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
The half-track German motorcycle Miller calls a "rabbit" (its Allied nick-name) is a Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101, or just Kettenkrad ("tracked motorcycle"). Meant for towing small trailers and light artillery over rough ground, it was the smallest tracked vehicle used in WWII, aside from the German "Goliath" (an unmanned remote-controlled mine). It was manufactured by NSU Motorenwerke AG. NSU survived the war to merge with Auto Union, forming Audi in 1969. See more »
When the ramp first drops on the landing craft, the first soldier we see gets shot in the head. The next scene is filmed from the back of the landing craft facing the beach and it shows nearly every man in the boat getting hit. The camera then goes back to the front of the boat and it again shows that first soldier getting shot again. See more »
[running to comfort his father]
[flashback to D-Day]
[shouting out the soldiers on the raft]
CLEAR THE RAMP! THIRTY SECONDS! GOD BE WITH YA!
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There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »
The opening beach assault sequences were the most violent, realistic, and upsetting filming I've ever seen; looked as though the thing was actual combat footage. The shushing noises of rounds cutting through the air was the most chilling part of all. Perfect portrayal of the insane stupidity of war and the anguish of all who enter this most foolish of enterprises. A must see.
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