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A Forceful Device

August 15, 1998

While acknowledging that one man's excess is another man's necessity, I must take issue with Marshall Fine's contention that "Saving Private Ryan" would be "an even better movie" without its cemetery framing device ("A 'Citizen Kane' Without Rosebud? It's Unthinkable," Aug. 7).

The entire film is an overwhelming experience, more deeply moving and genuinely frightening than any film I've ever seen, but the coda is what finally reduced me to a blubbering mess and made me place my hand lovingly and appreciatively on the shoulder of my World War II veteran father seated beside me. Far from being "forced emotion," as Fine claims, the coda places the film's visceral and immediate depiction of warfare into historical and emotional perspective.

ERIC WILLIAMS

Glendale

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