Fact List Movies & TV

20 Interesting Facts About Saving Private Ryan

Here are 20 Interesting Saving Private Ryan facts.

1-5 Saving Private Ryan Facts

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1. The Normandy beach landing scene in Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan cost $12Million alone, employed the use of over 1,500 extras and has been rated ‘the best battle scene of all time’ by Empire magazine. – Source

2. Steven Spielberg promised Tom Sizemore a role in Saving Private Ryan as long as he never failed a drug test while shooting. If he failed once, even on the last day, Spielberg promised to kick him out of the movie and reshoot all of his scenes with a new actor. – Source

3. The film Saving Private Ryan (1998) was so realistic that not only did veterans leave theatres during the opening scene, but visits to PTSD counselors rose and the Department of Veteran Affairs set up a nationwide hotline for veterans affected by this film. – Source

4. In Saving Private Ryan, all main actors went through army training except Matt Damon so that the other actors would show resentment for him. – Source

5. ABC aired Saving Private Ryan on Veteran’s day, unedited, every year starting in 2001. The practice ended in 2004 (the year of Nipplegate), when nearly 30% of ABC affiliate stations declined the broadcast, even after The Walt Disney Company offered to pay all FCC fines for language. – Source

6-10 Saving Private Ryan Facts

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6. Matt Damon, when asked why he accepted his role in Saving Private Ryan, responded: “It was offered to me. When Spielberg says jump, b*tches say how high?” – Source

7. In Saving Private Ryan, the two “German” soldiers shot trying to surrender were members of the Ost Battalions, prisoners from eastern European countries invaded and forced into the German army. They were saying, “Please don’t shoot me, I am not German, I am Czech, I didn’t kill anyone!” – Source

8. In 2006 Tom Hanks was inducted as an honorary member of the Army Ranger Hall of Fame for his portrayal of Cpt. Miller in the film Saving Private Ryan. – Source

9. A struggling Vin Diesel wrote, directed and starred in a short film which was screened at the 1995 Cannes film festival. Later, after seeing it, Steven Spielberg was so impressed he created the role of Private Caparzo in Saving Private Ryan specifically for him. – Source

10. “Saving Private Ryan” made more money overseas than in the US and was more popular in Germany than in France. – Source

11-15 Saving Private Ryan Facts

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11. A London photo developer destroyed all but 11 of the only photos of the June 6th D-Day on Omaha Beach. The surviving shots are called The Magnificent Eleven and inspired the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. – Source

12. Saving Private Ryan (1998) is the last film edited on a non-digital editing system to win an Academy Award for editing. – Source

13. For Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg requested that no one gain admittance to the movie once it had begun. – Source

14. Nathan Fillion in 1998 performed in his first major motion picture, Saving Private Ryan, as the wrong (Minnesota) Ryan. – Source

15. In 2000, nine teenagers were sentenced to watch Saving Private Ryan after pleading guilty to vandalizing a veteran’s park. – Source

16-20 Saving Private Ryan Facts

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16. The half motorcycle/half tank from “Saving Private Ryan” was something called a “Kettenkrad”. Over 8000 were produced and used in farming after the war. The handlebars not only controlled the wheel but also steered the tracks using brakes to control the direction of movement. – Source

17. In the original movie script for Saving Private Ryan, Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) does not die. Also, they are not saved by P51’s, but by a large amount of Sherman tanks. – Source

18. The movie “Saving Private Ryan” is loosely based on the actual lives of 4 brothers. – Source

19. Bryan Cranston was in “Saving Private Ryan” before his breakout role as Hal in “Malcolm in the middle”. – Source

20. “Saving Private Ryan” lost the Academy Award for Best Picture to “Shakespeare in Love”. – Source


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    • The plot of the film is that Tom Hanks’ Captain Miller and his men are sent to find and retrieve Private James F. Ryan of Iowa, whose brothers have been killed in action and is now the last surviving Ryan, from Normandy. Miller manages to track down Private James F. Ryan and tells him his brothers are dead, only for Ryan to respond that his brothers can’t be KIA because they’re still in grammar school. It turns out that Miller has found Private James Frederick Ryan from Minnesota, and not Private James Francis Ryan from Iowa. So Miller has found the “wrong ‘Ryan'”. Nathan Fillion portrays the “wrong ‘Ryan'”.


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