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

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writer:

Robert Rodat
Popularity
82 ( 25)
Top Rated Movies #25 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 74 wins & 75 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Captain Miller
Tom Sizemore ... Sergeant Horvath
Edward Burns ... Private Reiben
Barry Pepper ... Private Jackson
Adam Goldberg ... Private Mellish
Vin Diesel ... Private Caparzo
Giovanni Ribisi ... T-4 Medic Wade
Jeremy Davies ... Corporal Upham
Matt Damon ... Private Ryan
Ted Danson ... Captain Hamill
Paul Giamatti ... Sergeant Hill
Dennis Farina ... Lieutenant Colonel Anderson
Joerg Stadler Joerg Stadler ... Steamboat Willie
Max Martini ... Corporal Henderson (as Maximilian Martini)
Dylan Bruno ... Toynbe
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Storyline

Opening with the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion under Cpt. Miller fight ashore to secure a beachhead. Amidst the fighting, two brothers are killed in action. Earlier in New Guinea, a third brother is KIA. Their mother, Mrs. Ryan, is to receive all three of the grave telegrams on the same day. The United States Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall, is given an opportunity to alleviate some of her grief when he learns of a fourth brother, Private James Ryan, and decides to send out 8 men (Cpt. Miller and select members from 2nd Rangers) to find him and bring him back home to his mother... Written by J.Zelman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The mission is a man. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harrison Young, who was cast as the elder Ryan due to his striking resemblance to Matt Damon, was 68 years old during production, playing a character in his 70s. During the actual Normandy invasion in 1944, Harrison was 14. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the scene where medic Cpl. Wade is killed they show him lifting his body to bury him, but his body is rigid. Rigor Mortis does not set for two or three hours after a person dies, the muscles start to stiffen. This phenomenon progresses in a downward, head-to-toe direction. In 12 to 18 hours the body is, as the saying goes, stiff as a board. Not enough time would have passed from the time he was killed until the time of burial for Rigor Mortis to have set in. See more »

Quotes

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

The DreamWorks and Paramount logos play in complete silence. See more »

Alternate Versions

German television-version is heavily cut, missing most of the violence particularly during the landing-scene at the beginning of the film. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Blue Mountain State: The Peak (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Tu es Partout
Music by Marguerite Monnot
Lyrics by Édith Piaf
Performed by Édith Piaf
Courtesy of Mercury Records, France
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
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User Reviews

 
Numbing experience of SPR redeems baby boomers...
25 January 2000 | by janesbit1See all my reviews

It's been over a year since first seeing Saving Private Ryan -- it's a worthy effort by Speilberg--his best since Shindler's List by far. You've probably heard about the amount of violence, blood, and gore and that's all true--it's got the Viet Nam movie style violence (and then some) but it's not gratuitous. Were it sanitized like early WWII movies, modern audiences probably wouldn't take it as seriously.

The movie has that trademark Speilberg style--the structure is all tied up and unified from beginning to end, the emotional symbols abound, the music swelling when he's working at your emotions, the hand held camera that worked so well in Shindler's List to give you a feeling of participation, camera angles and periods of silence to disorient you (like Shindler), suspense techniques learned from Hitch... It's a movie that stays with you for a period afterwards.

Hanks will be the early front runner for Oscar after this flick--Academy members like him AND it IS his best acting job ever. While Speilberg will likely be criticized for attempting to manipulate the audience's emotions while keeping a distance from the inner core of his characters, Tom Hanks reveals a really complex military leader in this story, and does so without overacting--somehow it comes from within. While you may not empathize deeply with many of the platoon, you will still feel something because of the relationship that is formed with Hanks.

After the initial set-up, you will have the opportunity to participate in the D-Day operation and experience the horror of it. Those who have been in a real war can comment about how realistic or not Speilberg captures its chaotic horror in this scene.

In my case I again feel very lucky that my draft number was high, so I never had to face Nam like many of my classmates. Speilberg reminds us brutally in "Saving Private Ryan" that we All have a debt to pay to the brave souls who have sacrificed so much for us. What Tom Hanks does with his performance is to remind us of this debt in a very personal way.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Czech

Release Date:

24 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Saving Private Ryan See more »

Filming Locations:

Calvados, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,576,104, 26 July 1998

Gross USA:

$217,049,603

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$482,349,603
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS | Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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