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Saving Private Ryan (1998) Poster

Goofs

Continuity 

During the Ramelle battle, the scene where Cpl. Henderson and Pvt. Mellish are upstairs and one shoots a series of rounds through the wall, the resulting holes are not consistent with the angle of fire. The bullets are clearly shot from around 45 degrees or so, whereas the bullet holes appear as if shot from straight on
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Anachronisms 

Some of the paratroopers are shown wearing black jump boots. All Army paratroopers in WWII were issued brown jump boots. The Army didn't start using black leather for boots until the 1950s.
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.
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.
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.
The motorcycle/sidecar combo Miller rests on is a 1963 Ural M63.
The "Clear up/Clear down" call was not in use during the Second World War.
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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.
Following the invasion, ammo boxes are shown being pushed by the waves. This, plus how high they sat in the water indicate a high buoyancy. The only way this would be is if the ammo cans were empty. No army would be invading a heavily held enemy position with empty ammo cans. Not only would you not have ammunition, their bulk would limit what would go onto the boats.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

During the Ramelle battle, Cpl. Henderson and Pvt. Mellish are firing through a hole in the wall of a room at advancing German soldiers. After Henderson fires through the wall, then returning fire hits him, Mellish fires two shots through the wall before charging the German soldier in the doorway. There is no sound for his first shot.
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In one scene, Miller, Ryan and Reiben are firing their weapons at the German 20mm cannon; the first shot of this shows an over the shoulder view from Captain Miller. Miller's Thompson briefly has the sound of Reiben's BAR. Likewise, when the shot cuts to Reiben firing a single shot from his BAR, it is folded into Captain Miller's Thompson sound, which Miller is firing.
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When the soldiers approach the disabled Tiger to finish it off, there is a shot from Jackson's viewpoint in the steeple and you can hear his rifle fire although it does not.
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When the soldiers are at the seawall during the D-Day scene Miller explains to Horvath that Dog 1 exit is to the west. Right after that, the soldier behind Miller with the BAR leans up on him and shouts "they're killing us because we don't have a f***ing chance and that ain't fair". When he is saying "chance" the camera changes angles and the soldier who was yelling is facing the seawall and not even talking, even though "and that ain't fair" is still being said.
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During the opening Omaha landing scene, the coxswain of the boat says, "Clear the ramp, 30 seconds! God be with ya!" The last two words, "with ya", are clearly not synchronized with his lips.
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On the beach, a soldier with a B.A.R. puts his arm around Captain Miller's neck and says they don't have a chance. His line carries over to the next shot of Miller unwrapping his Thompson, but we can see that soldier behind Miller, and he's not talking.
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During the battle of Ramelle, Private Jackson aims his rifle (at his own men) and although a gunshot sound effect is heard, his rifle does not recoil or flash.
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When the Americans are defending the bridge, there's a scene where the guy with the m1 carbine is shooting his rifle. When he shoots the last round, his rifle "pings". Only the m1 Garand "pings".
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After the Rangers break through the German lines at Normandy, Captain Miller delivers a message on the hand radio. After he turns his back to the camera and stops talking, he continues to move his mouth.
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Character error 

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.
In the town of Nieuville, before Private Jackson kills the German sniper with his sharpshooting rifle, he adjusts the parallex of his rifle scope. However, such adjustments are usually done to fine-tune the rifle scope at shooting ranges. Adjusting the settings of the scope in the field would only render the rifle less accurate.
Before the last battle, the squad is listening to an Édith 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.
When Cpt. Miller picks up Cpl. Upham in the beginning of the movie, Upham says his German "is clean" and had "a touch of the Bavarian". But actually there's nothing like a Bavarian accent in Upham speaking German. Though he speaks it very well and he certainly does not have a strong American accent (judging by the few lines he says in German), you can definitely hear that it is not his mother tongue.
After you see Mellish yelling for Upham to bring him ammo in the building with the hole in the wall, the scene switches to Upham sitting against a wall. He then gets up and runs across the street past Captain Miller to go to the building Mellish is in, stops against the wall and sees about five Germans running into the building. They would have had a perfect shot on Miller since he was just sitting in the middle of the street.
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In the end at the battle of Ramelle, you see cpl. Henderson and Mellish covering the east flank in a building with a hole in the wall. You see Mellish shooting through it with an M1 Garand, one guy pops up and Mellish shoots him, then two more guys pop up, he fires one shot and both of them die.
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In the last battle scene, Jackson is in the church tower and signals to Miller the direction, number of Panzer and Tiger tanks and troop strength approach. The first time he relays the signals, with Miller voicing what they mean, Jackson, among other signals, points five fingers down to indicate 50 troops and Miller says "50". The next time, Jackson tells of the approach of a flanking attack, uses the exact same number of fingers and signs and Miller says "30". Either Jackson got it wrong, Miller got it wrong or it was just an indication of the stress of battle.
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Pvt. Ryan incorrectly regarded the P-51 "Mustang" as Tank Busters, P-51 Mustangs are not effective at attacking ground targets as it is designed to counter enemy aircraft.

Another aircraft referred to as the P-47 "Thunderbolt", should have been more accurately been referred as a "Tank Buster" as it is designed to destroy enemy vehicles, including "Hard Skinned" German Panzers.
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In addition to the mistake of reversing the sign/countersign of "Flash/Thunder," the American soldiers are also using it on the wrong day: "Flash/Thunder" was to be used only on D-Day, then changed on a daily basis according to a memorized list.
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Continuity 

At 1:23:18 of the film, there's a wide angle shot that shows the men crossing a field. There are eight men in the field, but Caparzo is dead; there should be seven men. There are only seven men after the cut, when they assemble seconds later in the trench before they encounter the radar station.
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.
When the man is explaining the situation of the four brothers to the General, he says that the brothers had been together but were separated when the Sullivan brothers died. Later, when Matt Damon is improvising Ryan's memory to Miller, he says that night was the last he and his brothers were together.
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.
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When Capt. Miller requisitions Cpl. Upham from the map bunker, Upham clumsily tries to take his typewriter with him, knocking a helmet and other items from a shelf. The camera changes to Miller, who holds up a pencil. When the camera returns to Upham, the items are back on the shelf.
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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 Corporal Henderson he will go and get him some ammo for the .30 caliber that Henderson has. As Mellish walks away from Henderson's 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.
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.
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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.
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While stripping down to attack the radar site, Pvt. Mellish is seen removing his combat vest twice.
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When the paratrooper yells "there is a 20mm," just after they grenade the Tiger, there is only 1 paratrooper an the side of the tank facing the gun. When it opens fire and it is showing the rounds hitting the men, there are at least 5 paratroopers on that side of the Tiger. Also right after the 20mm's rampage it goes to Jackson in the bell tower and he leans around the corner to try to get a shot at it, but none of the dead paratroopers are lying on/around the Tiger.
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Right after the self propelled gun blasts the church tower, it goes to Miller in a hole along with Ryan and Rieben. Miller fires off a clip at the Germans, then reloads as Ryan, who is on Miller's left, fires at the Germans with his rifle. Immediately the camera switches to a side view if Miller and he again reloads his Thompson and Rieben is now sitting next to him in the hole and Ryan is nowhere to be seen. When Rieben puts on his helmet before leaving the hole you can see Miller in the background firing his Thompson, but no sound is heard. then when he gets out and runs across the street, Miller and Ryan, who should have been in the front of the hole firing at the Germans, are at the back of the hole and then move into the front and begin firing.
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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.
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When the machine gunner in the bell tower runs out of ammo, Jackson takes over sniping. The first German he kills is on the self propelled gun and he falls off the side. The second one he kills falls near a big rectangular shaped piece of wood from one of the destroyed buildings. The third soldier he kills falls on top of the piece of wood, but there is no sign of the soldier who had fallen there right before he did.
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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.
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In the final battle scene, Ryan informs Miller that they can use the mortar rounds like grenades. Many of the rounds they toss, however, explode at different times inconsistent with the angle of the throw and where they would have landed. Some of the explosions occur before the mortar rounds hit the ground.
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During the Ramelle battle, Cpl. Henderson and Pvt. Mellish are firing through a hole in the wall of a room at advancing German soldiers. Mellish is armed with an M1 Garand. Just before the scene where Henderson fires his Thompson through the wall at the sound of footsteps on the stairs, Mellish proclaims that his rifle is jammed. He is not seen clearing it. After Henderson fires through the wall and kills a soldier on the other side, gunfire burst back through the wall and hits Henderson in the neck, mortally wounding him. A 2nd German on the other side of the wall holds his machine gun through the door and fires. Mellish ducks, then fires a last round from his Garand, which ejects the magazine clip. The shot kills the 2nd German. The gun would not have been able to fire if the gun was jammed only moments earlier.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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In the beginning of the film, as the family is walking along behind the old man, on the path to the graveyard, they pass the same couple twice in two consecutive shots.
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During the Normandy invasion, Captain Miller is in water that looks as if it is high tide, and other scenes it is low tide.
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When Upham is handed the .30 caliber ammo belt before the final battle, the direction the bullets are pointing changes between shots.
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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.
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As the opening D-Day invasion moves along more and more troops are making it onto the beach from the boats and are shown hiding in groups behind the metal obstacles. Yet, continuous shots that show the viewpoint of the German machine gunners show very few soldiers coming up from the beach and no groups behind the metal obstacles.
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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.
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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.
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When the 20mm opens fire on the Americans, they are standing on the Tiger tank, into which they had just thrown a handful of grenades. The grenades never go off.
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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.
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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.
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When Corporal Upham is running ammunition to the gunners, cartridges are seen falling out of the belt. Minutes later, the belts have no missing cartridges.
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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.
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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!"
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During the last battle, 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.
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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.
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When we first see Colonel Bryce, it's clear he is missing his left arm. But then later, when General Marshall is about to read the letter written by Abe Lincoln, for a brief second his left arm can be seen.
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When Rieben is starting to tell the story about the lady back home before the final battle, the camera is showing the four soldiers from a side view and Horvath's feet are crossed and Melish is holding his cigarette in his right hand. When the camera angle switches to a front view, Horvath's feet are not crossed and Melish has the cigarette in his left hand.
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At the end of the movie after the soldiers have fallen back to the Alamo, Rieben and Miller are on the left side of the bridge (if we're looking at it from where the Germans are attacking from) with the partially destroyed building where Miller hooked up the detonator. Rieben then shouts "Tiger coming across the bridge" and provides cover fire for Miller as they both run to the right side of the bridge, Miller trailing out the detonation wire behind him. In the next seen, the Tiger fires a round at the building, and Miller is shown to still be near it and gets knocked over by the explosion when he should have been on the right side of the bridge.
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At the end of the movie the second Tiger approaches the bridge. the commander, who is sticking out of his hatch atop the Tiger, shouts down into the tank to fire at the building the Americans named the Alamo, but in the very next shot when the tank fires, he is not sticking out of the hatch anymore.
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When Upham is yelling at the German soldiers to surrender at the end in one scene, there is an overturned tank behind him, but all the other scenes show destroyed buildings behind him.
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Right after the paratroopers take out the self propelled gun with the Molotov cocktails, there are two scenes before Reiben runs to help Ryan get out of the way from Jacksons viewpoint showing the Tiger with its turret already pointing to the left. Later on its turret is straight and it turns left to take a shot at Ryan.
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When the soldiers are getting ready for the final battle, Upham is shown to be standing right near the church, but a few scenes later he is just coming across the bridge when a soldier yells at him to hustle up.
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After it shows Miller take a drink in the landing craft the camera moves back showing the soldiers in the boat and Sgt. Horvath is right next to Miller in the back of the landing craft. A few scenes later he is at the front of the boat and is coming toward the back telling everyone to remember to keep their spacing on the beach.
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Miller comes ashore and is just at the edge of the water on the beach when the movie is silent during the D-Day scene. When he regains his hearing and is telling Horvath to move his men up he is waist deep in the ocean.
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In the final battle, Henderson and Mellish initially set up their .30 cal between some fallen boards from one of the buildings but in a scene from their viewpoint as it is showing the first Tiger coming down the street before the shooting starts, the boards they are hiding behind are gone.
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When Mellish and Hederson leave there initial machine gun position the belt of ammo is fairly short but when they relocate and start firing through the hole in the wall they have a full belt of ammo in the gun.
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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.
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When Miller is wading ashore he comes to a beach obstacle and leans on it when the movie is silent during the D-Day scene, but for the rest of the silent part whenever it shows Miller he seems to be out in the open not near any obstacles.
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As Sgt. Horvath and the squad charge past the concrete bunker on Omaha Beach, no landing craft are visible in the large expanse of ocean behind them. Seconds later, as they gain the top of the bunker, the ocean is jammed with landing craft.
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Just before Captain Miller is debriefed by his commanding officer on Omaha Beach, there is an establishing shot showing trucks and jeeps moving across dry ground which cause an immense dust cloud. Miller then walks over to his CO, and all the ground in the area is wet from heavy rain, with standing puddles and mud everywhere. Within minutes, immediately after being given his new mission to save Pvt. Ryan, as Miller walks towards his men it is obvious that the ground is again dry and passing vehicles are raising dust clouds again.
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After the five 101st. Airborne troops converge on the tank during the last battle, a German 20 Millimeter Flak Gun starts firing on them, cutting them all down. As this happens, the camera cuts to three different angles in succession, with the trooper on top, which is obviously a mannequin, having his head blown off three times.
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In the final scene as Ryan is talking to Capt. Miller's grave the Purple Heart bar is in its correct horizontal position. After he stands and talks to his wife, as the shot pans out that bar is now in a vertical position due to the natural fold of his windbreaker.
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As Private Ryan is telling the story regarding his brothers, he says that that was the last night all four were together, with his brother going off to Basic Training the next day. However when the Chaplain is notifying the Ryan's mother regarding their deaths, we see a pic of all four brothers together in uniform.
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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.
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When first discussing Private Ryan staying or leaving the bridge, the shadow of Cpl. Henderson and Captain Miller change directions between shots.
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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.
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In the D-Day scene when the soldiers have made it to the seawall, Miller twice tells a radioman to relay info back to HQ. On the third time Miller grabs the man and rolls him over to reveal that the man has had his face shot off. The helmet of the dead man has a red stripe on it that wasn't there before.
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At the end of the movie, the second Tiger advances onto the bridge before being destroyed. It is very clear in the next few scenes up until Upham forces the Germans to surrender that the tank isn't even on the bridge.
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When the soldiers are trying to move up and deal with the machine gun nest in the D-Day scene, Miller tells Reiben, Melish, and Caparzo to provide covering fire. Reiben moves to the right and lays out on a piece of concrete giving him a clear view of the target and it shows him there several times firing as the soldiers move up. When Jackson is sent forward, Sgt. Horvath is where Reiben should have been and he, Mellish, and Caparzo are gone.
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The ground around the radar site where the soldiers attacked the machine gun nest is relatively flat, but after Wade dies they run up a rather steep hill to help Reiben rough up the German prisoner.
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When Ryan helps Sgt. Horvath after he was shot while crossing the bridge, it shows Reiben in the background for a brief second jumping up and firing his BAR. He repeats the same motion a few scenes later when he tells Miller that the Tiger is coming over the bridge.
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Right after Miller regains his hearing at the end, he looks at the detonator lying in the middle of the road. The next scene shows German troops running forward to sandbag positions on their side of the bridge and the German prisoner Miller's squad released is now back and he takes position right next to what appears to be a camouflaged artillery piece facing skyward, which would have blocked his right side. In the next shot it shows Upham looking at him from the right, and the artillery piece is not there, not does it reappear for the rest of the movie.
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When Reiben retuns after luring the Germans down the main street all the soldiers in the foxhole have their guns up at the ready. A few scenes later, Reiben and Ryan look at each other and nod but their guns are resting easy. Immediately in the next shot, Ryan has his rifle at the ready again.
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During the D-Day landing after Capt. Miller puts his helmet back on while in the water the leather chinstrap is almost off of the rim of the helmet. The scene breaks to a soldier asking Capt. Miller what to do next. When the view goes back to miller the leather chin strap is completely on the rim.
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During the Ramelle battle, Cpl. Henderson and Pvt. Mellish are firing through a hole in the wall of a room at advancing German soldiers. After Henderson fires through the wall and kills a soldier on the other side, gunfire burst back through the wall and hits Henderson in the right shoulder, then the left shoulder as he's falling. Yet we then see him clutching his bleeding neck as if he had been hit in the neck, even though he wasn't.
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(at around 2h 0 mins) Miller and Ryan are having a conversation while awaiting the attack on the bridge. Miller Picks up a chair and sits on it with his hands in his lap, left hand over right. In the next shot, his right hand is on top.
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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.
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In the D-Day beach scene where Sgt. Horvath (Tom Sizemore) asks Pvt. Reiben (Edward Burns) where is his BAR, Pvt. Ruben says: "I lost it in the channel, the b**** tried to down me". You can clearly see that he and his uniform are completely bone-dry.
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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.
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When Capt. Miller informs Cpl.Upham he will join his squad, the nervous Upham knocks a German and an American from a bench to the ground. When Miller points out to Upham that he's picked up the German helmet in haste he returns for the American helmet. But the American helmet is not on the ground; it is back on the bench.
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At the scene where the wall falls over and the German soldiers are seen inside the building, right when the gun fire starts, you can see some wine crates falling down in the back and stains of red can be seen on the wall making it look like either red wine on the wall from the bottles or blood (seeing wine is stored in cellars, these were likely empty bottles), but in the next scene when the dead German soldier who is sitting on the table is being pushed over, there is no red stains on the wall, the wall is actually even completely clean.
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When they go to find Private Ryan there are eight of them, when they go to a French town and a solider picks up the little girl and he gets killed there are seven, right? Wrong. A few scenes later, the camera shows all eight of them marching on to the next town, only in a far away camera shot so it's hard to see.
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When Miller is collecting Upham from the group of translators and map readers, Upham is so confused and clumsy that he knocks everything off the table onto the floor (e.g. typewriter and helmets). Told by Miller to leave everything except his helmet, Upham picks up a German one by mistake. When sent back to the table to get his own, everything has miraculously jumped off the floor back onto the table.
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When Jackson has been given the dog tags to search through he looks for a place to sit. In this scene you see a black box with two yellow boxes at either side in the background. In the next scene the yellow box on the left has magically jumped up onto the black box in order for Jackson to kick it off and sit on it.
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In the Belltower in Ramelle where Jackson and Parker are shooting away, there is one scene where you see Parker running out of .30 caliber ammunition. One second the MG uses a belt with ammunition, in the close up, you see the more modern disintegrating link.
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At the start of the film in the telegraph scene, a Captain goes into the Colonel's office to tell him about the Ryan brothers. He is holding a folder which he puts on the Colonel's desk, but we don't see him pick it back up in all the following shots, yet it suddenly appears back in his hands.
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In the scene where Mellish is in the fight to the death with the German. Mellish pulls out his bayonet with an underhand grip. In the next shot he has it with an overhand grip.
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In the scene where the American soldiers are about to ambush the Tiger tank, look at the empty belt on the right side of CPL Henderson's machine gun. Its length changes from shot to shot before he opens fire.
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In the scene where Miller tries to persuade Ryan to go back home, watch their shadows on the bridge, they change directions throughout the scene because they were shot at different times of the day.
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The scene where they are looking for Ryan's dog tag. Doc comments they are laughing in front of all the guys walking by. One of the soldiers looks like Sal Mineo. Frustrated, Tom Hanks walks into the line of soldiers and civilians and starts asking if anybody has seen or knows James Ryan. The same Sal Mineo lookalike walks by him again.
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When the group of soldiers led by Captain Miller are in the village, and the soldier knocks the wall down accidentally, if you notice when the soldiers above shoot them dead, that a lot of the blood gets sprayed onto part of the back wall, yet when we see the wall from inside the house, there is hardly any blood at all.
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At the end when Tom Hanks has just died, there is a distant shot of Ryan standing there in disbelief. By Tom Hanks left leg is a helmet, upside down. The next shot is from above and the helmet has flipped over.
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When discovering that 3 of the 4 brothers were killed, it's stated that they were all in the same company until they were split after the Juneau was sunk. We also see a few shots later when the Army car is pulling up to the mother's house that there is a picture of all 4 of them together in uniform. When Miller and Ryan are talking about Ryan's memory of his brother towards the end of the movie, he states that the last time the 4 of them were together was the night of the barn accident before Dan went to basic.
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At the end of the Radar Station Battle, Miller is yelling for Upham to bring their gear. As told he does. Watch carefully. Just as he picks up the gear, he has a green strap on his chest. when you see a shot of him running, the strap is gone.
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When they first enter the field hospital, look at the side of the glider. By the door, there is no dead body. When they come back, there is a body resting against the glider. Did a wounded man get up to die next to the glider?
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In the last battle Miller, Rieben and Ryan are crouching in a ditch, waiting for the tiger tanks to come. Millers' Thompson m1a1 changes to m1928 for about 4 seconds. You can see from the sight at the back.
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When Upham is hiding behind a cow while his squad rushes the communication tower/bunker, he uses a sniper scope to see his squad mates. Upham holds the scope differently every time. The two knobs would first be at north/west, and the next shot would be south/east. This will change several times until Captain Miller tells him to get the gear.
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When Miller first hits the sand at Omaha a mortar round blows up behind him. He kneels in the sand, his face covered with bloody water. Seconds later a young soldier shouts at him and suddenly Miller is chest deep in the water with a clean face. Also his helmet liner strap changes position across the visor of his helmet.
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When Mike crosses the bridge at the end he gets shot and is helped by a soldier. From the German view the bridge is clear, then it cuts to the American side and Mike and the soldier are exiting the bridge to their left towards Miller. A motorbike and sidecar have now appeared behind them and a crouching American soldier is next to the motorbike halfway across the bridge.
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In the final battle Captain Miller is shouting at Mike, who's slumped against the sandbags, dead. The wound on his left shoulder has disappeared.
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At the end when Ryan is looking at captain Miller, in the long shot the ground is wet and there is an upturned helmet near Miller, but in the close up shot over Ryan's shoulder the ground is dry and the helmet is the right way round and white bricks have appeared next to it.
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When Miller and Ryan are talking outside a cafe (I think), Miller grabs a chair, sits down in front of Ryan and puts his right hand on top of his left, but in the following shot his left hand is on top of his right.
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In the opening scene, when old James Ryan's family is behind him in the wider shot, one of the three blonde girls at the back has her hair over her ear and her right hand down by her side. In the following closeup of her, her hair is now behind her ear and her hand is up by her bag strap.
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During the Omaha beach scene, when Miller, Horvath and a few other soldiers are at the front of one of the bunkers trying to get past the firing squad, he puts down his knife with the mirror attached and grabs his gun, holding it underneath, but in the following shot he is holding it at the top.
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Close to the beginning of the film when the group are walking through a field where the sheep are, Vin Diesel in one shot puts his cigarette up to his mouth, in the following shot he is putting it up to his mouth again.
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In the preparation for the big battle in the village, the Americans count up on equipment left useable for the impending fight. A soldier lists what's left including two .30 caliber machine guns. In the preparation for the ambush of the Germans you see two .30 calibers being prepped for action by the American officers up the church tower and in the rubble, and then a third is carried past by an extra.
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When James Ryan from Minnesota is told his brothers died, the arm behind him disappears and reappears depending on the angle.
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When the eight men are walking through the fields near the start, Vin Diesel has a cigarette. In some shots it is considerably longer than in previous shots.
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At the end of the film with the older James Ryan visiting Capt. Miller's grave, Ryan squares himself off with the tombstone to salute. However, in the next shot Ryan is off to the left of his tombstone, so that the camera can take the head-on angle of Miller's tombstone.
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When Miller's men and the other captain's men find the French family hiding in a partly destroyed house, Caparzo goes up to get the kid and gives her his necklace, but in the following shot he's giving it to her again. In the shot after it's gone from the kids hand, then reappears again when he is walking towards Miller.
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In the scene when they defend the bridge in Ramelle there is a soldier who wants to attach a stick-bomb at a German tank. When he walks out to the tank you see that he is wearing a beige uniform. In the next shot you see that the uniform has changed into a dark green, and you also see that it is a puppet that explodes.
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In the scene where all the 101st Airborne troops walk past as Rieben, Jackson, Melish and Miller are joking about the various dog tags, you can see an isolated shot of a young Italian-looking trooper walk past and stare dead at the group. A few minutes later as Miller is yelling at the procession, he shows up again in the background as Miller encounters the soldier whose hearing is impaired because of the grenade. You have to look quickly though, and the image is somewhat blurred.
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In the scene where Tom Hanks releases the German POW, he ties a black blindfold around the prisoner's eyes. Notice how narrow the blindfold looks. In the next shot Upham is guiding the prisoner and instructing him, and the blindfold all of a sudden becomes very broad.
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When the two infantries are waiting for the enemy, Upham, Reiben and Horvath are sitting on some steps outside a building listening to music. In the wide shot Reiben is looking at his fingers but in the following shot his hands are crossed and is holding his arms.
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When Miller's men reach the town where the first Ryan is (the wrong one), Miller tells Ryan the bad news about his brothers. When Ryan starts to cry and leans over to his captain the captain's hand is on Ryan's head, but in the following shot it is on the top of his back.
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At the start of the movie on Omaha Beach, just before Tom Hanks and the others clear the fence with the Bangalore torpedoes, a man is shot and it ricochets off his helmet, but in the previous scene he can be seen looking at Tom Hanks, in the following shot he is looking away towards the bunkers.
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While they are preparing to defend the bridge towards the end, Mellish tells Upham to be "Johnny on the spot with the ammo." and proceeds to put 2 30 cal. belts around Upham's neck. In the first shot the bullets are pointed down, when the shot changes the bullets are pointed up.
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When the unit finds the first Private Ryan, after he hears his brothers are dead, he leans towards his superior officer as he cries, but in the next scene he has his face buried in the officer's chest.
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When Mellish is in the house with the other soldier, and the other soldier shoots at the wall, just after this shot, the camera pans back to the two soldiers, if you look at the fireplace and chair, it looks like they are covered with dust and dirt, but in the overhead shot of the two soldiers, the fireplace and chair look brand new.
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In the beach scene, a GI takes a shot in the helmet, removes his helmet while he collects his sense, and is promptly shot in the head. As he falls back, his head lolls back, yet when the camera angle changes, his chin is tucked down in his chest.
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In the scene where the two infantries are waiting by the bridge for the enemy, when Reiben, Upham and Horvath are on some steps, Fish walks up and sits down in front of Reiben. Fish is taking a puff of his cigarette holding it in his right hand, but in the following shot the cigarette is now in his left hand.
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In the first town the group comes to (the one where Caparzo is killed) they meet up with the Airborne troops and the Airborne Sergeant. They then move through the town to find the Airborne Captain. Right after they start this move the Airborne Sgt. stops and drops to a knee before moving on. When he gets up and moves, the coiled up rope (that all the Airborne carry) falls out of the left side of his back-pack. No-one notices it and they all keep moving. A couple of seconds later they show him with Miller, and the rope is back in his back-pack like it magically reappeared.
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Close to the beginning when they are in a town, and the soldier sits on the ground or a plank, the colour of the plank of wood changes from being old and dark brown to looking like brand new between shots.
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During the beach landing sequence we see what is left of Captain Miller's company fire up the German bunker with a flamethrower. A few seconds later Miller and troops are running along the top of a trench shooting into it. In the background you can see the same bunker not on fire and then bursting into flames as the SFX fire is added.
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In the final battle in the French Village, the Americans are attacked by two Tiger tanks, two Panzer tanks, etc. The Americans use a sticky bomb to turn the first Tiger into a roadblock. If you look at the roadwheels of the tank when the troops are attaching the sticky bombs, you can see that one of them has a large chunk of rubber missing. Later on, when Capt. Miller is staring down the second Tiger as it crosses the bridge, you can see that it too has a large chunk of rubber missing from the same roadwheel - same tank.
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During the beach scene, Miller is kneeling at the rear of a Belgian fence talking about the beach being pre-sighted. There is a soldier in front of the fence who gets shot three or four times. If you look the first scene, he gets shot in the upper leg area, then when Miller moves out from behind the obstacle, the bullet wound has magically disappeared.
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After Caparzo has died from the sniper bullet, when Miller's men are grouped around Caparzo's body, Horvath is holding his gun in his right hand pointing it to the ground with his left arm by his side, but in the following shot, when Miller walks up, he is holding his weapon at waist height.
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When Tom Hank's men are in the village close to the start of the film, the soldier knocks down the wall accidentally, and the German soldier at the front picks up his weapon and points it (this can be seen from outside the house looking in). Then when it cuts back to all the German soldiers, he's picking and pointing the weapon again.
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In the scene near the end, when two soldiers are in a row boat packing a bag with explosives, in the overhead shot the guy at the back of the boat puts the oar into the water to his right, but in the following shot from behind the oar is on the other side of the boat.
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WhenMiller has just explained to Ryan that his comrades come to take him back, Miller talks to Horvath alone. While Horvath is talking over his shoulder, you clearly see him moving his hands in the next shot, from an angle just past Miller, his hands are held tight to his gun.
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During the Omaha Beach scene where Captain Miller is at the front of the concrete bunker and calls upon Jackson to get into one of the impact craters, Miller moves behind Jackson. When Miller makes the move for the diversion he puts his hand on Jackson's right shoulder but in the following shot Miller is at least 2 to 3 feet away from Jackson.
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When Miller's men are about to take the bunker under the radar tower, they are kneeling on the ground behind some bushes discussing their flanking moves and Jackson is about two feet away from Reiben to his left, but when it cuts Jackson is now behind Reiben.
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During the scene where Horvath and the BAR are facing down, things are getting out of control with Horvath pulling a .45 on the BAR. In the background, from among the rest of the Ranger group, alternating scenes of Jackson, the sniper, show him with his pistol either raised or holstered.
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Near the start, when Miller's men are walking through a field, and Jackson is talking about him and his rifle, in the background Caparzo has a cigarette in his mouth, but in the following shot it is not in his mouth or hands, then it's back in his mouth again.
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At the beginning of the film when we see Tom Hanks below the big bunker, and he tells Jackson to get in an impact crater, Jackson kisses his cross with his right hand, but in the following shot, he is suddenly holding his rifle.
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In one of the end scenes, a German goes to shoot an American, who is on his knees, at point blank range to his chest. The German is clearly pointing the rifle away from his chest by about a foot yet still hits him in the chest?
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Just before the church steeple gets blown up at the end, we see through the window looking down, and the front of the tank starts to turn. The sniper fires some shots and the tank starts to make the same turn again, but we can see more of it this time.
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Ryan and Miller have a moving dialogue. In the scene Ryan talks about the time his brother was trying to have sex with a girl in the barn. While the pained Miller sits in a chair, we notice his hand which often shakes rests underneath the other. Then in a split second the left hand is on top of the other, then below.
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After they find Private Ryan, Tom Hanks and Tom Sizemore are talking. From one angle, Sizemore has his right hand out as he gesticulates, but from a different angle - the different angles come and go - he has his right hand on his rifle, which is in his lap.
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When Caparzo is holding the little girl he takes off his dog tags and puts them in her hand. While Wade is getting ready to cover Caparzos body Capt. Miller reaches into Caparzos shirt and removes a dogtag.
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When the old Ryan is walking along the rows of graves, you see that his jacket is blowing open against his arm. It then cuts to a close-up, and the jacket is flat against his chest.
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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.
In the field scene (before they meet the German APC), we can see the camera's square shadow on Corporal Upham's shoulder.
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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
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Camera is reflected in the wet helmets of those on the left side of Miller's landing craft.
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When Reiben, Ryan, and Miller are in the ditch a side angle shows them all on the same frame, if you look carefully to the right and behind some rubble, a blue tent is visible which is revealed in the special features to be the tent that dailies are viewed.
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When Hanks, Damon and company are retreating to the Alamo (across the bridge) the camera pans an overview shot of their retreating and you can see two crew members in the shot - one holding a camera and another supporting member, both wearing white tee shirts on the right part of the screen.
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Before the American soldiers attack the half-track in the field we see Upham walking. Watch at his left shoulder you see a square shadow moving around. It's the shadow of a camera.
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Errors in geography 

In the opening scene, where James Ryan and his family are walking along the clifftop path at the Normandy American Cemetery, the beach and English Channel are to the left, so they are walking from west to east. The entrance to the cemetery is at the east end of the cemetery, so they are walking toward it. Mr. Ryan goes straight to the grave he is looking for and falls to his knees, so he must have gotten the location at the visitor's center at the entrance. If he knew where the grave was, and wasn't just wandering around the cemetery and coming back to it, he would have approached the grave from the east, and the beach and channel would have been to the family's right as they were walking along the path.
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Factual errors 

Throughout the movie American characters are shown saying "thunder" to identify friendlies, and waiting for the response "flash". But in actuality the challenge word was "flash", and "thunder" the response. The word order is important, as "thunder" was chosen as the password because of its "th" sound. (There is no such sound in German, thus a German soldier would likely be unable to hide his accent if he tried to answer the challenge.)
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.
In the Omaha landing, two soldiers are struggling with their equipment underwater, only to get hit by enemy bullets. It has been proven that rifle caliber bullets can not pass through water with lethal force at an angle.
In the scene where Jackson is firing from the bell tower, he fires 8 shots. The standard Springfield sniper rifle could only hold a maximum of 5 rounds. Jackson never reloads, and if he did, he would have had to take quite a bit of time as each round had to be inserted one at a time, due to the scope being in the way, the rounds could not be inserted using a stripper clip.
During the climactic scene at the end of the movie, a P-51 Mustang drops a bomb on an advancing German tank that is crossing a bridge toward the remaining members of Capt. Miller's squad. While the aircraft is not seen until after the tank explodes, it is seen from Capt. Miller's viewpoint as it passes over the tank, along the axis of the bridge, and on toward the rear of the Americans' position. Attacking Allied aircraft would never approach from the rear of the enemy to drop ordinance toward friendly forces - they would mostly likely have attacked from an angle perpendicular to the bridge and the angle of the attacking Germans. Additionally, the P-51's shown in the movie are clearly not equipped with rockets or bomb racks under the wings.
At the end, the elder James Ryan is facing the camera with the channel in the background. Ryan's wife approaches, reads the name on the marker. The way the shot is set up, Ryan is facing West, which means the name on the marker faces east. This is wrong: all names at Colleville-sur-Mer American Cemetery face west towards home.
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.
The landing scene shows the troops being put ashore from American LCVP-type landing craft. In fact, the first waves at Omaha beach were put ashore from British LCA-type landing craft with Royal Navy crews. The LCAs were used because they were more heavily protected, as would be needed at the beginning when they were the only targets to shoot at.
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In the movie, you'll notice that all member from the 101st Airborne Division have an Ace of Spades on their helmet. During WWII, the only members from the 101st with an Ace of Spades on their helmet were those part of the 506th Regiment. The other Regiments in that division painted different card symbols on their helmets. We know that not every member of the 101st in the movie is from the 506th Regiment, because at one point, early in the film, Captain Miller and his men stop to talk to a member of the 506th Regiment as that was Ryan's regiment too. The fact that Captain Miller has been told to talk to this specific soldier, because he's from the 506th, implies that most, if not all, of the other men around the town are from separate regiments, yet they all have the Ace of Spades on their helmet. Towards the end of the film, when Captain Miller meets Corporal Henderson, he states that he is from the 501st Regiment, yet he has an Ace of Spades on his helmet as well, instead of a Diamond, which would be the correct symbol for a member from the 501st.
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During the D-Day beach assault, German machine-gunners are shown firing continuous long bursts from their MG42's. In reality, MG crews were trained to fire in shorter bursts, in order to avoid overheating the barrels of their guns. However in the heat of battle and when confronted with such a large quantity of troops they could of being firing out of instinct. However, had they done this, they would have melted the barrels of their weapons and been unable to fire.
During the sniper scene in the French village, Pvt. Jackson is preparing to make a shot against the German sniper. He utters "(so many clicks) left wind..." as he is twisting the objective ring at the front of his scope. The objective only focuses the scope to eliminate parallax, it doesn't change the windage adjustment.
When the Rangers first meet up with US Paratroopers after destroying the Sd.Kfz 250 Half Track, CPL Henderson marks that it belong to a recon element from the 2nd SS-Panzer Division. In early June, 1944, Das Reich was stationed in southwest France outside of the city of Montauban. Elements of the division began moving towards Normandy on the night of June 7th, although the armor did not depart the area until the 9th. The division should have taken approximately three days to reach northern France by rail, but the efforts of French resistance fighters, as well as Allied air superiority, made the move much slower, as the Germans were forced to move overland by road. The Division was not ready for action against the Allies until early July. This makes it impossible for the SS troops and Mk. VI (Tiger) Tanks and Panzers at the end of the film belonging to the Das Reich Division. Also 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.
Several flamethrower troops are depicted as being easily set on fire or exploding when their fuel tanks are hit by enemy fire. This is a common misconception. Instructors would actually shoot at the tanks repeatedly to show new recruits that the flamethrower wasn't a danger to its operator. Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams actually crawled up the beach at Iwo Jima with Japanese bullets harmlessly bouncing off his flamethrower tanks.
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When attempting to open up the draw on Omaha Beach, Captain Miller tells Private Jackson to give him "some fire discipline". In actual military terminology, fire discipline refers to the communication between a forward observer and some sort of in defilade firing position like artillery. Jackson is firing a rifle and does not appear to be taking fire commands through any radio or otherwise, showing that Miller's use of the term is incorrect.
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The comment that the Air Force was the Army Air Corps during WWII is incorrect. The AAC ceased to exist in June 1941, when the Air Corps was separated from the Army ground forces and established as the United States Army Air Force. It was called simply the Air Force for the duration of the war.
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On D-Day plus 3, when Captain Miller gets his assignment, a long tracking shot of the beach shows obstacles (hedgehogs, Belgian Gates and log ramps) still intact and in neat rows. In fact, the majority of these obstacles were removed (either blown up or bulldozed out of the way) by combat engineers shortly after landing, in order to clear the beach for additional ships and equipment. Although perhaps they were left in place by the filmmakers to "round out" the scene and help viewer identify the beach as the same place where earlier fighting occurred.
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When CPT Miller is showing T/Sgt. 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.
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When Capt Miller and company arrive at Neuville, Capt Miller uses the challenge sign/countersign to identify the troops on the other side of the wall. The Capt says "Thunder" to which the friendly soldier replies, "Flash". This is however backwards. Flash/Thunder was used by US troops during D-Day to identify each other on the battlefield. For the challenge sign "Flash" a soldier being challenged would respond with the word "Thunder". The word "Thunder" was used because the German language does not contain the "th-" sound that English does. This would make it difficult for the average German soldier to respond to the challenge sign correctly in an effort to draw out US soldiers from their cover.
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In the scene where the Americans are fighting the Germans in Remelle, there are two Tiger 1 tanks. In reality, there were no Tiger tanks on the American front in Normandy. All Tigers in Normandy were placed on the British and Canadian front south of Caen.
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In the end scene, after the final battle, Reiben is seen calling for a medic to assist Miller. When he gets up to go and find a medic, he picks up his BAR by the barrel. Having just fought in a fairly long action with a high rate of fire, his BAR barrel would be far too hot to touch, let alone pick the rifle up by. It would take 15 or 20 mins for it to cool down enough to handle. He should have picked it up by the foregrip (The wooden bit under the barrel).
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In the scene where the American troops are storming the German radar station, you can see a few dead cows with oversized bellies provoked by putrefaction, which means that they were killed at least 12 hours ago. When one of the cows receives a bullet, you can see highly-oxigenated fully arterial red blood spurting from the wound, something impossible to happens in a dead body. Blood at this time of death should be nearly black or brown.
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During the final fight scene the German armour enters the town (a built up area) with open-topped AF V's and unbuttoned tanks. The Germans learned not to do this, greatly to their cost, at Stalingrad and other urban battles. It is very unlikely they would have risked their scarce armour in such a way without first securing the area with infantry.
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Right before the scene on the radar sight, Capt. Miller states that air cover isn't available from the "Air Force" at that time. The Air Force wasn't formed until 1947, it was known as the Army Air Corps during WWII
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When the Waffen SS unit attacks the town at the end of the film (Ramelle), the Germans use "allied" tactics such as crowding behind a tank to enter the center of the town at a disadvantage by the tall buildings and rubble that inhibits quick forward thrusts. At this stage of the war, especially Waffen SS units (even if they may be replacement units - which I doubt) they would not be blindly led in such horrific maneuvers.
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The Tiger tanks portrayed in the movie are actually Soviet T-34s. You could tell by looking at their wheels. Real Tigers had interleaved wheels. These Tigers had the T-34 suspension. Obviously, Tigers are so rare (only one operational Tiger left) that another tank had to be substituted. But an excellent job was done to make the T-34s look like Tigers.
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The American troops at Ramelle bridge are supposed to be fighting the 2nd SS Panzer Division. Two things wrong: the 2nd SS never had Tiger tanks in Normandy, having turned over their Tiger battalion to another unit in Russia prior to being transferred to France. Second, in the scenes with the Tigers, a 1st SS Panzerkorps insignia (Crossed Keys) is seen on the front right hull of the Tigers; 2nd SS Panzer Division was never a part of 1st SS Panzerkorps.
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When Capt. Miller talks to the pilot of the crashed glider telling his story the guy says he lost 22 men in the crash. Only one problem: his glider is a Waco CG-4A (the similar-looking but larger Waco CG-13A wasn't used in the Normandy invasion). The maximum load for one of those was only 13 fully equipped troops and the two pilots, and that's without a jeep. As a jeep is visible in the rear of the fuselage, there couldn't possibly have been more than 6 men on that glider including the pilots, or it never would have gotten airborne.
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The typing pool scene, in which we first learn about Private Ryan, features vintage typewriters of various makes and models being used to notify families of soldiers killed in action. One of the first typewriters we see is a Swiss-made Hermes Ambassador from the mid-1950's.
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When Mellish and Henderson are fighting in the room in Romell, twice German Steilgrenates are thrown into the room. Both times they are picked up and thrown back and then the grenades explode. This is highly unlikely since the Steilgrenate had a short (4.5 sec) fuse and would likely have blown up in the hand of the person throwing it back. It was more common that Germans threw back American grenades which had a much longer fuse delay.
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When the Americans arrive in the first village (the one where the family is marooned upstairs in what's left of their house) there is a French car. The car's registration plate follows the post-war system, not introduced until 1950.
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Miller and his men finally find Ryan in the scene where Ryan destroys a German half track with a bazooka. The camera does not show Ryan firing the bazooka, but you hear the blast and see the effect of the shot hitting the half track, firing twice in about a three second interval. The problem is that a bazooka is a single shot weapon, and must be reloaded by hand. This takes time, perhaps 20 seconds if not more.
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When Upham and Mellish are conversing before the fight at Ramelle, Mellish is seen placing Mk. 2 Pineapple grenades into Upham's helmet. The "spoon" on the grenades does not look to be the correct type. The ones in the film appear to be modern, folded, sheet metal painted dark green; World War II era ones are a simple piece of stamped, sheet steel. The modern ones are angular while World War II ones have a slight curve.
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After Miller has been shot, whilst trying to reach the detonator to blow up the bridge, we see him sat against what is supposed to be a wartime German motorcycle and sidecar. The vehicle in question is actually a Russian Ural M66 which was only produced during the 1970s.
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The "tank traps" (actually designed to flip landing craft, when submerged) on Omaha are back-to-front. The bottom of the pole that that rests on the other two should be nearest the sea and not as shown in the movie. Documentary footage of the actual landings will confirm this.
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In the scene where the soldiers are going through the dog tags to try and find Ryan, they all have the smaller chains attached to the tags. When taking the dog tags off a dead body, the smaller link that you see attached is broken away from the necklace around the dead body. It would be rare, if ever, that a soldier would take the time to reconnect the smaller chain. More likely, he would simply take the tag.
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In the scene where Jackson takes out the German sniper, we see the German snipers point of view through his scope and he eventually spots Jackson who fires at him. First you see the flash, then the bang, and then the German sniper gets hit through his scope. This is wrong because since bullets from a powerful sniper rifle travel much faster than sound, he couldn't have heard the shot before he got hit.
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During certain scenes in the movie, we see Jackson switching his Weaver M73B1 sniper scope on his M1903A4 sniper rifle with a Unertl sniper scope. The problem is that the Unertl scope was used exclusively by the U.S. Marines in the Pacific Theatre on their M1903A1 sniper rifle. Even if we accept the premise that the Unertl scope was a 'battlefield pickup', the mounts for the Weaver 73B1 and Unertl are entirely different. The Unertl mounts require modification of the upper handguard, and drilling and tapping of the barrel for a forward mounting block. In the bell tower (and other) scenes, it is clear the rifle has a stock upper handguard. Therefore, it could not accept the Unertl scope.
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Near the end, Melish fires through the wall and kills a German. The blood then streams round the corner way to quickly to be real. It moves at the consistency of water. It then stops abruptly. Not the characteristics of blood.
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Well after the beach has been secured and communication posts are set up where Upham is typing and Miller comes to reassign him, it then shows a panning view of the beach of soldiers still unloading. However, the big X-shaped tank traps are still littered all over the beach. During the assault there were combat engineers telling soldiers to get away from the traps so they can destroy them. How come even now after they've had the beach secured this long they haven't removed the tank traps? The fact that many of the engineers were killed in some of the initial waves on the beach is irrelevant as there were many coming ashore after the beachhead was established.
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Some of the ammunition cans were made after World War II; they have smooth sides instead of a recessed border and "low area."
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After the soldiers' initial disembarkment they are shown crouching in groups near the shore and later running towards the bunkers. Unlike the movie shows, anything even as simple as crouching behind the tank traps, let alone actually standing up and running, was impossible at Dog Green Sector and indeed for anyone when pinned down by a machine gun from a high far-away position. In the real-life landing at Dog Green within 7-10 minutes all the officers of the landing company were dead and the survivors inert. They could do nothing except throw away all their equipment and slowly crawl up the beach, shielded from bullets by the incoming tide and dead bodies. 1 hour 40 minutes after landing twelve (known) survivors made it to the base of the cliffs. Only 2 had enough strength left to go on and fight with another group. (The second wave, apart from one boat which was almost entirely killed, opted to land elsewhere when they saw the fate of the first wave.) In this way the movie rather poorly represents what it meant to make a properly opposed landing on D-Day - although whether this is justified or not is another matter.
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When the group is trying to take the German radio tower and the medic gets killed, the American hiding behind the cow is watching through a small rifle scope. The adjustment knobs should be on the top and side of the scope when held level and upright. The American is holding them crooked which means the crosshairs should be crooked, but when it shows the view through the scope, the crosshairs are perfectly vertical and horizontal.
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In the scene were the ATP is ambushed by the two groups of Americans we see Cpt. Miller take their right flank and kill three Germans trying to run for it. But watch as he shoots. The second he stops shooting an explosion goes off in the background 20 yards away. This can't happen with the gun he's firing (Thompson) because it doesn't shoot explosive rounds. In addition to the shooting, a German messed up by getting shot way after Cpt. Miller stopped shooting.
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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.
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In the advertisement for "Suze: L'âme de l'estomach, " the last word is a combination of the English "stomach" with the correct French "estomac."
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After the skirmish at the radar site, Mellish tells Upham to ask "Steamboat Willie" if he was the one who "shot" Wade. But it's clear from the slit-like wounds in Wade's abdomen that he was hit with shrapnel from a grenade, not hit by a bullet.
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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.
The waterproof bags holding rifles on D-Day were indeed some kind of clear plastic.
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").
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".
General George C. Marshall is wearing General Staff lapel insignia. This is correct; there are photographs of him wearing these insignia.
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It's commonly thought that only two or three tanks landed on Omaha Beach early on D-Day. At the eastern end, only two DD tanks of 741st Tank Battalion landed out of a total of 29 launched. Three more were landed directly onto the beach (one of the four on this LCT was damaged on the run in). 16 of 18 non-DD tanks of the 741st were also landed. At the western end, 28 DD tanks of 743rd Tank Battalion plus 14 non-DD tanks were landed dry. Officers on LCTs carrying 743rd Tank Battalion saw several DD tanks of the 741st founder almost immediately after launching, and decided to land their tanks straight onto the beach.
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Miller uses the mirror to examine the machine gun nest and correctly states that there are two MG-42's. However, when Jackson moves to get a sniping position it shows the nest with only one MG-42 and another soldier with an MP-40 submachine gun. However, errors like this were common in stressful combat situations.
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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.
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When Jackson is using hand signals to tell Captain Miller about the approaching enemy tanks, Miller says "Panzer tanks, two of them." Panzer is the German word for tank so saying "tank" at the end would be redundant. He should have just said, "Panzers, two of them." However, Miller's statement is consistent with American usage during the war.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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When Miller's squad first enters the town of Neuville, Jackson's rifle has a short scope. When the squad comes under fire from the German sniper, Jackson now has much longer, narrower scope attached to his rifle. However, if you watch carefully, you will notice that for the entire movie so far, Jackson has been carrying a large cylindrical canister on his back, which contains the longer scope. In the town when he says "I wouldn't venture out there fellas, this snipers got talent" you can see him reaching behind him and opening the canister. In the next shot it shows him removing the small scope from the rifle and mounting the longer scope.
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In the beginning of the movie when attacking the German pillbox. The Germans are running out of the pill box there are no muzzle flashes seen from the American rifles, though they fire several rounds, and the rifles seem to recoil as if fired. This is not necessarily incorrect. Contrary to what movies almost invariable show, not every shot from every weapon produces a noticeable muzzle flash. A modern rifle (such as the World War II M1) with appropriate ammunition, will not normally have a flash.
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At the beginning of the movie during the invasion scenes, Captain Miller has his Captain's bars prominently displayed on the front of his helmet. A popular misconception is that nobody with rank wore it on the front lines. This was not true for the initial D-day operations. Photographic evidence shows ranger officers with their rank in white (like Miller) or black (like Hamill) on the front of their helmets. Only after the initial D-day operations did officers and NCOs employ the white vertical stripe and the horizontal stripe (respectively) on the back of their helmets to avoid being primary targets of sniper fire.
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The phone cord in the Ryan farmhouse is coiled. Whilst most phone cords in 1944 were straight, the coiled phone cord was in use from the 1920s.
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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.
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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.
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Plot holes 

If the oldest Ryan boy was the last to go off to boot camp, as related in James' story in Ramelle, then there was no way the 4 of the Ryan boys could have posed in uniforms for the photograph that was sitting on the shelf/furniture to the right of the door at their house, shown when their mother went to the door to meet the man from the War Dept. and the local minister. James said that night in the barn was the last time they were all together.
Neuville, where the Miller squad is headed to try to save Private Ryan, is to the west of Omaha Beach, and just a few miles inland from Utah Beach. The Army would have been extremely unlikely to send troops from Omaha Beach in the opposite direction from the direction in which the troops were advancing. Moreover, Carentan, a city between Omaha and Utah Beaches, was still in German hands at the time, and it would have been very difficult for the squad to get past it without going much farther inland or swimming. The battle for Carentan didn't end until 15 June...three days after the final battle depicted in the movie. Any squad going to "save Private Ryan" would more likely have been assembled from troops who had landed on Utah Beach...if such a squad would have been assembled at all. It would have been far more logical (if less dramatic) just to put the word out among the troops to try to find Private Ryan as they found each other after the air-drop errors, and advanced inland.
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Revealing mistakes 

The actor playing the part of the deaf soldier knowing Private Ryan appears to be the same as the screaming wounded soldier with the gaping shoulder injury being worked on by the medic on Omaha beach.
The replica Tiger tanks were built from Russian T-34 medium tanks, as the road wheels are in a straight line, while the original Tiger had interweaving road wheels.
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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.
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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. A closeup of Upham after he crosses the street to go up the stairs shows many of the cartridges on his right shoulder to have empty primer pockets. The shiny brass bottoms of the empty pockets are clearly visible on eight of them in a row. Most of the rest of the cartridges appear to have a white substance filling or covering the pockets.
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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.
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When the soldiers arrive at the 101st rally point, the same extra walks by, up to 4 times.
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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.
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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.
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As Capt Miller and his men assault a pillbox in the D-Day scene, they assemble behind a low wall at the very rear of the pillbox installation. Sgt. Horvath and Pvt. Reiben throw grenades over the wall at the door of the pillbox, about 30 ft away. When the grenades explode, debris showers the men from a position just on the other side of the wall they are crouched behind.
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When Capt. Miller is firing his M1911 pistol at the advancing German tank on the bridge, after his second shot, the slide locks halfway open, indicating a stovepipe or similar jam, but he continues firing without clearing it.
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When Pvt. Jackson is preparing to engage the German sniper in the rainy sequence, he begins to adjust his scope. As he speaks "two clicks" the second click is added in post-production as the actual second click never happens. He also doesn't rotate the scope. He just twists his hand.
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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.
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When Sergeant Horvath limps to get Upham from the stairs at the battle of Ramelle, the concrete stairs pylon is seen having a big smear from Horvath's hand from previous takes.
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Immediately following Upham's plea to Miller after the attack on the machine-gun nest, there is a shot focusing on the two dead Germans in the nest. The soldier lying supine with a fatal wound is clearly breathing heavily.
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After the 20mm forces Miller, Ryan, and Reiben to relocate, is shows two paratroopers who survived the initial 20mm shooting crawling away from the tank. In the next few scenes when in shows both of the men getting shot, it is very clear in both cases that the Germans who shoot them aren't even aiming at their bodies, but rather the ground. It's particularly obvious when the second one is shot as the bullet strikes the ground next to him.
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Right after the soldiers make a run for the seawall in the D-Day scene, it shows a German machine gunner firing his MG-42. There aren't any spent casings being spit out by the gun and in fact there aren't even any bullets being fed into it. The metal link belt is there, but it is empty of bullets.
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When Miller takes his last shot at the second Tiger and it explodes, it is very clear that the tank is fake, especially because it is not even moving even though we hear the squeak of the treads.
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During the final battle, as the American's are climbing up on the disabled Tiger Tank and they show a close up of the German tanker opening the main turret hatch, you can see the hatch is simply made from the top of a 55 gallon metal barrel, to include the spout and is so thin and flimsy that it actually shakes and wiggles a bit when it's opened. There are also no levers on the inside that would be used to secure and lock it from inside the tank. An actual hatch would be much thicker and have more intricate locking parts on its inside.
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Private Ryan tells a story of the last time him and his three brothers were together for the last time. They were in the loft of a barn. The next day they enlisted and were separated. However, when the chaplain arrives at the Ryan farm, informing Mrs. Ryan of the death of her three sons, a photo of all four sons, wearing combat gear, can be seen on a table next to the front door. This would indicate they had all four been together since enlisting.
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If you look at the river under the bridge and all other shoots it isn't flowing yet it is quite shallow. In one shot the wind is blowing the surface.The river was purpose built along with the town on former British Aerospace Factory in Hatfield Herts and the river is a shallow oblong mini lake the runs the width of the set.
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In the scene where the medic gets shot, watch the shot where Upham brings the bags up to the injured medic. The next shot there is some fog which then reveals the injured medic. In this shot, watch carefully as the cast rips away the medic's shirt. If you look near the neck, you can see the fake stomach vest he is wearing for a split second - when the actor realizes he ripped too far up, he quickly covers it back up.
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Just before the two American soldiers slap their grease coated "sticky bombs" on the passing German Tiger tank, you can clearly see two identically shaped grease stains on the first two wheels. Presumably nobody remembered to wipe off the wheels of the tank after a rehearsal or previous take of the scene.
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In the opening sequence Cpt Miller is wading through the sea with another man. You can see an odd looking square-shaped object clearly through his wet uniform. It may come as no surprise that a second later he is shot dead centre of the pocket. The object was obviously a charge.
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In the scene where the American soldiers are in the village listening to the French music on the record player, take a look at the stone pillars at either side of the doorway. The bullet patterns are all the same on each stone block. No doubt the same mould was used.
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In the Omaha Beach fight when the soldiers are ordered to gather more weapons and ammo, there is a massive explosion shortly after - if you look closely you can see the wires used to pull the unfortunate victims into the air.
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In the closing battle of the film we see one of the American soldiers with an ammunition belt around his neck. The striker marks on the primers indicate that the belt is made up of fired (ie. useless) cases which have had bullets put back into them so they look normal.
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At the end when Tom Hanks has been shot and he pulls out his pistol in his final act of defiance, watch closely. The pistol jams on his second round. You can see the slide lock partially open. Immediately afterwards he goes on to fire several more shots.
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At the end of the movie, in the Omaha Cemetery scene where the old Ryan is reading Captain Miller's marker, the shoreline should be to his left, not his right. This is because all the stones face the same direction and, when reading them, the water would be on the reader's left. Only Miller's stone is facing the opposite direction- note that all the others look blank because we're looking at their backs.
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In the scene in Ramelle, 5 or so guys climb onto a stopped tank and the 20mm gun opens fire on them. The middle "guy" is stood upright next to the turret. I say "guy" because he's a dummy rigged to be shot - he is rigid for the whole scene until he falls to pieces.
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When the American goes to sit down and hits a block of wood that hits a wall the wall falls down and there are German soldiers. In the next shot they are screaming, notice the man standing in front of the table the camera makes a close up of his face he is the one without a helmet. In the next shot all of them get shot right? Well look closely at that man in front of the table he gets shot and goes to sit down on the table and misses the table. He quickly sits back on the table. Look closely and you'll see it.
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Right after the medic dies, when the unit has killed the Germans except for the one they eventually let leave, one of the dead bodies is breathing.
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Throughout the film we see indications that someone has been shot when a puff of grey dust comes from the body as it gets hit. This grey dust is coming from a smaller version of a paint ball filled with a white powder that the camera can capture. The mistake is that it should be blood, or nothing, not a white powder - unless the entire German army from D-day to Ramelle is dusty.
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In the scene in Ramelle, the sniper is taking out Germans from the bell tower and saying "Be my strength" etc. He shoots two guys in quick succession on the corner of a wall. The "shot through the chest" effect goes off on the second actor but perpendicular to the direction of the shot.
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Near the end of the movie there is a hand-to-hand combat scene which results in an American soldier being knifed in the chest while pleading for his life. You can see that it is a fake cardboard box body with his head poking out.
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In the final battle scene, where Jackson (the sniper) is in the tower you see him from the side view shooting Germans, and his rifle recoils with every shot; but when you see the Germans through the scope, there is no sign of recoil at all.
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Several close-up shots of the bullets used throughout the film show holes in the cases, so they are clearly dummy rounds.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Anachronisms 

When James Ryan destroys the SDKFZ251 with his bazooka, they identify it as belonging to the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 2 SS Division, which didn't reach the front until June 16 and then only on the Mortain area. Capt. Miller died as written in his grave, on June 13.
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Boom mic visible 

In the final graveyard scene, as picture rotates to show the elder Ryan looking at Captain Miller's grave, a boom mic is briefly visible in the reflection of one of the white crosses.
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Continuity 

Before seeing the radar site, there were 8 soldiers moving through the field instead of 7 who were still alive. (They started with 8 and were down to 7 after Adrian Caparzo shot by a sniper.)
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Old Ryan visits the cemetery at the end of the movie. He stands opposite the cross on Miller's grave, facing straight ahead at the cross. In the next shot, the camera zooms in on the cross revealing the Captain's name and Ryan is standing to the right of the cross.
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During the Rangers' 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.
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When Miller is fatally wounded, Reiben helps him over to where Sgt. Horvath is laying. Miller's body is facing toward the camera while his head turns to look at Horvath, but in the next shot his body is facing Horvath.
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Miller gets his hands covered in blood when he tries to heal Wade. After he dies, Miller reaches in Wade's pocket and pulls out some papers, but he doesn't get any blood on them.
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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.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Wade is shot, Upham is running up the hill. When he comes through the smoke, Wades' shirt is being torn off, and at the top you can see the prosthetic stomach prop.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Upham shoots the German soldier at the end of the movie, the latter can be heard falling down and Upham eyes him to the ground. Some have said that in the subsequent shot the German's body can't be seen. However, even though you can't see his head, you can see his back and feet pretty well lying on the ground at the bottom of the frame.
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Revealing mistakes 

During the last shot of the Tiger after Captain Miller is mortally wounded, modifications to the tank are visible, most prominently the piece of wood with a black rectangle painted on to represent the driver's viewport.
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When Mellish is being stabbed by the German soldier it is very apparent that the knife is being stabbed into a fake torso given the way Mellish's body seems to cave in and breath unlike a normal person would.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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