Saving Private Ryan

Revealing mistake: Near the end of the movie there is a hand-to-hand combat scene which results in an American soldier being knifed in the chest while pleading for his life. You can see that it is a fake cardboard box body with his head poking out.

Saving Private Ryan mistake picture

Continuity mistake: During the Omaha Beach scene where Captain Miller is at the front of the concrete bunker and calls upon Jackson to get into one of the impact craters, Miller moves behind Jackson. When Miller makes the move for the diversion he puts his hand on Jackson's right shoulder but in the following shot Miller is at least 2 to 3 feet away from Jackson. (00:20:20)

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Continuity mistake: When Miller's men are about to take the bunker under the radar tower, they are kneeling on the ground behind some bushes discussing their flanking moves and Jackson is about two feet away from Reiben to his left, but when it cuts Jackson is now behind Reiben. (01:22:35)


Continuity mistake: In the scene near the end, when two soldiers are in a row boat packing a bag with explosives, in the overhead shot the guy at the back of the boat puts the oar into the water to his right, but in the following shot from behind the oar is on the other side of the boat. (01:51:40)


Factual error: When Capt. Miller talks to the pilot of the crashed glider telling his story the guy says he lost 22 men in the crash. Only one problem: his glider is a Waco CG-4A (the similar-looking but larger Waco CG-13A wasn't used in the Normandy invasion). The maximum load for one of those was only 13 fully equipped troops and the two pilots, and that's without a jeep. As a jeep is visible in the rear of the fuselage, there couldn't possibly have been more than 6 men on that glider including the pilots, or it never would have gotten airborne.

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Continuity mistake: After Caparzo has died from the sniper bullet, when Miller's men are grouped around Caparzo's body, Horvath is holding his gun in his right hand pointing it to the ground with his left arm by his side, but in the following shot, when Miller walks up, he is holding his weapon at waist height. (00:54:25)

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Continuity mistake: When Miller has just explained to Ryan that his comrades came to take him back, Miller talks to Horvath alone. While Horvath is talking over his shoulder, you clearly see him moving his hands in the next shot, from an angle just past Miller, his hands are held tight to his gun. (01:48:40)

Continuity mistake: When Tom Hank's men are in the village close to the start of the film, the soldier knocks down the wall accidentally, and the German soldier at the front picks up his weapon and points it (this can be seen from outside the house looking in). Then when it cuts back to all the German soldiers, he's picking and pointing the weapon again. (00:56:20)


Revealing mistake: In the final battle scene, where Jackson (the sniper) is in the tower you see him from the side view shooting Germans, and his rifle recoils with every shot; but when you see the Germans through the scope, there is no sign of recoil at all. (02:13:10)

Continuity mistake: In the last battle Miller, Rieben and Ryan are crouching in a ditch, waiting for the tiger tanks to come. Millers' Thompson m1a1 changes to m1928 for about 4 seconds. You can see from the sight at the back.

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Continuity mistake: When Upham is hiding behind a cow while his squad rushes the communication tower/bunker, he uses a sniper scope to see his squad mates. Upham holds the scope differently every time. The two knobs would first be at north/west, and the next shot would be south/east. This will change several times until Captain Miller tells him to get the gear. (01:24:20)

Continuity mistake: During the scene where Horvath and the BAR are facing down, things are getting out of control with Horvath pulling a .45 on the BAR. In the background, from among the rest of the Ranger group, alternating scenes of Jackson, the sniper, show him with his pistol either raised or holstered.

Other mistake: In the final battle where the two rangers are waiting for Upham to bring them 30cal ammo, they fire their rifles through a hole in the wall. At one point two German soldiers are seen dying from the same shot, even though they are at least five meters (about sixteen feet) apart.

Factual error: When the group is trying to take the German radio tower and the medic gets killed, the American hiding behind the cow is watching through a small rifle scope. The adjustment knobs should be on the top and side of the scope when held level and upright. The American is holding them crooked which means the crosshairs should be crooked, but when it shows the view through the scope, the crosshairs are perfectly vertical and horizontal. (01:24:15)

Audio problem: After the Rangers break through the German lines at Normandy, Captain Miller delivers a message on the hand radio. After he turns his back to the camera and stops talking, he continues to move his mouth. (00:24:30)

Continuity mistake: Ryan and Miller have a moving dialogue. In the scene Ryan talks about the time his brother was trying to have sex with a girl in the barn. While the pained Miller sits in a chair, we notice his hand which often shakes rests underneath the other. Then in a split second the left hand is on top of the other, then below.

Saving Private Ryan mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Near the start, when Miller's men are walking through a field, and Jackson is talking about him and his rifle, in the background Caparzo has a cigarette in his mouth, but in the following shot it is not in his mouth or hands, then it's back in his mouth again. (00:42:40)


Character mistake: Before the final attack in the village, we can see a wall with an advertising for Byrrh, an aperitif drink made from a blend of wines. The ad reads: "Byrrh, l'ami de l'estomach, " which basically means: "Byrrh, stomach's friend." In French, the correct spelling is "estomac." not "estomach." This is quite a big mistake since the ad and the building are three or four stories high.

Factual error: Some of the ammunition cans were made after World War II; they have smooth sides instead of a recessed border and "low area."

Other mistake: When the squad is walking in the field with Mellish singing, they see a halftrack and take cover. Once the halftrack gets shot at by the bazooka, Miller moves to the side of the halftrack shooting the fleeing soldiers. After that, he reloads his Thompson. Then, at the beginning of the last battle, Miller reloads his Thompson for the second time. There is no explanation why he would throw away what is considered a perfectly good cartridge.

Private Reiben: You wouldn't shoot the kraut and now you're gonna shoot me?
Sergeant Horvath: He's better than you.

More quotes from Saving Private Ryan

Trivia: The pivotal role of "Minnesota Ryan", the Private Ryan that Captain Miller mistakes for the Private Ryan for whom he is searching, is played by a very young and, at the time quasi-unknown, Nathan Fillion.

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