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September 1998, Week 3


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Thomas Deane Tucker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 17 Sep 1998 17:04:46 -0600
text/plain (41 lines)
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
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