Want to get an idea of just how much the idea of summer movies has changed? It was fifteen years ago today that Steven Spielberg‘s nearly three-hour long WWII epic “Saving Private Ryan” landed in theatres. Can you imagine any studio these days giving up a plum summer date for a grim, nearly three-hour long, R-rated war movie? It’s almost inconceivable.
To help take a trip down memory lane, we’ve gathered up “Return To Normandy,” a 20-minute making-of documentary on the movie featuring Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. It’s a pretty nice peek at the process of putting the picture together with its key creatives. Following that is a classic “Siskel & Ebert” review of the film, reminding you why these guys are still missed today. The six-minute segment dives into the the film’s anti-war themes, discusses how Spielberg gets those ideas through via action and not words, and of course, the opening Omaha beach sequence, with Siskel calling the whole thing a “superb piece of filmmaking.”
The film was a box office monster and went on to earn 11 Academy Award nominations, netting Spielberg his second Best Director Oscar. But it lost Best Picture to “Shakespeare In Love.” Watch below.