But the frame of Ryan's post-war life is the weakest part of the film, the
least convincing in all ways. the trip to the cemetery comes off as a
Hallmark greeting card moment. It implies that Ryan led a worthy life
because he married and had kids and lived long enough to wear a Member's
Only jacket. His emotion seems justified and sincere but the answer "yes"
he lived a worthy life does not seem at all clear. In fact if that "yes"
were really obviously true it would make it seem as if WWII were fought
largely to make the fareways of America safe once more for Republican
geezers to pull out their clubs and putt. Could it be that Spielberg
intended to undercut that "yes"?
On Thu, 17 Sep 1998, Thomas Deane Tucker wrote:
> The reason main reason one might argue that SPR is ultimately a prowar film
> is because it is framed by the question of whether or not Ryan lived a life
> worthy of the sacrifice of so many men to save him. The film's answer is an
> unequivocable "yes". War might be portrayed as the ultimate horror, but in
> the end the horror has a purpose and concrete meaning in the person of Ryan
> and is therefore a "glorious" pursuit. The fact that Ryan lived a good,
> decent life justified all of the bloodshed on his behalf; ironically, the
> higher aim in this movie is the glory of the individual, rather than the
> glory of a universal cause such as freedom.
> Deane Tucker
> >From: Jim Marsden <[log in to unmask]>
> >To: [log in to unmask]
> >Subject: Re: Translating Private Ryan
> >Date: Tue, Sep 15, 1998, 12:41 PM
> >I suppose that a thoroughgoing pacifist could fault SPR for being
> >"pro-war" because it does not promote turning the other cheek. But unless
> >one is prepared to claim that even in the face of Nazi aggression there
> >should have been no military response, it is hard to imagine any
> >convincing grounds for calling "pro-war" a film that so devastatingly
> >portrays the horror of battle.
> >Jim Marsden/Bryant College
> >> You're right, Bob. SPR was a masterpiece that no one could reasonably
> >> deem to be pro-war. Anyone's reasons for thinking otherwise will be
> >> amusing.
> >> - Josh
> >Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama.
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
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