Play Spielberg in a film directed by Spielberg? No pressure.
“Forget the story,” said Richard Dreyfus, a filmmaker and friend of Spielberg’s. “This is what you want to see: the man doing it.” And, as a follow-up to the blockbuster hit Schindler’s List, this new film, Saving Private Ryan, has Spielberg’s blessing—at least the producer, Mark Goldblatt, who was the original director.
Like the much-lauded Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan is a World War II drama that pits one American platoon against the Nazi machine. But this time, the protagonist (Walter Fauntroy) is an Irishman, and the enemy, the German army, is the enemy of everyone, not just one little nation.
The story, which is based on actual events, begins in June 1943, when Private York Tillinghast (Wal Fauntroy) is the best-looking and best-liked soldier at the paratrooper training camp in the Belgian city of Charleroi. He has a dream that an important general is going to lead the American army in an invasion of Germany.
The general comes to the camp, tells York Tillinghast he’s going to lead a big, glamorous raid on Berlin, with huge numbers of tanks and planes, and a grand parade down Fifth Avenue.
The paratroopers, however, are told to do the minimum for the general and do not have the gear for such a show. The paratroopers are told it will not be easy, and they are not told when the landing operation will occur.
In September 1943, an American convoy is headed toward the Rhine River. As it goes through the Netherlands, paratroopers have been ordered to shoot down any German airplanes they see—there will be no invasion for the paratroopers, but they are to put a stop to the aircraft. But, despite the order, the paratroopers