Yes, if you were to ask me. With E.T and Schindler’s List together at number 2. Jurassic Park and Jaws come next. And yes, I did not like the Indiana Jones series.
Flipping through channels, I came across the screening on HBO. Having first seen it some 8 years ago, I was eager to relive one of my all time favourite movies.
From the initial scene of the WWII Normandy invasion of Omaha beach to the climax battle in the town of Ramelle, Saving Private Ryan is movie making at its best. No war movie that I have seen is as realistic as this or gives you that edgy ‘in the thick of battle’ feeling.
Interlaced with human emotions, nuances of thought & action, and questions of life & death, the movie keeps reminding you of the horror of war and the sad necessity of it at times.
My two favourite scenes are (1) the kid girl slapping her father for leaving her alone in the face of attack (he was trying to keep her safe) and (2) the slow knife driven into the chest of Private Mellish by his German adversary.
Tom Hanks as Captain Miller pulls off a great role, ably assisted by the motley group he assembles to find Private Ryan (Matt Damon), who must be brought back from behind enemy lines because he has lost three brothers and is the last remaining son of his family.
If you can take some of the most graphic depiction of battle violence (read body parts being blown apart, blood oozing etc), then get your hands onto Saving Private Ryan.
—– Further reading —–