Tom Hanks ‘Wept’ Watching ‘Saving Private Ryan’s Omaha Beach Scene for the First Time

by Tia Bailey

Actor Tom Hanks is loved by many. He has had countless iconic roles, and he does great in every role he takes on. He once shared a scene that got to him from a film he was in.

Hanks was in the war/action film Saving Private Ryan in 1998. According to the film’s Wiki page synopsis, “Set during the Battle of Normandy in World War II, the film is known for its graphic portrayal of war, especially its depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings.”

In a Vanity Fair article, Hanks spoke about this film in particular. He told Katey Rich: “In our very first talk about the movie, Steven laid out how modern cinema technology made the movie possible in the first place—especially for the Omaha Beach sequence. He said no combat movie would have ever been like it. I knew immediately that our job as actors would be to behave and react in the actual physical moment, that we would be trained accordingly over time, and that anything that happened on-screen would be as it should. My rank as captain mattered in training.”

“I had some responsibility and some luxury (my own tent!)—but on the set, the script played itself out. We all had our moments in the movie and rooted for each other. When I first saw the completed sequence, I wept. The landing, from the boats to the top of the bluff, was just too horrible to watch without becoming undone. People see that landing sequence as a seminal 20 minutes, not just in the history of war movies, but in all of cinema.”

The scene in the film is one of the hardest to watch. People still talk about it to this day.

Tom Hanks Reveals What Movie Scene Made Him ‘Weep’

A Twitter account called All the Right Movies tweeted about the scene a few days ago, writing: “The iconic Omaha beach opening to SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. According to veterans, the chaos and brutality is a vey accurate interpretation of the real event.”

Viewers of the film recall seeing the scene for the first time. One Twitter user responded: “I remember going to see this on its release. We were in the US on holiday. People left in their droves. Those opening minutes were a very hard watch…you were immersed in that terrifying chaos and it seemed it would never cease. Amazing film making.”

Another replied: “Saw this movie in the theater late at night. Nothing like this had been shown before. That night I woke up yelling in terror from a nightmare about that opening scene. Thats just from a movie. I can only imagine what the boys who lived through that had to deal with.”