How do Darryl F. Zanuck and Stephen Spielberg engage the audience in their depiction of the D-Day landings in ‘The Longest Day’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan?’ The films ‘The Longest Day’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ are about the events of D-Day which took place on the 6th of June, 1944. ‘The Longest Day’ was filmed in 1962. The director of this film is Darryl F.
Zanuck whose intention was to show the events of D-Day to the post war generation. ‘Saving Private Ryan’ was filmed in 1998. The director of this film was Steven Spielberg and his purpose was to resensitize audiences to scenes of a violent nature.
With more modern technology available Spielberg has captured the attention of the audience more so than the film made by Darryl F Zanuck.’The Longest Day’ was in black and white. This is a disadvantage due to the lack of detail captured which doesn’t appeal to the audience as much as a colour film. To start off with a title appears on the screen to tell the audience the setting, which was Ohama Beach.
Immediately after, ships in the sea are travelling towards the shore of Ohama Beach. This creates the effect that there is a battle about to occur and the soldiers in the ship are preparing for battle. Some real footage is used from the real war; this creates a more realistic effect. I think this adds depth and character to the film because the troops who fought in the World War can relate to what happened in D-Day.The camera then cuts to the German leaders giving orders to the German troops.
I think this may show that the Germans are worried and are panicking about the Americans coming forth to battle. The camera then cuts to the Germans taking up their positions with an alarm sounding. This adds to the film as tension is built during this scene. The camera then cuts to the neat formation of the ships, this adds to the patriotic theme which Darryl F. Zanuck created.The camera then cuts to inside the ship where an American commander is barking orders at his troops before they enter the battlefield. The troops in the ship start to offload and attack the shore, not many soldiers pass the shoreline as there are loads of guns blazing. This also adds to the patriotic theme as soldiers are dying and fighting for their country.
As both American and German armies receive a fair amount of footage, this creates a neutral perspective from the audiences point of view.As the remaining American troops approach the enemy fire, many soldiers die on the beach. The constant sound of gunfire creates a more a realistic effect which will engage the audience into further tension.
As the soldiers travel up the beach up to the enemy fire, a tracking shot gets up close to the battle. As many bombs are fired at the Americans, many Americans fall to their death. From a neutral perspective this battle is great viewing which engages the audience into further drama.Steven Spielberg’s creation ‘Saving Private Ryan’ is much more graphic in violence compared to ‘The Longest Day’. In my opinion this may engage the audience more so than ‘The Longest Day’ because the audience may feel that the horrific scenes made, may build more tension than the techniques of Darryl F. Zanuck.
In the opening scene the title which appears is more descriptive than the one used in ‘The longest Day’ which may set the tone of Spielberg’s film from the start.The title ‘Ohama Beach – Dog green sector’ starts off a very descriptive and graphic film. After that the camera cuts to the American ships which carry petrified soldiers preparing for battle.
Then an image of hands shaking appears on the film, this emphasises that the soldiers may have to come to the fact that all odds are against them to survive. These scenes engage the audience straight away because tension is built and the audience will be intrigued to know what happens on the battlefield. With soldiers being sick overboard and looking scared for their lives this is only a taster of what will happen on the battlefield.As the ships prepare to release their troops, many soldiers kiss their crucifix and act out the sign of the cross. This is a good technique used by Spielberg as it portrays sympathy and suspense as it engages the audience. As the whistle sounds the soldiers start to offload their ships in hope of beating the Germans. Many soldiers die on the ship failing to offload quick enough to avoid the fierce enemy fire.
Soldiers dive underwater in an attempt to avoid the rapid gunfire.The camera goes underwater to show soldiers getting shot and the blood mixing with the dirty sea water. The horrific scenes of the blood add an extra effect which gives the film a big advantage over ‘The Longest Day’. Steven Spielberg has used blood in his film to engage the audience more so than the creations of Darryl F. Zanuck.
As the soldiers are underwater, man are drowning due to the weight of their weaponry. Then when the soldiers reach the shore, bullets are flying through the air and blood is splashing from the shot soldiers. As bullets are ricocheting off boats, limbs are flying off helpless soldiers. This adds to the gruesome theme.The commander on the beach, who is played by Tom Hanks, begins to realise that he is in trouble. The sound on the film starts to become muffled and creates the effect that the commander is light headed. As he looks around he realises that his troops are also in trouble. On the shore, the American soldiers are huddling in fear; this, to the audience, may seem as though they are losing the battle.
Then the commander realises he needs to take control of the situation. He does this by leading his fellow Americans across the shore and to the top of the beach. Spielberg uses many different effects to make clear his intentions to resensitize audiences to violence. On the other hand there is not much dialogue used in his film which differs from Zanucks film. Dialogue used in Zanucks film many give the audience a more realistic view of D-Day.
Zanuck uses good techniques to give the post war generation a good outlook on the events of D-Day. He uses real footage and some dialogue to give his film extra detail.The two directors’ intentions are very different as Spielberg wants to resensitize audiences to violence and Zanuck made the film for the post war generation. Spielberg had the opportunity to get across his intentions much clearer than Zanuck.
He could do so with a colour film which works to better effect than an ordinary black and white film. The director’s intentions are very different; Zanuck is trying to make his film s descriptive as possible for the post war generation whereas Spielberg is focusing on the violence, and making it as gruesome as possible. The two directors depictions of D-Day differ due to the more gruesome effects used by Spielberg to engage the audience. On the other hand, Zanuck used some real footage which may give the audience a more realistic view to D-Day than Spielberg’s methods.In conclusion, Spielberg engages the audience by the use of violence which creates suspense and tension. At the beginning of the film, the soldiers in the boats are shaking and are being sick overboard.
This is a great way to build tension and engage the audience. With these techniques, the audience will be very intrigued to know what happens next. On the other hand, Zanuck uses dialogue and many different camera angles to engage the audience. The dialogue used in the German headquarters, builds tension also as it tells the audience that there is a battle about to occur between the Germans and Americans. The directors’ interpretations of D-Day differ due to the directors different intentions.