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<<The film lost me from the point where the secretary in the U.S.
comes to the stunning realization that there are three, yes *three* death
certificates with the last name Ryan on them.  How many of those does she
look at a day?  What does she do with all the Smiths?
>>
 
I was under the impression that it was her job to sort the records and
create files on those that were KIA. Surely the paperwork she was looking at
had more than just the last name of the soldier. If this is true, she would
know that they were related.
 
<<My other moral quarrel with the film was the episode with the release of
the German soldier, who of course (Hooray for Hol-ly-wooood) returns to
shoot Hanks at the end of the film.  The message being...what?  Kill
Germans when you get the chance?
>>
 
I think the scene showed the dilemma of whether those in the film wanted to
kill because they enjoyed doing so, or if it was out of anger because the
enemy killed their comrades, or whether they should in fact show a little
mercy and not just become cold-blooded murderers. As I remember it was the
pacifist in the group that decided that killing was wrong. The fact that the
German soldier returned to the war to kill Hanks only showed that he was
dedicated to the cause he was fighting for.
 
<< war is hell, war is immoral, we must end
war, and the way to end it...is to win it.>>
 
And that, I think, should be the message of any war movie. "We don't want
it, we don't like it, but if we must do it, let's do it quickly and get it
over with". And, of course, I think the 'Yanks' should always win. ;-)
 
 
bob vest
coordinator of media services
osu college of osteopathic medicine
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Lapeyre [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 1998 11:57 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Translating Saving Private Ryan,
 
 
Another vote from the "Saving Private Ryan does more harm than good"
crowd:  The film lost me from the point where the secretary in the U.S.
comes to the stunning realization that there are three, yes *three* death
certificates with the last name Ryan on them.  How many of those does she
look at a day?  What does she do with all the Smiths?  Is she the office
lunatic, obsessed with collecting all like-named death certificates?
"General, general!  Forty-seven Thompsons were killed in action today!
I think they might be related!"  I'm sorry, my suspension of disbelief
ended there, and it was downhill for the rest.  Maybe if it had been
called "Saving Private Yanuszewski".
 
My other moral quarrel with the film was the episode with the release of
the German soldier, who of course (Hooray for Hol-ly-wooood) returns to
shoot Hanks at the end of the film.  The message being...what?  Kill
Germans when you get the chance?
 
I really did see it as a traditional Hollywood war movie, whose message is
essentially the same as John Ford's "They Were Expendable", or Wyler's
"The Best Years of Our Lives": war is hell, war is immoral, we must end
war, and the way to end it...is to win it. The Yanks, that is.  God Bless
America.  Good Night.  Drive safely.
 
Final note to Steven Spielberg:  if you're trying to communicate the
essential dignity and heroism of anonymous soldiers serving their country,
don't cast Ted Danson.  Just a tip.
 
Jason Lapeyre
York University
Toronto, Ontario
 
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