I remember very clearly the day I saw the Omaha Beach scene from Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ A dear friend had taken me to a screening, and after the 20th burst of vomit or blood, I asked myself quietly, "This is a Tom Hanks movie, correct?" I can think of few war films with quite as visceral an opening as this one, and so I’m thrilled that Cinefix (who seems to be on a roll recently) has put together this reel of background about the scene. We get a lot of nice tidbits here, such as the fact that shutter modifications on the cameras used gave the scene its jumpy, alarming immediacy, or that squibs of blood were programmed to explode in sync with flare bursts from soldiers’ guns. We get voice-over quotes from Spielberg, Hanks, and sound designer Gary Rydstrom. And we get the pleasure (painful, but meaningful) of revisiting one of Spielberg’s most remarkable isolated achievements.
Watch: Steven Spielberg’s Bloodiest Scene from ‘Saving Private Ryan’: A Breakdown