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 a soldier 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)
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.
Question: When they are preparing to attack the machine gun emplacement guarding the radar, Captain Miller asks 'Who's going left?' There's a long silence and finally Jackson responds that he'll do it - he'll go left. What is the significance of going left? I'm assuming that it is more dangerous, but if this is the case, why? Also, why does Captain Miller ask for volunteers for someone to go left? (As he picks himself and Mellish to go middle and right, respectively).bbarrington
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