Released in 1998, Saving Private Ryan is an America war epic directed by filmmaker Steven Spielberg. The plot of the movie revolves around the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. It stars Tom Hanks as Captain John H. Miller, Edward Burns as Private First Class Richard Reiben and Matt Damon as Private First Class James Francis Ryan. The film received critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of war. It marked the first time that Spielberg and Hanks collaborated. It also earned 11 Academy Award nominations out of which it won five awards. Considering the way it was filmed and performed, is Saving Private Ryan based on a true story? Find out here.
The story of Saving Private Ryan is overall fiction, however, the film draws inspiration from the story of an actual soldier named Fritz Niland and a U.S. war department directive called the sole-survivor directive. The movie's plot mainly focuses on Captain John H. Miller, played by Tom Hanks, who leads a platoon of GI during the D-day Normandy invasion, during the end of WWII. The U.S. directive which is referred to as the "Only son" or "Sole-surviving son" policy, was mainly designed to protect the lone remaining family member serving in military duty. This is what prompted the rescue of Sargent Frederick “Fritz” Niland in 1944, who was one of the four brothers who served in the U.S. military during WWII.
The Niland family had its four sons serving in the military, however, the tragedy came when the three brothers stationed in England, awaiting the invasion of Europe, were reported to be shot during different events. In May 1944, Michael and Augusta Niland's son Edward was shot down over Burma and was reported to be missing, while their other son, Robert passed away on D-Day, along with Preston who succumbed during the same time near Omaha Beach.
According to the U.S. directive of Sole-surviving son policy, the army was determined to spare the loss of their last-child, aka Frederick "Fritz" Niland. Thus, Fr Francis Sampson found Fritz and submitted paperwork to send him home. Fritz was eventually shipped back to England and he eventually served the U.S. as an MP for the rest of the war period. After a while, their son Edward who was reported to be missing and dead also returned, after surviving the Burmese POW camp, and was sent home.
The movie Saving Private Ryan fictionalises many parts of the story and focuses on the U.S. directive of sole-survivor policy which simply means that when a family experiences the loss of its sons in the war, then the lone member does not have to serve the military.
Saving Private Ryan story is about a group of U.S. soldiers who go behind enemy lines with the mission of retrieving a paratrooper. This movie has been given 8.6 out of 10 ratings on IMDb. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, who is one of the most celebrated directors of Hollywood. The film, Saving Private Ryan is often addressed as one of the best war films of all time. This Steven Spielberg bagged the Academy Award for the Best Director in the year 1999.
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