Where Was Saving Private Ryan Filmed

Topics: HeroWar

This sample essay on Where Was Saving Private Ryan Filmed provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

The Longest Day was filmed in 1962, and was made to celebrate the victory for the Allies in World War II. All of the stars of the time appeared in it, including John Wayne and Richard Burton. Saving Private Ryan was filmed in 1998, and was purposely made to show how grim and horrific war is, and the director, Stephen Spielberg, researched a lot about the war by interviewing people involved in the specific events during the war.

I am going to compare the D-Day sequences from both films, looking at the leaders, sergeants, the importance of individual soldiers and the way the Germans and Americans are filmed.

I am also going to compare how each director tells the story using cameras, sound effects, mise-en-scene and editing.

In The Longest Day, General Cota leads his men from the front, holding a cigar in his hand, looking rather relaxed. He announces, “There it is, men. Omaha Beach” and also waves the troops forward. Cota gives the troops a pep talk, as though he knows what to do. He also sends a soldier back through the battle to get his rifle, which tells the audience and the soldiers that he cares, but also is in control.

In contrast, Captain Miller leads his men from behind, and seems nervous beforehand when we see his hand shaking to open the water bottle.

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This is shown to us at the beginning and the end. A lot of the battle is seen through Captain Miller’s eyes as a POV shot, as though we are Captain Miller, which gives you a good idea about how awful the war was. We do not get this in The Longest Day, as General Cota is seen to be a big hero and cannot put a step wrong.

Why Was Captain Miller’s Hand Shaking

Captain Miller was white faced with fear, and when we see the battle as Captain Miller, most of the noise is shut out due to shell shock, and a soldier is shouting for orders, but is not heard, and then suddenly all the noise floods back to our ears. The Captain then puts his helmet back on to get back into battle, which shows that he snapped out of captain mode for a second, saw the horrific scenery, then remembered he had to be the boss again. The helmet is full of watered-down blood. Captain Miller’s orders are short and snappy, and very rushed, whereas General Cota’s orders were rather long and cheery.

We also don’t see General Cota with a gun, but we see Captain Miller shooting the enemy. Captain Miller says “Quite a view” twice, which is usually said when there’s beautiful scenery, but in this case he means the complete opposite-total carnage. There’s then a slow panning shot with the first music of the clip, which shows how ugly war really is. The sergeant in The Longest Day raises his hand, and shouts “STAND BY! ” then just jogs behind the troops, copying the General. The sergeant in Saving Private Ryan (Sergeant Horner) is always focused, and just gets on with what he has to do.

He says, “We’re in business! ” quite often, and there are lots of close ups on his face, showing detachment. He collects soil from Africa, Italy and now France. This is his way o blocking out the horror of the war. War is like a business to Horner, but he is also likeable as he cares about what happens to his men. Both sergeants give clear orders to their troops, and rally their men well. The Longest Day does not really have many individual shots of people; it is mainly midshots of lots of things or a long tracking shot.

It is a very short scene compared to Saving Private Ryan, which is ten times longer, and contains a lot of ECU’s and CU’s, angle shots and tilt shots. At the beginning, we are shown close ups of lots of different soldiers, some being sick, some looking very determined to get out there, which gives us a sense of how they felt before going out to fight. There were lots of different ways in which soldiers die in this horrific film; some were shot down or blown up by bombs. It seemed absolutely terrifying and very painful. This is quite authentic because of the interviews with war veterans Spielberg did before directing the film.

The medics are quite brutal, and just stab the wounded with needles loaded with morphine. They didn’t have time to save anyone properly, but in The Longest Day, you see medics wrapping a soldier’s arm with a clean white bandage, and the soldier was waiting as though his mum was going to come along and kiss it better. Private Jackson, in Saving Private Ryan, is an important character in the film. He is the sniper, and a very religious young man. He kisses the cross on his chain each time he goes to shoot, and also says a prayer beforehand.

He carries his rifle in a plastic cover (and his bayonet is bone handled, too) to keep it pristine when he has to start shooting. It has a beautiful leather strap on it which all makes him look a little bit like a war fanatic. Jackson kills the first German, which we see, with this wonderful rifle. The audience feels glad about this: as we see so many of our own men dead, it’s good to see the opposition go down. The Germans are seen as killing machines in Saving Private Ryan as you see down the barrel of their guns to start with.

The first you see of the Germans is when three Germans surrender, and two are shot down. The anger of the troops shows at this point, and also when they put a flamethrower into their trenches, and say, “Let them burn! ” Spielberg is showing that war is beyond civilisation, and that when soldiers have had enough, they will kill others to get their own back. In The Longest Day, the Germans are seen almost the same amount as the American troops, and are filmed from the sides of the trenches for most of the scene. They are seen in mid shots, the same as the Allies, which shows fairness.

There were caricatures of stereotypical Germans, like a fat German on a horse and a blonde German trying to run the troops in an office. It does not seem very realistic after seeing Saving Private Ryan. In The Longest Day the shots of guns and bombs seem to be in the background, and cheering of troops along with commands from officers are mainly what is heard. The explosions look feeble in black and white, as there is no brightness to show the effect of the bombs and how big they were. Saving Private Ryan was quite different.

There were mainly shots and bombs heard all the way through the dramatic footage, which gives you a real life imitation, as though you were actually there. The contrast of the dull sand and sky and the bright oranges of flame throwers and bombs was very effective as it highlighted the different perspectives on war, the good side, winning, and the dull side, fighting. The cumulative effect of so many different details in this version was brilliant, as it really showed you how awful and unlike normal life war was, and is. It is not to be glorified.

Spielberg does a wonderful job in creating an atmosphere where anything and anything could, and did, happen, along with some humour, too. For example, a soldier gets shot on his helmet, and takes it off thinking how lucky he was. He then gets shot in the head when he is holding the helmet in his hands in awe. I think the two films are trying to say different things about war and heroism because of the different purposes. Back in 1962, the war was still quite fresh in people’s minds, and nothing could have been made which would have offended these people.

So The Longest Day was made to show how brave and strong the soldiers who fought were, and how much glory there was in the war. Spielberg made Saving Private Ryan to show the true effects of war, and how different individuals handled it. The heroes in The Longest Day were the leaders, but in Saving Private Ryan, most of the men had heroic moments. He was saying that there is no glory in war, but the director of The Longest Day was telling the audience that war could actually solve something.

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Where Was Saving Private Ryan Filmed. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-comparing-longest-day-saving-private-ryan/

Where Was Saving Private Ryan Filmed
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