‘Saving Private Ryan’ Is Getting a Very Limited 25th Anniversary Theatrical Re-Release

image from the 1998 World War II movie
© DreamWorks/Courtesy Everett Collection

Steven Spielberg‘s epic World War II drama Saving Private Ryan marked the 25th anniversary of its release back in July (it originally opened on July 24, 1998). Fathom Events is commemorating this modern classic, which instantly ranked as one of the great war films, reaching the quarter-century mark by bringing it back to the big screen for a very short time — two days in late November 2023.

Saving Private Ryan will return to select theaters on Sunday, Nov. 19, and Monday, Nov. 20, 2023.

The times may vary in your area, but where I am, at least, there are two showings on Sunday — one in the later afternoon and one in the early evening — and one showing in the early evening on Monday.

Check out Fathom’s website, or a movie ticket site like Fandango or your local theater’s site, for more information on if and when the movie is screening in your area.

It would be worth just reexperiencing the film’s iconic opening scene on the big screen; Spielberg’s brilliant and harrowing re-creation of the bloody chaos at Omaha Beach on D-Day redefined how a dramatized war film could be presented, and it might have singlehandedly been what earned him his well-deserved Best Director Oscar. (NOTE: the video below contains graphic violence.)

I’ve never served in the military in any capacity, let alone fought in a war, so I can’t speak to how realistic this portrayal of the fighting is. But from accounts of D-Day veterans I saw around the time of its release, Saving Private Ryan did as good a job at capturing the reality of that horror as a film could — and in some cases it was too real for some, who were overwhelmed with emotion.

And I think that applied to many veterans of any combat who saw the film, not just World War II vets. I can remember the first time I saw Saving Private Ryan in the theater, and I was staying to watch the credits and listen to the music. I noticed a man sitting a few aisles down in front of me who seemed to have been stunned by what he had just experienced on the screen, and perhaps by memories and emotions it may have brought to the surface.

I think he was quietly crying as the woman he was with put her arm around his shoulder. This man was certainly not old enough to have been in World War II, but he could well have been in Vietnam and experienced his own hellish combat there.

Saving Private Ryan also won Oscars for its cinematography, editing, sound and sound effects editing. Among its other notable nominations were Best Picture (it somehow lost to Shakespeare in Love, and, well … no comment), Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Original Screenplay (Robert Rodat) and Best Original Score (by frequent Spielberg collaborator John Williams).

Hanks is great, as is the rest of the ensemble cast, which includes Matt Damon as the titular private, Edward Burns, Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, Barry Pepper and Giovanni Ribisi.

This screening will also include a behind-the-scenes featurette that Fathom says will show Spielberg and the cast recounting memories of the grueling 10-day boot camp they underwent to prepare for the film.

The Saving Private Ryan 25th Anniversary limited theatrical re-release is on Sunday, Nov. 19, and Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. Check out this Fathom Events link or your local theater chain’s website for availability in your area.