Saving Private Ryan

When Miller and his men find Ryan, he is dug in with his unit awaiting the German counter attack. Ryan refuses to leave his buddies and Miller and his men agree to fight with them. The Germans attack in overwhelming numbers and everyone fights valiantly except Upham who runs and hides. Of the men in the original platoon, Jackson gets blown up in the Bell Tower. Mellish has a fight with a German Soldier who after much struggling stabs Mellish to death. And Horvath gets shot numerous times and eventually dies. Miller gets shot trying to reach the remote to detonate the bridge. Reinforcements arrive just before he dies. Upham, Reiben and Ryan survive the battle. The old man we saw at the beginning in the war cemetery is Ryan, and he is there with his family to visit Miller's gravesite, the man who saved his life.

Continuity mistake: When they go to find Private Ryan there are eight of them, when they go to a French town and Caparzo 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. (01:23:11)

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Trivia: The movie was shot in chronological order, which is unusual for a film. Spielberg chose to shoot it that way so that the actors would feel like they were going through the experience in the same order as the characters they play, and they lose friends on the way. This helped create the resentment towards Ryan, who doesn't share the journey with them.

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Question: After Capt Miller gets briefed on his new mission to rescue Pvt Ryan and enlists Upham for the mission, there is a long shot of the beach. What are those Zeppelin-like things that are floating around, tied to the ground? What are they good for? (00:39:50)

Answer: These were barrage balloons, commonly used during the war. They are used to stop low level bombing and low level fly bys by enemy fighter planes. The cables attached to the balloons are designed to cut through the wings of the aircraft and to bring them down, so any pilot would have to fly above them, and the balloons would also restrict the view from above.

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