Movie House Memories

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Episode #98

Paramount Pictures released Saving Private Ryan to theaters on July 24, 1998. Steven Spielberg directed film which starred Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore.

Saving Private Ryan Movie Summary

In the late 90s, an elderly veteran visits the Normandy American in France with his family. He has an emotional response to a particular gravestone.

We then travel back to June 6, 1944, the day of the Normandy invasion. After the beach is stormed and taken, Captain John Miller is given orders to search the surrounding area for a Private Ryan. Private Ryan lost three brothers in combat in the past week. Captain Miller and his men have been ordered to find Ryan and extract him safely home.

Captain Miller sets out with six men to find Ryan. However, Ryan was an airborne trooper, and they were scattered throughout the region, and nobody knows where anyone is. As they search for him, two members of the small group meet violent fates: shot by a sniper, shot while taking a machine gun nest.

They eventually find Private Ryan with a small group of men defending a bridge of great strategic importance. Ryan refuses to abandon his own men and leave. Captain Miller decides to stay and help protect the bridge and Private Ryan. The Germans come for the bridge. All but two of Captain Miller’s crew die, including Captain Miller, in defending the bridge. However, Miller’s last words to Ryan, “earn this,” stick with him.

At the end of the movie, we see that the old man in present day Normandy is Private Ryan, who has come to pay his respects to the men that saved him.



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Paramount Pictures released Saving Private Ryan to theaters on July 24, 1998. Steven Spielberg directed film which starred Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore.

User Rating: 3.7 ( 1 votes)
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10 Comments

  1. i think the war movies that have been picked so far have produced some of your best podcasts. Hope you don’t wait too long on full metal jacket, I’m very interested in hearing what Matt thinks of it. Really looking forward to your next 2 episodes, kind of shocked that it took this long for GWTW to be reviewed. Also did any of you see hacksaw ridge? There were a lot of comparisons to Ryan in the reviews.

    1. Full Metal Jacket is such an awesome movie. I think Matt will like it.

      I haven’t seen Hacksaw Ridge, yet, but from the previews, it seemed like there were a few similarities with Saving Private Ryan.

      And when we started Movie House Memories, we had it in our mind to review GWTW for our 100th episode. I think that’s the only reason why we didn’t review it sooner.

      1. Hacksaw would be a good MHC choice. I’m sure Shane would have a lot to say. Are you a fan of Hurt Locker?

  2. Just rewatched this for the first time in years, and I have to say, I was disappointed. A lot of the flaws you discussed were just too glaring to me this time. Not sure I’d even put it in my top 100, while a few weeks ago I would’ve thought it was a lock. Appocalypse Now and Paths of Glory are much better. As far as the Oscar upset that year, I haven’t seen Shakespeare in many years, but my favorite film of 1998 may now be Truman Show. Looking at the best pic nominees that year it’s interesting to
    See 3 of them were set during WWII. And the other 2 were period films.

    1. We just did our recap episode to reconsider our picks. I took Saving Private Ryan out of my top 100. It was on the bubble for this podcast anyhow.

  3. Chris, I’m impressed with your views on Gallipoli. What a brilliant film. It was the one, along with Mad Max, that launched Gibson’s career internationally. It also helped in launching Australian films and filmmakers internationally including Hollywood. It’s worthy of a top 100 in my view. The story is mainly true to history as well…

  4. Patrick, I personally think that Matt Damon has greatly matured as an actor, much like Leo Decaprio. Damon’s performance in Ripley was excellent and was a turning point in my opinion, not dismissing his turn in Goodwill Hunting.

  5. Re comments on Shakespeare in Love and it’s sweep at the Oscars that year, this was a good example of the Miramax PR/ Weinstein behemoth that swayed votes…..

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