When Saving Private Ryan came out in the summer of 1998, a few years after the 50th anniversary of the crucial D-Day landings in Normandy, France, the entire culture was soaking in Greatest Generation nostalgia that honored the humble folk who were raised during a Great Depression but answered the call to fight tyranny in order keep the world free.
The film was a paralyzing experience — from the harrowing assault on Omaha Beach to Tom Hanks’ Capt. Miller’s last gasping words to Matt Damon’s titular G.I. When I first saw the film, there were audible sobs from the audience beginning with the initial beach assault, but the film ended in absolute silence. When the lights came on, it became clear that no one had moved from their seat. READ FULL STORY