‘Saving Private Ryan’ coming to AAFES theaters in EUCOM, CENTCOM for D-Day 75
By CHAD GARLAND | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 29, 2019
U.S. troops overseas will have the chance to watch “Saving Private Ryan” on the big screen on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion depicted in the 1998 film’s stunning opening sequence.
The film is scheduled to run on June 6 in more than 20 base theaters overseas in Europe and the Middle East, an Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman said. In late April, Fathom Events said it would show the film at more than 600 theaters in the United States on June 2 and June 5.
“The Exchange wanted to ensure that families on installations in Europe would have the same opportunity to see the movie as those in the States,” AAFES spokesman Chris Ward said in an email.
The movie follows Tom Hanks as Capt. John Miller from the invasion of Normandy to his role as the leader of a mission to locate and recover Pfc. James Ryan (Matt Damon), the only surviving brother of four who served in the war. The ensemble also includes Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Barry Pepper and Jeremy Davis.
Released amid a resurgence in interest in the “Greatest Generation,” a term for World War II veterans popularized by Tom Brokaw’s book of that name, “Saving Private Ryan” was the highest grossing film of 1998 and earned 11 Academy Award nominations. Of those, it won five, including an Best Director Oscar for Steven Spielberg.
“Mr. Spielberg’s film has been widely admired for its breathtaking D-Day sequence, which surpasses any known special effects in immersing audiences into the fierce chaos of the battlefield,” New York Times film critic Janet Maslin wrote in 1998.
Its final sequence, a harrowing showdown in the rubble of a French town, is “no less astounding,” Maslin wrote.
“‘Saving Private Ryan’ opens a window onto real men in real turmoil and leaves us sharing every nuance of their experience,” she wrote. “For all its terrifying candor, it is an inspiration and not an ordeal.”
More than 160,000 Allied troops landed on five separate beachheads in Normandy on June 6, 1944, supported by over 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft. More than 9,000 of those troops were killed or wounded in the operation, which gave the forces battling Adolf Hitler and the Nazis a foothold in their campaign to liberate Europe.
This year’s anniversary could be the last major celebration of the event that will be attended by the aging veterans of the landings.
At least one D-Day showing of “Saving Private Ryan” is slated at AAFES theaters in Germany, England, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Afghanistan, Ward said. Theaters will have the option to show the movie again on other dates and times.
Tickets for the June 6 showings will be available at a discounted rate — $2.50 for adults and $1.25 for children. Check local listings for showtimes — most are at 7 p.m.
From left, Tom Hanks as Captain Miller, Matt Damon as Private Ryan and Edward Burns as Private Reiben are seen in a scene from ''Saving Private Ryan.'' U.S. troops throughout Europe and the Middle East will have the chance to watch the movie on the big screen on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion depicted in the 1998 film?s opening sequence.