From: San Diego (Lives in Indianapolis)
I don't recall the shooting of prisoners being glorified in the film.
Two scenes in particular comes to mind. As the Americans make it off of Omaha beach, a number of Germans come out with their hands raised, saying "I surrender," and the Americans happily shoot them. Then one American soldier says to another something to the effect of "oh well, good thing I don't speak German."
Then of course, the prisoner that is executed at the end of the film. Executed by the only protagonist who at any time during the film voices dissent to the idea of killing prisoners.
This isn't just "bad things happen in war." The writers and the director of the film chose to use the only character who ever voiced a moral objection to killing prisoners of war, to kill a prisoner of war. This communicates to the viewer that not only is this particular killing of a prisoner justified, but when it came to the "nazis," no prisoner could be trusted and thus the murder character's original moral objection was misplaced.
In any case, very few "in the movie theatre" experiences sit with me for years; however, one that does was Saving Private Ryan. I'm an American, so I saw the film on release in an American theatre and with an American audience--with my grandfather no less, who was actually at Omaha beach. I will never forget the sick feeling I felt when people in the theatre were actually cheering during both of those scenes.
So, forget my analysis even. If a scene of Americans killing prisoners of war literally inspired Americans to cheer in a movie theatre, I feel pretty okay saying that the scene in question glorified the murder of POWs.
There were similar scenes in Band of Brothers, however in that case the audience feels from the outset that the murder of POWs is wrong. Partially because the writers and director took a moment to humanize one of the prisoners that gets murdered--an American whose family returned to Germany in the 1930s.
What is more, throughout the series the character who committed the murder has to be painstakingly redeemed to the point where, at the end of the series he realizes killing a prisoner (another American who shot a fellow soldier) would be murder and he makes the choice to not kill that person.
I mean there are "right ways" to make films that show war like it is and then there are wrong ways to do the same. Saving Private Ryan just happens to be a bad one. Band of Brothers and Letters From Iwo Jima are "good" ones.
< Message edited by Revthought -- 2/15/2017 5:14:23 PM >
Playing at war is a far better vocation than making people fight in them.