Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film is known for its graphic portrayal of war, especially its depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. The film follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooper, Private first class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), the last surviving brother of four, the three other brothers having been killed in action. The film was a co-production between DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, and Mutual Film Company. DreamWorks distributed the film in North America while Paramount released the film internationally.
In 1996, producer Mark Gordon pitched Rodat's idea, which was inspired by the Niland brothers, to Paramount, which eventually began development on the project. Spielberg, who at the time was forming DreamWorks, came on board to direct the project, and Hanks joined the cast. After the cast went through training supervised by Marine veteran Dale Dye, the film's principal photography started in June 1997 and lasted two months. The film's D-Day scenes were shot in Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe Strand, Ballinesker, just east of Curracloe, County Wexford, Ireland, and used members of the Irish Army reserve as infantry for the D-Day landing.
Released on July 24, 1998, Saving Private Ryan received acclaim from critics and audiences for its performances (particularly from Hanks), realism, Janusz Kamiński's cinematography, score, screenplay, and Spielberg's direction, and was placed on many film critics' 1998 top ten lists. It was also a box office success, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1998 in the United States with $216.8 million domestically and the second-highest-grossing film of 1998 worldwide with $481.8 million worldwide. Additionally, it grossed $44 million from its release on home video in May 1999. The film won several accolades, including Best Picture and Director at the Golden Globes, Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, and Critics' Choice Awards. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards at the 71st Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hanks), and Best Original Screenplay, and won five: Best Director (Spielberg's second), Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing, though it lost the Best Picture award to Shakespeare in Love in a controversial Oscars upset.
Since its release, Saving Private Ryan has been considered one of the greatest and most influential films of the 1990s, and also one of the greatest war films of all time. It has been frequently cited as influential in the war and action film genres, primarily due to its use of desaturated colors, hand-held cameras, and tight angles. It has been credited for renewing interest in World War II media, particularly World War II-themed first-person shooter games that became popular in the 2000s. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Saving Private Ryan as the 71st-greatest American movie in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) and in 2014, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".