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One of the most acclaimed films from director Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan tells the story of a group of soldiers, led by Captain Miller (Tom Hanks), against the backdrop of D-Day during World War II. When Army officials discover three of a family of four brothers have been killed, they order Miller and his team to locate the last brother so he can be sent home.
Upon its release 20 years ago (on July 24, 1998), the film was a major critical and commercial success, grossing more than $480 million worldwide and earning 11 Academy Award nominations. ("The visual masterwork finds Spielberg atop his craft," The Hollywood Reporter said at the time.) While Spielberg won his second Oscar for best director — his first was for Schindler's List in 1994 — the film lost out on best picture honors in an upset to Shakespeare in Love. (The victory, galvanized by Harvey Weinstein's aggressive campaigning, set off a bitter rivalry between DreamWorks and Weinstein's Miramax, which distributed Shakespeare, in the years that followed.)
Saving Private Ryan is known for its intense depiction of war, particularly the opening sequence portraying the D-Day landings at Omaha Beach. Lasting more than 20 minutes, the sequence earned acclaim from both critics and veterans for its realism, hand-held camerawork and editing. (THR called it "unforgettable" and "a baptism by hellfire," and Roger Ebert noted it was "as graphic as any war footage [he'd] ever seen.") The highly realistic and graphic violence even caused a psychological response in some veterans, leading the Department of Veterans Affairs to set up a hot line specifically for those affected by the film.
Saving Private Ryan's ensemble cast featured several actors who later went on to major success. Here's what some of them have been up to since 1998.
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Behind The Screen