Opening with the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion under Cpt. Miller fight ashore to secure a beachhead. Amidst the fighting, two brothers are killed in action. Earlier in New Guinea, a third brother is KIA. Their mother, Mrs. Ryan, is to receive all three of the grave telegrams on the same day. The United States Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall, is given an opportunity to alleviate some of her grief when he learns of a fourth brother, Private James Ryan, and decides to send out 8 men (Cpt. Miller and select members from 2nd Rangers) to find him and bring him back home to his mother...Written by
This film was a co-production of DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures, with DreamWorks handling the North American release, and Paramount handling the international release. The early releases of the film on video cassette, and Region 1 DVDs, were distributed by Universal, which had agreed to distribute DreamWorks releases on home video when the company was founded in 1994. In 2006, Viacom, Paramount's parent company, acquired DreamWorks and Paramount, and gained U.S./Canadian rights to the picture as a result. The film was one of seven DreamWorks/Paramount co-productions that became fully owned by the latter upon the merger of the two studios. See more »
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. See more »
[running to comfort his father]
[flashback to D-Day]
[shouting out the soldiers on the raft]
CLEAR THE RAMP! THIRTY SECONDS! GOD BE WITH YA!
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The DreamWorks and Paramount logos play in complete silence. See more »
Differences between theatrical version vs. DVD
on the beach in Normandy Tom Hanks orders his men to take out the sniper that has them pinned down. Soldier after soldier die as they go around the corner while they have covering fire. There is a scene that was cut where he is telling a soldier (after soldier baulks) that they will both go out together. Tom counts down and fakes going out and the other soldier goes out and is gunned down.
Scene where they let the two German soldiers walk away - DVD version does not show them shot in the back as they are down the road.
Very good film - the landing sequence at the start was phenomenal. The acting was of a uniformly high standard. A couple of things spoiled the film a bit for me.
The Germans are treated as 'Nazis', even when most Wermacht soldiers were just serving their country like everybody else. Also they seemed to be targets that got mown down in droves and were generally portrayed as less than human. I thought that went out in cinema a few years after the war ended.
Finally the only mention of the other allies is one disparaging comment about Montgomery's failure in front of Caen. Firstly he was facing most of the German armour that was dug into strongpoints, and secondly on D-Day and for a period after the British and Canadian troops out numbered the Americans. I wouldn't normally bother but Americans seem to view these films as historically accurate representations.
With the release of U571 this trend is getting even worse. The capture of the Enigma machine was carried out by a British destroyer crew - before America even entered the war!
The new Colditz movie is following this path. There were very few American POW's held there, and none of those escaped by the war's end.
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