Yes, I saw that after I thought about it some more after replying so
quickly. I discussed it in my history paper (which was the assignment),
that Ryan seeming to remember Omaha Beach when it wasn't their could be
seen to represent some sort of collective memory held by the soldiers who
had seen combat, even though he was not at that one specifically.
On Wed, 2 Sep 1998, Donald Larsson wrote:
> Scott Hutchins replies:
> > This seems a different type of unreliable narrator. Here we have an old
> > man's memories, much of which are things he only knows verbally, but he
> > doesn't seem like an untrustworhty character, despite his whole barns
> > story. Nor is there really anyhting about him which sugggests we should
> > not trust him.
> > Scott
> > On Sat, 22 Aug 1998, Ilene S. Goldman wrote:
> > > How about Saving Private Ryan?
> I suspect that what Ilene is alluding to is something that bothered me
> and my wife as well when we saw the film. At the opening, we see an
> old man and his family at a seaside walk by what proves to be the
> burial ground of the Allied dead. As he stands by one of the graves,
> the camera moves into a closeup of his eye (time-honored signifier for
> an impending flashback), and we find ourselves staring at Tom Hanks'
> shaking hand as he waits with others to hit the beach on D-Day.
> Now, I was taken aback by this at first, since I didn't think that the
> old man looked that much like Tom Hanks, but when I saw Matt Damon I
> realized that he had to be Pvt. Ryan! And, of course, that realization
> is borne out at the end of the film.
> The "unreliability" in question is whether the audience has been
> tricked into believing that the flashback that constitutes almost all
> of the film belongs to Hanks' character and implies, therefor, that he
> survived the war. That's the way my wife and I read the film at least!
> Don Larsson
> Donald Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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