SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
Behind The Lines
When the company came home to Los Angeles. post-production on
"Saving Private Ryan" was completed, with Spielberg
working closely with his longtime editor Michael Kahn.
However, one integral element of the film was accomplished on
the opposite coast in Boston Symphony Hall. There, composer John
Williams conducted the renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra and
the Tanglewood Festival Chorus as they recorded his score for
"Saving Private Ryan."
Williams and Spielberg mutually decided which scenes should have
music. To accompany the journey of Miller and his squad, they
chose to have the music flow out in long sequences, followed by
scenes with no music at all. Over the closing credits, they selected
"Hymn to the Fallen," with a haunting cadence of military
Spielberg reveals that he was so moved when he heard the music
for the first time, he could imagine the audience just sitting
in a darkened theatre.
"I think its very important to communicate to an audience
that mere mortals-flesh and blood human beings-had to be called
upon to make this sort of sacrifice," Hanks notes. And, in
that way, I think we are doing a bit of a service to them, not
through a history lesson, but through a humanity lesson"
Author Stephen Ambrose offers, "The search for Private Ryan
is fiction, but of the kind that illuminates truth rather than
diminishing it. Everything about the story is accurate to the
smallest detail: clothes, weapons, language, relationships between
men who trained together and newcomers, and between officers and
enlisted men. The movie catches these nuances exactly. These are
the men I have been interviewing for 30 years, the men I wrote
about in D-Day and Citizen Soldiers."
"Making a war movie isn't glamorous to me," Spielberg
reflects. "My dad brought home stories of the war, and he
always explained to me how unglamorous war is. What I tried to
do in this film was approximate the look and the sounds and even
the smells of what combat is really like."
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