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A comparison of clips from two Second World War films showing the D-Day landings. 'The Longest Day' (1962) and 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998).Which do you feel is the most effective and truthful?

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Introduction

Charlotte Jones. 10/E7 7/04/02 A comparison of clips from two Second World War films showing the D-Day landings. 'The Longest Day' (1962) and 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998). Which do you feel is the most effective and truthful? The two films 'The Longest Day' and 'Saving Private Ryan' show the D-Day landings, which took place on the Normandy coast on June 6th 1944. A force of three million men assembled in Britain and eleven thousand aircraft and nine thousand ships and landing craft took them across the channel. The two clips show American soldiers landing on Omaha beach, intending to invade and capture French villages, but the German defence forces killing a large number of these soldiers with heavy machine gun fire and placed mines. They show the struggle of the American soldiers as they fought their way up the beach, many never making it, and some not even making it off the boats. I found the clip from the film 'Saving Private Ryan' the most effective and truthful as it had a large impact on me and really made me feel I was there. It gave me an idea of what it must have been like for the soldiers. It captured the emotions of the soldiers, which meant you could relate to them and made it more believable. ...read more.

Middle

Another soldier was caught in a mine explosion and had his arm blown off, he just picked it up and carried on showing the shock and disorientation they must have felt. Men carrying fuel tanks were engulfed in flames- the attention to detail was very effective. 'The Longest Day' and 'Saving Private Ryan' both showed soldiers stopping to drag wounded soldiers up the beach with them. This was to appeal to the audiences emotions and show how, even though the soldiers were desperate to get themselves to the bank alive, they worked together and helped each other out, so many men were being shot down they felt helpless and were doing all they could. Different camera shots were used to create different effects. In 'Saving Private Ryan' the camera shot changes over eighty times, in 'The Longest Day' it changes over sixty-four times. More camera shots in 'Saving Private Ryan' means a wider perspective can be observed, and you get the feeling of movement. For example in 'The Longest Day' a few shots lasting a couple of seconds each are used, this isn't as realistic or effective for portraying a battle and making it feel like you're really there. You would be glancing all around, so more shots lasting split seconds is better than shots that give the impression of gazing slowly which doesn't take in all the surroundings and give the impression of panic. ...read more.

Conclusion

Men fall with splashes, mines explode in the sea, bullets, shells and machinegun fire fill the air, bullets hit against soldiers and metal, and soldiers yell in pain. You can hear everything you see, so it's more believable. 'The Longest Day' uses dramatic music to start it off, and you hear bullets (although not as many) and shelling, also a few commands from officers but they don't sound realistic. I found 'Saving Private Ryan' the most effective and truthful clip, it was very detailed, realistic and involves you in what is happening. 'The Longest Day' did not contain a lot of detail and I felt it was only inclusive of the bare facts needed to tell what happened whereas 'Saving Private Ryan' included a lot of 'extras'. A wider range of camera shots was used in 'Saving Private Ryan', so you could really feel and imagine you were there. Camera shots in 'The Longest Day' were more restricted. The sound in 'Saving Private Ryan' was of a better quality and more true to life, and a lot more emotion was captured which creates a more believable atmosphere. I looked at, and compared the films on all these points and ideas in quite a lot of depth, and have concluded that all these points come together to make 'Saving Private Ryan' the most truthful and most effective clip. This was also the clip I most enjoyed watching as I found it interesting and captivating. ...read more.

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