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Analyse the first opening scene of Saving Private Ryan

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Saving Private Ryan is an academy award winning film produced in 1998 and directed by one of the best arguably known directors, Steven Spielberg. This film is particularly well known for its opening scene of approximately 25 minutes where it displays the invasion of the American army in the Omaha Beachhead in June 6th 1942. The plot relies upon the story of the 'Sullivan Brothers' where there were five brother and they were all killed in the incident of the sinking of the light cruiser in World War two. This subsequently brought up the Niland Brothers story, who were a group of four American brothers from Kenmore, New York serving in the military during World War II. Of the four, two survived the war, but for a time it was believed that only one, Frederick Niland, had survived. Frederick was sent back to the States to complete his service and consequently, Spielberg based his film on the brothers' story where it was believed that a woman should not lose all of her sons in the war and if one survived, he would be sent back with his army duty competed. Saving Private Ryan breaks some of the traditional conventions of the war film genre as it developed a striking and powerful opening battle sequence, showing realism of what the battle of Omaha Beach in 1942 was like. They had a realistic approach to the war films created in 1970's by attempting to create the battle scenes greety and shocking while at the same time griping and emotional. ...read more.


As soon as the ramp comes down, an absurd amount of bullets are fired instantly at the soldiers. What it is trying to tell us is that violence happens rapidly and will not wait until you have an even chance against it. Every soldier in the Higgins craft end up dying because of the unproportional chance they stand against the Germans consequently producing a shock sequence to the audience as none of the soldiers are able to come out alive and the audience see the effect of the war. As the other Higgins crafts arrives at the beach, soldiers realise that they will not stand a chance if they stay in the boat so they decide they would have to jump into the water and try to go up the beach. As the camera went into the water, the sound is suddenly withdrawn from the film and we could just hear the sound of bullets breaking through the water. This is to give us a feeling that we are in the war and we had to jump in the water. The film not only enables us to visualize the facts as if we were there but also to hear what is going on at the war. We are also able to see that the soldiers carrying heavy loaded artillery were not able to swim to the coast as they could not remove their load before drowning. As a result, this would subsequently mean that the audience would feel for the soldiers as they would die because of their artillery in one of the most arguably painful ways. ...read more.


The sniper sees God as a warrior as he says "give me strength to fight the evil" he wants God to fight the evil and give him strength to help him finish the war. After many American soldiers died because of the Germans, they fought for bloodlust and revenge. When there was an immense explosion in the turret one soldier said "don't shoot, let them burn" this was to show that soldier wanted their enemies to suffer as much as they could, as if they shoot their enemies they would die instantly and if they left them to burn they would take a long time until they burned.To have complete victory over the Germans, it was necessary that the Americans would kill all the German soldiers who were left in the trenches behind the turrets, but even though the a few German soldiers had surrendered, the American soldiers were chaotic and were involved in a bloodlust, furthermore killing the Germans as if it was a murderer as they have surrendered. At the end there was a reccuring shot of Captain Miller's shaking hand, this shows that even after the battle, Miller was still nervous and still shivering. At the end of the battle there was a close up shot of the blood in the water and an upper camera shot to show the effects of the war and its destruction after the battle. The effect it had on the audience was that it left the audience exhausted as they have been watching the battle scene for nearly 26 minutes and it also had a draining effect as it gave a sudden realisation to the audience of what the battle was like. To conclude my essay, ...read more.

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