Mise en scène- The Actors

  • Identify three actors from your film and classify each according to the types of actors listed in your text.

The three actors I will identify in the film Saving Private Ryan are:

Tom Hanks as Captain Miller  – Personality

Matt Damon as Private Ryan – Character

Vin Diesel as Private Caparzo – Wild Card

  • Explain your reasons for classifying the actors as you do. Use specific references to the film and pay special attention to how these decisions impacted characterization. Also, consider the impact of any realistic or stylized portrayals within the film.

First, I would classify Tom Hanks in this movie as a personality. I feel this is true is because of his leadership role in the movie. His entire team is looking upon his for help and direction as they fight their way through enemy territory. He has very strong character development in the movie and can be sen as a leader in many aspects. As an example here is a clip.

This shows is leadership and decision making. He does what is right even though it is not always the popular move. Tom Hanks has also acted and directed in other war bases movies and themes which I will discuss later.

The next actor I will talk about is who the movie was named after, Private Ryan. Matt Damon plays this character. We do not see Private James “F” Ryan until the last part of the movie. In fact we are even tricked earlier in the movie when the team finds another “Private James Ryan”.  This movie has him in the character role almost by default. We have a sense of who he is, yet we don’t see him for most of the movie. But when we do he is humbled by the fact men have died to try and find him to bring back home. In the time he is in the movie he shows a strong character role I feel Matt Damon has a lot of good movies to his name he is not quite the star actor that Tom Hanks is. As you can see in this following clip his character development in the movie.

The final actor I want to talk about is Vin Diesel who plays the character Private Caparzo. Unfortunately he was one of two men that were killed during the rescue mission. Vin is most widely known for is role in the Fast and Furious movie series. This is a total wild card character. This is not like anything he has done. The limited amount of scene time he has is very well done and his final scene is powerful and one to be remembered. He was left being known as a hero that tried saving a little girls life.

  • Focus on one of the actors you’ve discussed. Based on other films the actor has been in, would this actor always be placed in the same category? If so, what does this say about the category or actor? If not, what can you infer about the flexibility of these categories? Provide evidence (references from other films, including film clips and stills) to support your argument.

The actor I would like to talk more about is the main actor in the Tom Hanks. Most remember the also award winning movie Forest Gump where he played a Vietnam war hero. He even received a purple heart in the movie. Something a little less known he that he was also the director of the very popular HBO mini movie series Band of Brothers . This was all World War II based. Below is a clip that although was taken in a different time period there are a lot of similar traits such as honor and sacrifice

I feel if you are a good actor and you found what you like to do and you are successful at it there is no harm at repeating yourself


Movieclips (2012, May 9). Forest Gump Vietnam Battle 

Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPPaZU18rUg

Movieclips (2011, Oct 7). Saving Private Ryan- It doesn’t make any sense [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3_3EUKbY00 

Movievlips (2010, Jun 13). Saving Private Ryan – Why don’t you just shut up [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fByRLOM8WQw

Movieclips. (2009, Jan 9). Saving private Ryan Sniper part. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYrf0RheJP8

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

IDMP (2015) Film files Saving Private Ryan


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