Saving Private Ryan

After leading a company of Rangers in the battle for Omaha beach on D-Day, Captain John Miller is sent on a mission to find paratrooper Private James Ryan and bring him home safely. Ryan's three brothers have all been killed in action and the Brass want him returned to his family. He is fighting with his unit somewhere inland, but no-one knows where.

Miller chooses seven men for this dangerous mission. The squad picks its way across the devastated countryside - losing two members in skirmishes with the Germans. Eventually, they find Ryan dug in with his unit and awaiting a German counter attack. He refuses to leave his comrades and Miller agrees that his squad will stay to help them defend their position. The Germans attack in overwhelming numbers and Miller and most of his squad are killed, but Ryan survives and makes it home.

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: Some of the extras in the film were real amputees with one arm or leg missing so the effect of seeing someone blown up and lose their limb was as realistic as possible, as opposed to having a leg or arm "tucked away." There was uproar in Ireland because of this, but the extras loved meeting the actors and getting paid handsomely as well.

pierpp

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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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