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)
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).
Question: Jackson, the sniper of Miller's crew, states that if he was in a mile of Adolf Hitler, he would kill him. So, as they were driven to the beach, why didn't Jackson and other snipers try to pick off the the German guys who were firing the at the boats as the Americans left them?
Question: What do the soldiers have in their mouths during combat? Shortly after Miller's team disables the machine gun nest at Omaha Beach you can see Tom Sizemore take something out his mouth and drop it and later when Edith Piaf's song is playing he takes something out of a bag and puts it into his mouth again.
Question: What is said between Upham and Steamboat Willie right before Willie gets shot? It's all in German and a very dramatic scene, one of my favorites. All I have is VHS and I can't find a complete script on the web.
Question: When the higgins boats were blown to bits, before we see Jackson in the front of the boat, when the ramps go down, the whole people in screen were shot, also where Jackson was, but later Jackson is there with Miller at the seawall, how could this be?
Question: In the opening Omaha beach scene, we see soldiers being mowed down as soon as they leave the LCVP's. Was this really the case in 1944? Were the bunkers really that close to to the shoreline?
Question: Why do the soldiers (Mellish and Reiben) air kiss when they talk about sleep in the church scene?
Question: In the last battle, Upham is seen running around with cartridges of ammunition. Why don't the people who need it just have it close by, instead of having him carry it all over the place?
Question: Why do they have rifles and equipment wrapped up in plastic before they actually fight?
Question: In the radar site scene, after Miller lets Steamboat Willie free, Reiben wants to leave the mission, and Horvath is holding his gun on him, Jackson also pulls his gun on Horvath, his superior. Nobody seems to care about it. Doesn't it count as a serious violation of military law or something?
Question: Would the military really have sent a rescue mission to save one man during world war 2?
Question: Near the end of the movie, Miller says "James, earn this. Earn it." What is he talking about?
Question: My tape ran out right at the end due to all the ad breaks and new bulletins so I missed the last 5 minutes. I saw right up to the bit after old Private Ryan does his speech to the grave and then his wife, presumably, comes up and says, 'James' and kaput. Can anyone tell me what happened in those dying minutes?
Question: Almost after the D-Day battle is over, Caparzzo picks up a Hitler Youth Knife and hands it to Mellish. Then Mellish calls the knife a "shabbat challah cutter." What does that mean?
Question: After the D-day battle and Capt. Miller is informing the Colonel about the types of mines, what was the purpose of Capt. Miller taking such a long pause during his discussion?
Question: I noticed that during the whole film, when bullets hit the soldiers' bodies, dust comes out (even on a wet Omaha Beach). Why is that?
Question: What did Miller mean when he said, "Give me Rieben on B.A.R."? What is "B.A.R."?