Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American war film set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. The film is notable for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which depict the Omaha beachhead assault of June 6, 1944. Afterwards, it follows Tom Hanks as Captain John H. Miller and several men (Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for paratrooper Private James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), who is the Sole Survivor Policy|last surviving brother of three fallen servicemen.
Rodat first came up with the film's story in 1994 when he saw a monument dedicated to four sons of Agnes Allison of Port Carbon, Pennsylvania. The brothers were killed in the American Civil War. Rodat decided to write a similar story set during World War II. The script was submitted to producer Mark Gordon, who then handed it to Hanks. It was finally given to Spielberg, who decided to direct. The film's premise is very loosely based on the real-life case of the Niland brothers.