong the soldiers who fought were, and how much glory there was in the war. Spielberg made Saving Private Ryan to show the true effects of war, and how different individuals handled it. The heroes in The Longest Day were the leaders, but in Saving Private Ryan, most of the men had heroic moments. He was saying that there is no glory in war, but the director of The Longest Day was telling the audience that war could actually solve something. ?? ?? ?? ?? Emma Burke 10F ...read more.

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