Private Caparzo: Captain, the decent thing to do would be take her over to the next town.
Captain John Miller: We're not here to do the decent thing, we're here to follow f*cking orders!
The majority of the extras in the movie were from the Irish Army and the F.C.A. (a military organisation). Direct from one of these extras: in the opening scenes where the soldiers are in the boats before landing at the French beach against German defenders, the soldiers puke their guts out, and we all see this. What you don't know is that it was REAL vomit you see - it was caught on camera perfectly and it was kept. See more...
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Continuity: 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.
Revealing: 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.
Factual error: 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.
Continuity: Close to the end of the movie after Captain Miller is shot in the chest and leaning against a motorcycle, he begins to fire at the German tank coming across the bridge with his .45 cal pistol. After his second shot at the tank the camera turns to face Miller and for a second or 2 you can see that the slide on the top of his pistol stays back revealing the end of the barrel as if the gun were out of ammo, then seconds later without reloading Miller fires at the tank.
Continuity: 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.
Factual error: 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. This is wrong in two ways: (1) those chains were not brought into use during WWII, as you can see around Miller's neck (they're a circular piece of medal attached with string); (2) when ripping 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.
Continuity: 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.
Continuity: 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.
Continuity: 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.