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GCSE Saving Private Ryan ENG LANG ESSAY

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How the Directors of 'Gladiator' and 'Saving Private Ryan' make the opening sequence of their films appeal to an audience? This assignment that I am writing is to compare both of the opening sequences of 'Gladiator' and 'Saving Private Ryan'. Throughout my essay, I will be considering location, characterisation, dialogue, sound effects, symbolism and camera work, but firstly, we need to know what the key ingredients are that need to be used by a Director to make a powerful opening. From my point of view, I think that a good film needs a variety of things - suspense, action, comedy and romance. It also needs a good plot from start to finish. If a Director can utilise these features, then the film is sure to be able to captivate the audience. I will proceed to tell you about the story of both films. The Gladiator 'Gladiator' was produced in 2000 and was directed by Ridley Scott. The story is about a Roman General by the name of 'Maximus'. Maximus is adored by the people and especially the ageing Emperor, 'Marcus Auerlis'. Before the death of the Emperor, Marcus Auerlis claims Maximus to be the new heir over his son - Commodus, which then leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. Unable to save his family, he is put into the 'Gladiator games' - hence the title 'Gladiator'. ...read more.


These colours represent hatred and war. These colours match the setting and neatly set the opening. Saving Private Ryan 'Saving Private Ryan' was directed by Steven Spielberg in 1998. The film is about three brothers who were killed during World War Two, fighting against the Nazi empire on June 6th 1944. The mother of those sons is due for a death letter from the army later that day, but shortly before, the army discover that there were actually four brothers. They then set out on a mission to find the other brother by the name of 'Private James Ryan' and send him home, but they are unsure whether he is dead, or alive behind enemy lines. At the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, you see the American flag. The colour is faded and this proves that it is old and had been kept in that place since the war started. Personally, I believe that this shows American patriotism. A few moments after, an old man is seen walking down the street with his family not far behind. This man quickens his walking pace and shortly after, he enters a cemetery. You are then able to see all the grave stones in the distance (panning shot). The angle shown, shows you all the people who died to save their country. ...read more.


The similarities between Russel Crowe who played the Gladiator and Tom Hanks who played Captain Miller, is that they both played leadership roles. Both of these characters made sure that they were obeyed by others and both did good jobs as being leaders. The differences between the two characters and the films is that 'Saving Private Ryan' was based on true events that actually occurred during World War Two. The Gladiator wasn't based upon real events and was fictional. Maximus, a Roman General, was a warrior, a leader of men and a brilliant tactician. He is different, compared to Captain Miller, because Tom Hanks plays a leader of a platoon, and officer and a very wise man who fought in war - Maximus, a General, fought in battles. In conclusion, I can see that Steven Spielberg is the most successful Director because he engaged me into the film by using true facts and plenty of action. For me, he created suspense and sadness for the characters and their country. When I watched 'Saving Private Ryan', it really showed me what life must have been like during WW2 and how many lives were lost trying to save their country. I really enjoyed the openings of both films, but I must say that the opening of 'Saving Private Ryan' appealed the most to me. I was really drawn to the film and thoroughly enjoyed it. Cheryl Beacham 10D ...read more.

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