A comparison of clips from two Second World War films showing the D-Day landings. ‘The Longest Day’ (1962) and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998). Which do you feel is the most effective and truthful? The two films ‘The Longest Day’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ show the D-Day landings, which took place on the Normandy coast on June 6th 1944. A force of three million men assembled in Britain and eleven thousand aircraft and nine thousand ships and landing craft took them across the channel.
The two clips show American soldiers landing on Omaha beach, intending to invade and capture French villages, but the German defence forces killing a large number of these soldiers with heavy machine gun fire and placed mines. They show the struggle of the American soldiers as they fought their way up the beach, many never making it, and some not even making it off the boats. I found the clip from the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’ the most effective and truthful as it had a large impact on me and really made me feel I was there.
It gave me an idea of what it must have been like for the soldiers. It captured the emotions of the soldiers, which meant you could relate to them and made it more believable. A lot of factors contributed towards making it more realistic, I also feel it involved the audience a lot more. I will now look at all the aspects of the clips from ‘The Longest Day’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and explore what makes ‘Saving Private Ryan’ more effective and truthful than ‘The Longest Day’.
I will look at camera shots, sound effects, attention to detail, characters, and the atmosphere and emotion each clip creates. I found the ‘Saving Private Ryan’ clip to be the most realistic compared with the one from ‘The Longest Day’. ‘The Longest day’ was in black and white, whereas ‘Saving Private Ryan’ was filmed in colour. This meant the images in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ were a lot more vivid and sharp. Being a battle scene, there were a lot of injuries and casualties, the colour used in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ meant these were a lot more dramatic with the blood everywhere being a deep red.
As we see in colour, the clip from ‘Saving Private Ryan’ seemed a lot more true to life and you were really able to imagine being there, the colour helped the entire scene to be portrayed more effectively. In ‘The Longest Day’, which used black and white, the scenery appeared bleak and dismal which is a good atmosphere to create, but the action couldn’t be captured as well because it seemed to me, one dimensional. ‘Saving Private Ryan’ creates the bleak atmosphere and contrasts that with the red blood which is shocking.