Comfortable and Furious

Memorable Movie Scenes: Part 10

Movie: Saving Private Ryan

Academy Award travesties are so common now that they are almost expected. I guess one of the worst was the Academy’s continuous snub of the great Peter O’Toole, but as far as missing a sure bet on Best Picture, the pick of Shakespeare In Love over Saving Private Ryan was unforgiveable. There is nothing we can do to remedy the past other than to continue to honor the worthy.

The opening scene at the cemetery was riveting enough, but nothing prepared you for the 28 minutes of harrowing violence, horror and chaos that was the invasion of Normandy. The figures vary, but estimates are that there were around 10,000 Allied casualties in the battle of Normandy Beach. If you watched this scene, this estimate is hard to dispute.

The beach scene in Saving Private Ryan is the ultimate in all war scenes, nothing else comes close. There are no crisp edits, not a hint of smoothing the edges or tidiness, Spielberg lets the audience have it right between the eyes, literally. Every frame is filled with as much detail and horror as possible. There is nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, and even the water turns into a graveyard of gravity and zinging bullets.

The realism and terror of the beach scene is as excruciating as it is terrifying. The sacrifice against tyranny and for freedom has never been, or ever will be more graphically presented.



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