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Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  24 July 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 789,194 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 2,243 user | 211 critic | 34 from

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.



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Top 250 Movies #30 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 79 wins & 66 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergeant Hill
Joerg Stadler ...
Corporal Henderson (as Maximilian Martini)


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In the Last Great Invasion of the Last Great War, The Greatest Danger for Eight Men was Saving... One. See more »


Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| | |

Release Date:

24 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rescatando al soldado Ryan  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$30,576,104 (USA) (24 July 1998)


$216,119,491 (USA) (21 May 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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). See more »


After the radar site battle, Capt Miller's men are roughing up a surviving German soldier and pull their weapons in preparation to shoot the soldier. Pvt. Jackson is armed with a 1911 semi-automatic pistol; he removes the magazine to check it, and it is clearly empty of cartridges. He reinserts it rather than replacing it with a loaded magazine. See more »


[first lines]
Ryan's son: [running to comfort his father] Dad?
[flashback to D-Day]
LCVP pilot: [shouting out the soldiers on the raft] CLEAR THE RAMP! THIRTY SECONDS! GOD BE WITH YA!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »


Referenced in Danville 2nd Ward Young Men: Santa Cruz 2014 (2014) See more »


Music by Duke Ellington
Lyrics by Irving Mills & Edgar De Lange (as Eddie DeLange)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I Agree: This Is The Best War Movie Ever Made
27 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Without looking, I am sure other reviewers here have headlined their article "Best War Movie Ever Made"" and I agree. However, before briefly discussing the film, let me just say if you don't have a decent 5.1 surround sound system, you aren't going to fully appreciate this movie (DVD).

It's a great film to start with, and sitting in a room surrounded by five speakers with bullets flying from all directions around you - as in that spectacular 22- minute opening scene or in the final 45 minutes of action against the Germans in tanks - is an astounding movie experience. The sound in this film elevates it even higher.

The visuals are outstanding, too. I've never seen so many grays, beiges and olive-greens look this good: perfect colors for the bombed-out French city where the last hour takes place, perfect for the faces and uniforms of the gritty soldiers, for the machinery, the smoke-filled skies, etc.

My only complaint is the usage of Lord's name in vain 25-30 times, but, hey, when you consider it's tough men in tough times, that's what you are going to hear. In real life, the profanity probably was worse than the film.

It's hard to picture the brutality of war being any worse than you see here, but it probably was. This is about as graphic as it gets. The violence and gore was shocking when this film came out in 1997 and still is when watched almost a decade later. It's unbelievable what some of the WWII soldiers went through, but that can be said for any war. I believe the purpose of this film was to pay tribute to the sacrifices these men made, and it succeeds wonderfully. Hats off to Steven Spielberg and to Tom Hanks, the leading actor in here, both of whom have worked hard for WWII vets to get the recognition they deserve, not just on film but in a national memorial.

Anyway, language or blood and guts aside, this is still an incredible portrait of WWII. The almost-three hour film is riveting start-to-finish, especially with that memorable beginning action scene, probably the most dramatic in the history of film.

As "entertaining" as those action scenes were, I found the lulls, if you will, to be even better. Listening to Hanks and his men discuss various things as they look for Private Ryan, was fascinating to me. Hanks is just superb in here and once again shows why he is considered one of the best actors in his generation.

The most memorable and powerful moment among the "lulls," is the shot early on of the Ryan mother sinking to her knees on her front porch as she realizes she is about to get disastrous news from the war. Moments later, Harve Presenell, playing Gen. MacArthur, eloquently reads a letter by Abraham Lincoln that is so beautifully written, so profound that it is quoted near the end of the film, too, and I never get tired of hearing it.

This is a man's movie, and shows the horrors of war as few others ever have. To say it is "memorable," just doesn't do it justice. It is the greatest war movie ever made....period.

200 of 346 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Captain Miller's hands hartsxthree
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