8.6/10
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Saving Private Ryan (1998)

R | | Drama, War | 24 July 1998 (USA)
Trailer
2:10 | Trailer
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
236 ( 10)
Top Rated Movies #26 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 74 wins & 74 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:

There was only one man left in the family, and the mission was to save him. 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

The events from Omaha Beach to the battle at Ramelle take place over the course of a week from June 6 to June 13 as indicated by the date on Capt. Miller's cross. See more »

Goofs

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. 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!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Originally, when the US broadcasting rights were acquired by TNT, they were required to broadcast the film uncensored, with all violence and language intact. Although recent (2008) airings have kept all the violence and gore, at least one dubbed all uses of 'fuck' with the word 'friggin'' or 'freakin''. All broadcasts carry the "TV-MA LV" rating and carry a lead-in disclaimer after every commercial break. See also: Schindler's List. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

C'était une Histoire d'Amour
Music by Jean Jal
Lyrics by Henri Contet
Performed by Édith Piaf
Courtesy of Mercury Records, France
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
See more »

User Reviews

Excellent despite some Spielberg slips into sentiment
11 September 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

During the Normandy landings during WW2 two brothers are killed. In another part of the world another of the Ryan brothers is killed in action, leaving their mother with one remaining son and three telegrams due to be delivered. A group of men, led by Captain Miller set out to reach Private Ryan and not only break him the news but to safely return him for return to the US.

What can I say – it is an excellent film despite some minor flaws. The plot is based on a real life situation during WW2 and allows for us to follow a group of men as they take part in the horrors (and humanity) of war. This is the film's strength and it is never stronger than in the first 25 minutes and, to a lesser extent, the final 20 minutes. The opening of the Normandy landing is simply pure emotional power and is really well done – it is so powerful that the actual plot itself is a bit of a letdown. I love Band of Brothers because the focus was on the war and what it was like to be involved rather than a sort of soap opera story. Here the plot is still very good but can't really follow that opening.

It also sinks into sentiment a tad too often. For example Ryan's mother lives in this sort of Norman Rockwell painting that is Spielberg's vision of middle America. Also there is a little too much use of gawkish dialogue as well – although it's hard to criticise the death scenes for being emotional, because they should be.

A minor flaw that is easy to get over is the lack of Brits. Like Band of Brothers (which had a few cockney accents) this is an AMERICAN film – so of course they will focus on the American experience. However it would have been nice to have some British (or any other) voices or faces among the Allies. I can understand why the film opens and closes with the stars and stripes and why the film focuses on the yanks but a little bit of perspective would be useful. There's nothing wrong with focus – but when it totally excludes huge bits of information then it's a problem. It always makes me think of the way that Michael Caine took his children back to the UK when they were taught in an US school that WW2 started in the 1940's (ie – when America joined).

However this is a minor flaw as, in fairness, it's an American film – why be surprised when it's focus is Americans! Of the cast Hanks is good – he is much more subtle than his Oscar roles where he played to the crowd. He benefits from having a great support cast of good actors, current actors, old faces, up and comers etc. Sizemore, Burns and Farina are the good current actors. Damon, Ribsi, Diesel, Martini etc are all very good on the way up – although Damon has one of the simplest characters. They may all be slight stereotypes of Americans but it's not a major flaw – just a screen writer wanting to cover all bases I think, although it does grate that they cover all these backgrounds but can't squeeze any other Allies in to the edges.

Overall it is excellent despite some stereotyping, US flag waving and the usual Spielberg love of sentimentality. Even if the actual plot is flimsy Spielberg expertly puts us as close to experiencing the horrors and the humanity within war as I hope we'll ever be.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

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
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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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