Continuity mistake: 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. (00:08:35 - 00:09:50)
Continuity mistake: During the Omaha beach scene, when Miller, Horvath and a few other soldiers are at the front of one of the bunkers trying to get past the firing squad, he puts down his knife with the mirror attached and grabs his gun, holding it underneath, but in the following shot he is holding it at the top. (00:19:35)The-Immortal
Continuity mistake: In the scene where all the 101st Airborne troops walk past as Rieben, Jackson, Melish and Miller are joking about the various dog tags, you can see an isolated shot of a young Italian-looking trooper walk past and stare dead at the group. A few minutes later as Miller is yelling at the procession, he shows up again in the background as Miller encounters the soldier whose hearing is impaired because of the grenade. You have to look quickly though, and the image is somewhat blurred. (01:17:10)
Continuity mistake: In the opening scene, when old James Ryan's family is behind him in the wider shot, one of the three blonde girls at the back has her hair over her ear and her right hand down by her side. In the following closeup of her, her hair is now behind her ear and her hand is up by her bag strap. (00:01:30)The-Immortal
Factual error: In the scene where the American troops are storming the German radar station, you can see a few dead cows with oversized bellies provoked by putrefaction, which means that they were killed at least 12 hours ago. When one of the cows receives a bullet, you can see highly-oxigenated fully arterial red blood spurting from the wound, something impossible to happens in a dead body. Blood at this time of death should be nearly black or brown. (01:24:00)
Continuity mistake: At the start of the movie on Omaha Beach, just before Tom Hanks and the others clear the fence with the Bangalore torpedoes, a man is shot and it ricochets off his helmet, but in the previous scene he can be seen looking at Tom Hanks, in the following shot he is looking away towards the bunkers. (00:16:50)The-Immortal
Revealing mistake: In the closing battle of the film we see one of the American soldiers with an ammunition belt around his neck. The striker marks on the primers indicate that the belt is made up of fired (ie. useless) cases which have had bullets put back into them so they look normal, or maybe dummy rounds.
Revealing mistake: Throughout the film we see indications that someone has been shot when a puff of grey dust comes from the body as it gets hit. This grey dust is coming from a smaller version of a paint ball filled with a white powder that the camera can capture. The mistake is that it should be blood, or nothing, not a white powder - unless the entire German army from D-day to Ramelle is dusty.
Continuity mistake: When the group of soldiers led by Captain Miller are in the village, and the soldier knocks the wall down accidentally, if you notice when the soldiers above shoot them dead, that a lot of the blood gets sprayed onto part of the back wall, yet when we see the wall from inside the house, there is hardly any blood at all. (00:56:50)The-Immortal
Visible crew/equipment: When Hanks, Damon and company are retreating to the Alamo (across the bridge) the camera pans an overview shot of their retreating and you can see two crew members in the shot - one holding a camera and another supporting member, both wearing white tee shirts on the right part of the screen.
Factual error: When 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 bullets from a powerful sniper rifle travel much faster than sound, he couldn't have heard the shot before he got hit. (00:51:30)
Continuity mistake: In the preparation for the big battle in the village, the Americans count up on equipment left useable for the impending fight. A soldier lists what's left including two .30 caliber machine guns. In the preparation for the ambush of the Germans you see two .30 calibers being prepped for action by the American officers up the church tower and in the rubble, and then a third is carried past by an extra.