SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG
AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT/ PARAMOUNT PICTURES
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG
AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT/ PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Information From IMDb
Opening with the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, members
of the 2nd Ranger Battalion under Cpt. Miller fight ashore to secure a beachhead.
Amidst the fighting, two brothers are killed in action.
Earlier in New Guinea, a third brother is KIA. Their mother, Mrs. Ryan,
is to receive all three of the grave telegrams on the same day.
The United States Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall,
is given an opportunity to alleviate some of her grief when
he learns of a fourth brother, Private James Ryan, and decides
to send out 8 men (Cpt. Miller and select members from 2nd Rangers)
to find him and bring him back home to his mother...
Written by J.Zelman
Tom Hanks ... Captain John H. Miller
Tom Sizemore ... Sergeant Mike Horvath
Edward Burns ... Pvt. Richard Reiben
Barry Pepper ... Pvt. Daniel Jackson
Adam Goldberg ... Pvt. Stanley Mellish
Vin Diesel ... Private Adrian Caparzo
Giovanni Ribisi ... T-4 Medic Irwin Wade
Jeremy Davies ... Cpl. Timothy P. Upham
Matt Damon ... Private James Francis Ryan
Ted Danson ... Captain Fred Hamill
Paul Giamatti ... Sergeant Hill
Dennis Farina ... Lieutenant Colonel Anderson
Joerg Stadler ... Steamboat Willie
Max Martini ... Corporal Henderson (as Maximilian Martini)
Dylan Bruno ... Toynbe
Daniel Cerqueira ... Weller
Demetri Goritsas ... Parker
Ian Porter ... Trask
Gary Sefton ... Rice
Julian Spencer ... Garrity
Steve Griffin ... Wilson
William Marsh ... Lyle
Marc Cass ... Fallon
Markus Napier ... Major Hoess
and many, many more.......
Robert Rodat (written by)
Ian Bryce .... producer
Bonnie Curtis .... co-producer
Kevin De La Noy .... associate producer
Mark Gordon .... producer
Mark Huffam .... associate producer
Gary Levinsohn .... producer
Allison Lyon Segan .... co-producer
Steven Spielberg .... producer
* Director Steven Spielberg considered casting Matt Damon after viewing his performance in Courage Under Fire (1996), but thought he was too skinny. Robin Williams introduced Damon to Spielberg on the set of Good Will Hunting (1997), and Spielberg changed his mind.
* The role of Caparzo was written just for Vin Diesel after director Steven Spielberg saw Diesel's independent film "Strays", which was also Vin Diesel's directorial, writing, producing, and lead acting debut.
* All the principal actors underwent several days of grueling army training - except for Matt Damon, who was spared so that the other actors would resent him, and would convey that resentment in their performances.
* In the scene in which Tom Hanks's character tells the rest of the unit what he does for a living back at home, Hanks' speech was much longer in the original script. But Hanks felt that his character wouldn't have said so much about himself, and he told director Steven Spielberg so. Spielberg agreed, and the speech was shortened.
* Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford were both considered for the role of Captain John Miller, before Steven Spielberg decided on casting Tom Hanks.
* Real amputees were used for the shots of people with limbs missing.
* The two German Tiger tanks in the movie were in fact Russian T-34 tanks modified to appear as convincing Tiger tanks. You can see the difference between these fake Tigers and the real ones by the differing road wheels.
* Upham is chastised for saluting Miller (Tom Hanks) because it will make Miller a target for snipers. In Forrest Gump (1994), Forrest (Hanks) is chastised for doing the same thing to Lt. Dan.
* Although Steven Spielberg reduced the color saturation of the movie by 60% for artistic reasons, both major American satellite providers (DirecTV and Dish) and numerous cable TV providers turned up the chroma gain to re-enhance the color saturation to normal-looking levels when broadcasting the movie. They did this because on the first day or two of the movie's broadcast run, their customer service centers were swamped with calls from viewers complaining that something was wrong with the color.
* Many veterans of D-Day have congratulated director Steven Spielberg for the film's authenticity, including actor James Doohan, best known as Scotty from "Star Trek" (1966). Doohan lost the middle finger of his right hand and was wounded in the leg during the war. He commended Spielberg for not leaving out any gory details.
* This was the first movie to be rated NC-16 in Singapore. Due to nature violence of the movie, it couldn't be passed as PG film. Also, the lack of adult theme, it couldn't be granted R(A) rating.
* Body Count: 206
* The names Rieben reads off the dog tags are all friends of actor Edward Burns.
* For the initial fighting scenes in the sea, spare ammunition carried by the actors was made from wood, as metal was too heavy.
* The two "German" soldiers who are shot trying to surrender were speaking Czech. They were saying, "Please don't shoot me, I am not German, I am Czech, I didn't kill anyone, I am Czech!" They were members of what the Germans called Ost [East] Battalions, men--mostly Czech and Polish--taken prisoner in eastern European countries invaded by Germany and forced into the German army.
* Edward Norton was offered the role of Private Ryan, but turned it down.
* The opening and closing of the film features a US flag backlit by the sun. This is exactly the same as a shot in Leni Riefenstahl's Tag der Freiheit - Unsere Wehrmacht (1935). In that film, a Nazi flag gently sways in the wind, with the sun shining through it from behind, rendering the flag somewhat translucent.
* The siege in the village of Ramelle was filmed on a set created on a disused airfield in Hatfield, England. The bridge so valiantly defended actually crosses a three foot deep canal created for the movie. Earlier scenes in the village of Neuville-au-Plain used the same set carefully shot from different angles.
* One camera's shutter was deliberately misaligned to make it go off sync. This was a direct homage to a shot by Director of Photography Douglas Milsome in Full Metal Jacket (1987).
* This is the last film edited on a non-digital editing system to win an Academy Award for editing.
* Cameo: [Janusz Kaminski] The film's cinematographer appears as a documentary filmmaker.
* Matt Damon ad-libbed the story he tells towards the end of the film about spying on his brother in the barn with the ugly girl. Steven Spielberg liked it so much he decided to leave it in the film.
* The film was blocked by the Censor Board of India for too much violence. The Board demanded cuts that Steven Spielberg declined to make, and instead he decided not to release the movie in India at all. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, the then Home Minister of India saw the movie himself and, impressed, ordered it to be released uncut.
* Full character names: John H. Miller, Michael Horvath, Richard Reiben, Daniel Jackson, Stanley Mellish, Adrien Caparzo, Irwin Wade and Timothy E. Upham.
* Voted number 1 greatest war film in Channel 4 recent poll.
* Gunfire sound effects heard in the film were recorded from actual gunfire with live ammunition fired from authentic period weapons, recorded at a live fire machine gun range near Atlanta, Georgia. The range is owned by a weapons manufacturer.
* In the German-dubbed version of the movie, one of the actors, himself a German veteran of the Normandy invasion, couldn't deal with emotional realism of the film and dropped out and had to be replaced.
* Scott Frank and Frank Darabont did uncredited script doctor work on the screenplay. Scott Frank's work is, according to claims, the most prominent.
* 'Michael Madsen' was offered a role. He turned it down, recommending friend Tom Sizemore for the part instead.
* Ranked #10 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time (2006).
* In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #71 Greatest Movie of All Time. This was one of the newest entries on the list (from films which were released between 1997 and 2005).
* Selected as the opening film at the 55th Venice Film Festival in 1998.
* Just after the scene where Captain Miller "recruits" Upham for the mission there is a short scene that shows the motor pool. For a few brief seconds a jeep with a small trailer rolls by. If you look carefully you can see that the jeep and trailer contain Captain Miller and his men. The next scene shows Miller and the others walking through a meadow on foot with no vehicle in sight. This is due to the fact that the scene which shows how Miller and the men lose the jeep was deleted from the final cut. Later in the film Miller mentions something about losing "most of their ammo". This occurred when they lost the jeep.
* Filming switched from the UK to Ireland after the British Ministry of Defence declined to provide the huge numbers of soldiers requested to act as extras in the film. The Irish Defence forces supplied 250 men drawn from a mix of units of the FCA (Army Reserve) and Slua Muiri (Navy) reserves. They spent four weeks in the surf on the beaches while filming the landing scenes. The UK MoD also supplied a couple of hundred soldiers from their reserves, but not the thousands that Steven Spielberg had asked for.
* Inspired by the true story of the Niland brothers. Sgt. Frederick Niland was in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. _"Band of Brothers" (2001) (mini)_ , produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, told the story of another 101st Airborne unit, Easy Company of the 506th PIR.
* Abraham Lincoln''s letter to Mrs. Bixby, while a real document, was inaccurate when written. Only two of her sons died: Sgt. Charles Bixby at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 and Pvt. Charles Bixby at Petersburg, Virginia, the following year. Two more sons, Pvts. George and Edward Bixby, both deserted, and the remaining son, Cpl. Henry Bixby, was captured and later swapped in a prisoner exchange. In fact, Mrs. Bixby - a Confederate sympathizer who operated a brothel - had lied to the War Department about the number of sons she'd lost. Moreover, according to the Abraham Lincoln Association, the letter itself wasn't even written by Lincoln but by one of his secretaries, John Hay. Brown University houses Hay's scrapbook of newspaper clippings which featured his writings. The Mrs. Bixby letter, publicly credited to Lincoln, is among them. One of the words in the letter, "beguiled", was helpful in showing that it wasn't Lincoln who wrote the letter. A database of Lincoln speeches/writings revealed the only instance in which he uses the word "beguiled" is in the Bixby letter. Hay, however, is documented to have used it at least a dozen different times in his letters, writings and speeches.
* Foley artist Jana Vance dislocated three ribs while lugging heavy gear and military boots for a scene's sound effects.
* When the camera shakes during explosions, Steven Spielberg used drills attached to the side of the camera which were turned on when required. While shooting with this effect the crew's photographer let Spielberg know that there was a shaker lens for cameras. Spielberg said in an interview that he had thought he had invented a great new technique at first.
* Cap. Dale Dye (USMC Ret.), the film's military advisor, makes an appearance as a War Department colonel in the scene with Gen. George C. Marshall. He can be recognized by his white hair and mustache.
* Upham's shoulder patch, a blue and grey "yin yang" symbol, identifies him as a member of the 29th US infantry division. It symbolizes the fact that the division was composed of units from Virginia and Maryland, who fought on both sides of the American Civil War.
* The information on casualties didn't reach The War Department for quite a few weeks. Supposedly Ryan's brothers' casualty information arrived at D-Plus 3 . Most families were lucky to hear of wounded loved ones let alone KIA sixty days after it happened. This of course is a major device of the story but would never have happened so early in the invasion.
* In 1994, Robert Rodat was visiting a monument in Putney Corners, New Hampshire, dedicated to 8 brothers who had all been killed during the American Civil War. Inspired by the story, Rodat did some research and decided to set the story during World War II.
* Robert Rodat's script was bought by producer Mark Gordon who liked the story but only accepted the final screenplay after 11 drafts.
* The Omaha Beach scene cost $11 million to shoot and involved up to 1000 extras, some of whom were members of the Irish Army Reserve. Of those extras, 20-30 of them were amputees issued with prosthetic limbs to simulate soldiers having their limbs blown off.
* Two of the landing craft used in the Omaha Beach scenes were actually in use in World War II.
* 40 barrels of fake blood were utilized in the opening battle scene.
* Local reenactment groups such as the Second Battle Group were employed as extras to play German and American soldiers.
* The Battle of Ramelle never took place in real life. The town and the battle were both fictional.
* As Steven Spielberg refused to cut the violent scenes, the film was banned in Malaysia.
* One of the very last films to be released on Laserdisc in November 1999. Laserdiscs ceased being manufactured at the end of that year.
* Steven Spielberg requested that no one gain admittance to the movie once it had begun.
* Originally Steven Spielberg envisaged the film as being like a Boy's Own adventure. However, after he started interviewing WWII vets, he realized that such a treatment would be wholly inappropriate.
* The input of Industrial Light & Magic was significantly downplayed so as not to make the film appear to be a special effects movie. ILM's contribution however was subtle but highly necessary as most of the bullet hits in the Omaha Beach attack were digitally created.
* To achieve his unique "look" for the film, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski adjusted his film shutter to 90 degrees to create sharper, more realistic images, and used an Image Shaker to vibrate the camera to approximate the impact of explosions.
* Steven Spielberg is on record as saying that even if the film had received an NC-17 rating, he would have released it uncut anyway.
* The first DreamWorks film to cross the $100 million mark.
* Steven Spielberg donated an undisclosed amount of money to build a theater at America's National D-Day Memorial in honor of his late father, who flew Army Air Corps missions and was a radio operator in Burma during World War II.
* In 2006, Tom Hanks was inducted into the US Army's Hall of Fame, largely thanks to his portrayal of company commander John Miller in this film.
* The Department of Veterans Affairs set up a special 0800 number to help the hundreds of former soldiers who were traumatized after seeing the film.
* Cinemas were instructed to up the volume when they showed the film as the sound effects play such a crucial part in its overall effect.
* During the ending sequence when Upham emerges from hiding, he speaks in German without subtitles. Roughly translated, he says, "Hands high! Lay down your weapons!" (repeated) says, "I know this soldier. I know this man." Upham responds, "Hold your snout!" The German soldier responds, "Upham," then after a pause Upham shoots him. Then, to the rest of the soldiers he says, "Scram! Vanish!"
* As the German soldier stabs Mellish to death, he says: "Gib' auf, du hast keine Chance! Lass' es uns beenden! Es ist einfacher für dich, viel einfacher. Du wirst sehen, es ist gleich vorbei." This translates: "Give up, you don't stand a chance! Let's end this here! It will be easier for you, much easier. You'll see it will be over quickly." The words are spoken in accent free German.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Several times when Corporal Upham is seen carrying .30 caliber ammunition belts just prior to and during the holding of the bridge scene, it appears that primers are missing; in fact, they were black, which made them look empty.
* Anachronisms: The phone cord in the Ryan farmhouse is coiled. Phone cords in 1944 were straight.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: When the army car drives toward the Ryan farmhouse, the fields are brown. While Iowa farm fields are normally green in June, there could have been a drought, or the crop could be wheat.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: As the squad travels at night, the flashes and sounds of far distant explosions are seen and heard roughly simultaneously. (The sound of an explosion a mile away should be heard some 5 seconds after the flash is seen.) The key is the word "roughly"; there are so many explosions that we may well be hearing one explosion around the time we see the next.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: General George Catlett Marshall is wearing General Staff lapel insignia. This is correct; there are photographs of him wearing these insignia.
* Crew or equipment visible: In the field scene (before they meet the German APC), we can see the camera's square shadow on Corporal Upham's shoulder.
* Continuity: After Miller & Co. leave the paratrooper rally point, there is an establishing shot showing them walking in a field. There are eight men in the field, when there should be only seven since Pvt. Caparzo has already been killed.
* Revealing mistakes: When the soldiers arrive at the 101st rally point, the same extra walks by, up to 4 times.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: In the latter part of the movie, Capt. Miller uses the phrase "let's lock and load." Some have misheard this as "rock and roll, " which would be anachronistic.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: As Upham and Mellish are loading ammo in preparation for the final battle, Upham (who is smoking) is telling Mellish how he told the supply officer he didn't smoke before leaving England. In the earlier scene where Upham is talking with the German soldier, he shares a cigarette with him. He presumably started smoking in the interim.
* Continuity: When Upham is handed the .30 caliber ammo belt before the final battle, the direction the bullets are pointing changes between shots.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Although the United States Air Force did not become a separate service until September 18th 1947, They were not labeled in general conversation by WWII era GI's as the Army Air Corps. When speaking of the Army's air component they were simply referred to as the "Air Force".
* Continuity: When Corporal Upham is watching the attack on the radar station through the scope, the scope turns in his hand between shots, but the crosshairs stay in the same position.
* Continuity: The soldier with a drooping mouth in the back of Miller's transport is seen later at the 101st Airborne rally point as the paratrooper with Ryan's deaf friend.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: The waterproof bags holding rifles on D-Day were indeed some kind of clear plastic.
* Continuity: When the soldiers are about to search through the Airborne's dog tags they head towards a single crate, meaning to use it as a table. When they reach the crate an ammo box has appeared, stacked on top. Jackson knocks the top box off.
* Continuity: The fuses on the sticky bombs get longer and shorter randomly.
* Revealing mistakes: The replica Tiger tanks were built from Russian T-34 medium tanks. You can clearly tell by looking at the running gear. Also, when the track is blown off the first Tiger, it keeps moving, indicating the drive sprocket is at the rear. German tanks had the drive sprocket at the front.
* Factual errors: When CPT Miller is showing SFC Horvath the location of the German machine gun nest with the mirror on his bayonet the angle they are looking from would not be showing them the machine gun nest as it is far too "obtuse." The machine gun nest is around the corner almost 90 degrees.
* Continuity: Near the end of the movie, before the attack, an American paratrooper is attaching the detonating cord to the detonator, beginning with the right-hand clamp. A little later, we see him again, but now the left-hand wire is attached and he's screwing down the right-hand clamp.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: In the final battle, we see tanks with open roofs. While similar to the enclosed Panzer, these are in fact self-propelled guns, or "tank destroyers". The SPG that is destroyed with the petrol bombs early in the battle is a Marder III while Sgt. Horvath uses a bazooka to destroy a sav m/43 tank destroyer (both using a new German body and armament on a Czech chassis). The American soldiers probably referred to all German tanks as Panzers.
* Miscellaneous: In the advertisement for "Suze: L'?me de l'estomach, " the last word is a combination of the English "stomach" with the correct French "estomac."
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: When the Tiger tank traverses its turret, you can hear a whine. While the Tiger's turret had hand cranks, these were used only for fine adjustments or in case the hydraulic motor failed.
* Continuity: When the German tank gets blown up in the final battle, it is clearly mid-way across the bridge, yet in subsequent shots it is still on the other side of the bridge. Also, the number of sandbag emplacements changes dramatically.
* Continuity: Jackson intervenes when Reiben and Horvath are having a dispute. From the camera angle when Jackson says, "Sir, we got a situation over here, " he has his pistol in his hand and pointed at Sgt Horvath. A few seconds later, from another angle, Jackson's pistol is still tucked in his belt and he draws it and points it at Sgt Horvath.
* Crew or equipment visible: During the final battle at the bridge, right after Sgt. Horvath fires the bazooka for the last time he starts to run across the bridge with the bazooka. In the bottom right corner, for a second you can see the camera operator and a man in a white shirt helping him.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: In the end of the movie, German soldiers are throwing hand grenades in a house through a hole in the wall. An American picks it up and throws it back out. A few seconds later it explodes, indicating it is a timed grenade. Contrary to some reports, the Germans did use timed grenades; the grenade shown is the Stielhandgranate 24 ("stick hand grenade").
* Continuity: At end of the movie, Ryan squares himself at the foot of Capt Miller's grave and salutes, yet the camera immediately moves behind him and he is at 40 degree angle to tombstone.
* Continuity: Miller places his right hand on top of his left when he sits down with Ryan. His hands switch positions between shots as they talk.
* Continuity: When running around the French village with the sniper shooting at them, a coiled rope falls from Hill's pack, the next shot, the rope is there again.
* Crew or equipment visible: After the squad reaches the crashed glider and Miller is shouting Ryan's name, the extras for the scene are visible to the left, being held back and sent in on cue to form the column of airborne soldiers
* Continuity: When Corporal Upham is running bullets to the gunners, bullets are seen falling out of the belt. Minutes later, the belts have no missing bullets.
* Continuity: When Sergeant Horvath is explaining his opinion of the Ryan situation to Captain Miller near the end, he gestures with his open right hand in some shots, and is firmly gripping his weapon in other shots.
* Crew or equipment visible: Camera is reflected in the wet helmets of those on the left side of Miller's landing craft.
* Continuity: During Rieben and Horvath's heated dispute, the camera often moves to shots of Miller, Upham, Jackson, etc. When it does, you can still hear Rieben and Horvath arguing off-screen. You can hear specifically what they are saying off-screen, but then when the camera moves back to them they say the same thing, so it's as if they repeat themselves. This is especially obvious when Horvath screams at Rieben, "You are a coward, son of a bitch!"
* Continuity: When the tank comes over the bridge, there's a helmet is lying beside Captain Miller's leg. In the next shot, the helmet is flipped over.
* Continuity: When Captain Miller and his men decide to stay at the bridge after finding Private Ryan, all of the equipment is inventoried, and Miller is told that they have two .30 caliber machine guns. One of them is seen being hauled up into the bell tower, and later, Mellish tells Captain Henderson he will go and get him some ammo for the .30 caliber that Henderson has. As Mellish walks away from Hendersons machine gun, another soldier walks by carrying another one, even though that one is supposed to be in the bell tower already. For this scenario to work, there would have had to have been three machine guns.
* Revealing mistakes: When the 20mm Cannon opens up on the Americans climbing on the disabled Tiger, it is obvious that the exploding soldiers are dummies, as they don't even move despite a five second advanced warning. Also, even the live actors seem to not bother to jump off the tank and disperse despite the said five second warning. This includes the Paratrooper who spotted the weapon and turned to run, but stops for four seconds while Captain Miller announces the same discovery.
* Continuity: When first discussing Private Ryan staying or leaving the bridge, the shadow of Cpl. Henderson and Captain Miller change directions between shots.
* Continuity: During the battle at the end of the movie, Jackson and the paratrooper are in the bell tower. Just before they run out of .30 caliber bullets, they are clearly not as close to the end of their ammo belt as the next shot suggests.
* Continuity: The .30 caliber machine gun that Jackson and Parker use has a solid ammo-belt made of fabric, holding the bullets together (it enters from the left side of the .30 and exits empty on the right). In the next shot the .30 caliber has a disintegrating link type of belt which spits out the broken links through the bottom.
* Factual errors: When Jackson faces off with the German sniper (after Caparzo is shot), he is seen making an adjustment to his scope. He says, "two clicks for windage" but he is seen adjusting the scope's objective lens, not the windage (which is done using the external adjustments near the rear of the scope).
* Revealing mistakes: During the last shot of the Tiger after Capt. Miller takes his last shot and just before is hit by a bomb, modifications to the tank are visible, most prominently the piece of wood with a black rectangle painted on to represent the driver's viewport.
* Anachronisms: In Neuville town, there is a car whose license plate number is 241 BG 50, where 50 is for French département of the Manche. But this sort of numbers' attribution on French cars began in 1950 ; number 241 BG 50 must have been given in year 1954.
* Continuity: When the soldier attempts to place the first sticky bomb on the tank, he is wearing the khaki uniform. However, when he explodes, the dummy is dressed in olive drab, and standing in the wrong position.
* Continuity: Shortly after medic Wade dies, we are shown two presumably dead German soldiers lying in the fox hole: the one on the right can be seen breathing momentarily.
* Continuity: When two surrendering German soldiers coming out from the trenches are killed just after the Omaha Beach Battle, they are shot in the stomach, but when the camera gets closer, you can see that the one on the left has been shot in the head.
* Continuity: When Pvt. Jackson is in the tower at Neuville he fires seven or more shots without reloading. His rifle, the Springlfield 1903, only holds five rounds.
* Continuity: While stripping down to attack the radar site, Pvt Melish is seen removing his combat vest twice.
* Continuity: During the D-Day scene when Captain Miller is using his make-shift mirror to spy on the machine-gun nest, he reaches with his right hand. When the camera cuts around to look at it from around the corner it's his left hand that he's using.
* Continuity: After all the German troops have been shot that were revealed by the wall falling, one of the soldiers is whiter than the others and when he is moved you can see his eyes move.
* Continuity: While stripping down to attack the radar site, Cpl Upham is assisting Sgt Horvath remove his backpack. In the several previous shots of Horvath he is clearly not wearing any backpack.
* Continuity: After the last Tiger tank is destroyed in the final battle, Allied reinforcement troops arrive. There is a scene with a Sherman tank approaching the bridge with the troops, and it is raining. The scenes before and after have no rain.
* Continuity: In the beginning of the film, as the Ryan family is walking along behind old man Ryan, on the path to the graveyard, they pass the same couple twice in two consecutive shots
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: They did have black plastic canteen caps in WWII, made from a plastic like material called Bakelite. Also German snipers did use soft rubber scope caps on their rifles, because often time they would have to lay behind the scope for an extended period of time before making a shot. Original pictures show both of these.
* Continuity: When the Tiger tank, its treads blown off, targets the building near Ryan, Reiben scrambles to push him out of the way as Miller moves to the front and shoots through the sight. However, Miller moves to the front twice, once in the shot of Reiben running toward Ryan (the shot cuts before he can fire), and again, this time firing.
* Continuity: Just before Melish is attacked and killed in the room, the soldier he's with machine guns one German soldier at the top of the stairs, blood flows, but when the German soldier that killed Melish leaves down the stairs you can see that no-one is there.
* Factual errors: When they are on the beach you see more than four tanks but on 6 June 1944, only two tanks out of 29 made land.
* Factual errors: After the horrific D-Day scene, when Captain Miller gets his mission some days later, a panorama of the seascape shows no ships in view. The area ought to have been teeming with ships bringing more units to the front, supplying those already present, and protecting the supply line.
* Revealing mistakes: Just before the final battle when Jackson is telling Miller about the number of incoming Germans using hand signals, Miller says that there are 2 Panzer tanks just before Jackson signals this.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): As Jackson makes a run for the ditch to take out the machine gunner, he clearly passes the wall, in the next shot though he is still leaning against the wall.
* Anachronisms: When the Captain in charge of the typing pool brings the three Ryan telegrams to his Colonel, the map behind the Colonel is a Mercator Projection of the world, split at the International Date Line. Mercator Projections in 1944 would have placed North America in the center and divided the Eurasian continent equally on both sides. The decision to split the map at the International Date line wasn't officially made until the National Geographic Society decreed it in 1988.
* Miscellaneous: By the time Miller and his squad reach the area with the downed gliders, it is already D-Day plus four. After four days, the brigadier general's body and those of the others scattered around the glider would have been much more badly decomposed than was shown.
* Revealing mistakes: When the big soldier is first seen approaching Cpt. Miller as he is calling Ryan, he is a few yards away from him. In the next shot where he calls Joe, he is approaching from the same distance as the previous shot.
* Anachronisms: The "shaven" haircuts of the German soldiers in the movie are not typical of the day. The hair styles were usually longer on top and shaved on the side.
* Anachronisms: Private Reiben's jacket has a large slogan written on the back. The felt-tip marker pen was not invented until after World War Two and the only alternative material which could produce these marks would be a grease pencil, widely available at the time but the writing would smudge easily, making it unlikely that repeated removal and donning of combat webbing would leave the slogans intact as is seen.
* Continuity: During the Normandy invasion, Captain Miller is in water that looks as if it is high tide, and other scenes it is low tide.
* Anachronisms: P-51s at end of movie have black and white checkered pattern on nose showing them to be from the 78th Fighter Group. This group did not receive P-51s until the end of 1944.
* Continuity: Ryan is said to be (more than once) in Baker (B) Company, 506th PIR, 101st AD. When Miller is calling out for Ryan at the Airborne rally/collection point, the trooper says to another 'Doesn't Mendelsohn hang out with a Ryan from C Company'. Mendelsohn comes forward and is the fellow with the missing ear who knows where Ryan went.
* Continuity: During the Ranger's charge up the hill to the radar site, the Rangers shout down to Upham that Wade has been shot by the machine gun. When the Rangers strip Wade's upper half clothing to treat the wound, no blood is visible. Yet on the next camera shot, blood is pouring out of the wounds. It takes a matter of seconds for the skirmish to end, the Rangers to call and Upham running up to Wade's position. Wade's clothing is stripped when Upham arrives, he would have been almost certainly bleeding by then.
* Factual errors: At the end of the film, German Mk. VI (Tiger) Tanks take part in the battle. The US Army didn't come up against any Mk. VI in the NW Europe campaign until after the Normandy breakout. Before this there were only three Tiger Tank Battalions in Normandy, and they were where the rest of the vast majority of the German Armoured Divisions were, in front of 2nd British and 1st Canadian Armies.
* Continuity: When Mellish and the 101 trooper are in that small room almost out of ammo, the 101 trooper fires through the wall and kills a German where we only see a blood pool come around the door. After another German kills Mellish, he stands at the top of the stairs above Uppeman who is frozen in fear. There is no dead German at the top of the stairs.
* Continuity: During the final battle scene, three American soldiers are seen arming and tossing grenades into a German tank - yet no subsequent explosions are seen or heard.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When the company is trying to treat Wade, they give him morphine by jabbing the syrette into his leg. Morphine syrettes were actually administered subcutaneously (directly under the skin) in the abdomen.
* Factual errors: The driver's viewport on a Tiger I featured 6 layers of armored glass, as well as another sheet just behind them. These systems would have prevented Captain Miller from simply sticking his submachine gun up to the port and spraying the inside of the driver's compartment with bullets.
* Factual errors: During the assault by Germans on the town at the end of the movie, two German self-propelled guns are shown trying to push through the town. Neither side would have utilized lightly-armed SP guns in this fashion, when a town was being contested in an infantry engagement, for the very reason shown--the crews were poorly protected from small arms fire, and thus they were too easy to knock out. They would have been used for fire support from a safe distance, until the resistance in the town had been subdued.
* Miscellaneous: Before the last battle, the squad is listening to an Edith Piaf song "Tu es partout", and Upham seems to be translating the song as she is singing it. But the translation he gives is from a later part in the song, one we don't get to hear.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Ryan tells Miller the story of catching his brother in the barn with the girl, he says that his brother left for basic training the next day. Ryan then says that that was the last time all the brothers were together. However, in the early scene at the War Department, a colonel informs Chief of Staff General George Marshall that the four had been initially allowed to serve in the same company before being split up after the deaths of the Sullivan Brothers (all five of whom were killed in 1942 when the USS Juneau was destroyed off Guadalcanal).
* Factual errors: When Jackson put the scope on his rifle to shoot at the sniper in the bell tower, the aim of his shot would be off. Everytime you take the scope off, you would have to re-scope the weapon to the scope. It's called zeroing the weapon.
* Revealing mistakes: In the final battle scenes the P-51's are supposed to be tank busters but none of them have any rockets, bombs or even bomb racks attached to their wings.
* Anachronisms: The tins that Sgt. Horvath puts earth in from each continent have the name written on them in felt tip marker (Sharpie). The felt tip marker was not invented until 1952.
* Continuity: SPOILER: During the final battle, several of the paratroopers jump on the stopped Tiger tank. Lyle's position during the attack on the tank is easy to see, and when the flak gun fires on the tank the soldier in Lyle's position is riddled with shells and his head explodes. Later we see him crawling away in pain (with a head) and he is shot by a German soldier.
* Boom mic visible: SPOILER: In the final graveyard scene, as picture rotates to show the elder Ryan looking at Captain Miller's grave, a boom mike is briefly visible in the reflection of one of the white crosses.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): SPOILER: At the end of the movie, Private Ryan is comforting a dying Captain Miller, when a German tank comes barreling down on them. The tank is destroyed by a bomb released by an allied fighter, a P-51 Mustang. Ryan refers to the plane as a "Tank Buster," when in fact this was not the nickname for a P-51, it was the nickname for a P-47.
County Wexford, Ireland
Curracloe Beach, Ballinesker, County Wexford, Ireland
Former British Aerospace factory, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, UK
London, England, UK
Thame Park, Thame, Oxfordshire, England, UK
(Storming the machine nest, all the shots of large fields and the half-track ambush)
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