Related topics

‘Saving Private Ryan’ Delayed

July 24, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ ``Saving Private Ryan″ was MIA on Friday.

Prints of Steven Spielberg’s graphic World War II epic were delivered late to theaters in California and Arizona on the film’s opening day, forcing the cancellation of some early afternoon shows.

Technicolor Film Services in Los Angeles, which distributed the movie starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, was behind in delivering reels to theaters across the country, said Michael Vollman, a field marketer for DreamWorks Pictures, which co-produced the film.

``We are disappointed in Technicolor Laboratories’ delivery system,″ DreamWorks spokeswoman Vivian Mayer said. ``Everything that is able to be done is being done to correct the situation.″

The movie is playing in more than 3,000 screens nationwide. Ms. Mayer refused to say how many states were affected by the delays, though they were reported in Arizona and California.

A Technicolor Film Services spokeswoman said company president Ron Jarvis had no comment.

Some Arizonans hoped to catch the first showings of the film, only to learn they were out of luck.

``I think it’s a bummer,″ said Manuel Sanchez of Phoenix, who brought his wife and one of his kids to see the movie. ``We’re on vacation this week and planned to go to the movies.″

The film arrived on time to the Cineplex Odeon theater complex in the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles, but was spliced together incorrectly for the noon showing, said one irate filmgoer.

``In the middle of the film all of a sudden Ryan shows up,″ said Stuart Nixon of Los Angeles. ``Then the reel goes back and they’re looking for him again. What gets me is there are still people watching the movie.″

Nixon said he and six other walked out and demanded their $4.75 back.

``It’s ruined it for me. Now I have to go through the Omaha Beach scene again,″ he said, referring to the nearly half hour of graphic battle scenes as GIs arrive on the Normandy coast.

Alma Monge, an assistant manager at the 13-screen complex where the movie was showing on three screens, didn’t know whether reels from the noon showing were mislabeled or there was a glitch in the projection booth. She said the copy shipped for the second showing was late.

Update hourly