Opening with the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, members of the 2nd Ranger Battalion under Cpt. Miller fight ashore to secure a beachhead. Amidst the fighting, two brothers are killed in action. Earlier in New Guinea, a third brother is KIA. Their mother, Mrs. Ryan, is to receive all three of the grave telegrams on the same day. The United States Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall, is given an opportunity to alleviate some of her grief when he learns of a fourth brother, Private James Ryan, and decides to send out 8 men (Cpt. Miller and select members from 2nd Rangers) to find him and bring him back home to his mother...Written by
German, American and British Armies used "sticky bombs" portrayed in the movie by American Forces using their government-issued socks as bags to be filled with plastic explosive and then coated with axle grease so that it would "stick" to an enemy tank. However, real magnets were often used, and the "sock" was actually some woven fabric, when available, and rather than putting the bomb on the tracks of a tank directly, this would only disable its movement but still allow the tank to fire. The surface of a tank was often too hot to use axle grease, which was not always available, and if it was, the grease would simply melt and the bomb would slide off. Furthermore, manually placing a sticky bomb coated with grease gave away one's position as was tactically dangerous, not because the fuse might run out before it could be placed properly as shown in the movie, but because tank commanders, before engaging in battle, could see troops running from buildings or their hiding positions. Traditionally, the sticky bomb was weighted with magnets and dropped from the height of a building, where not only could the one who placed the bomb be less easily seen, but because the bomb was designed to stick on the top of the tank or turret, where its armor was the weakest, and this had the effect of sending the shock wave down through the tank, where the tank would be blown apart from the inside, killing the crew instantly. Plastic explosive was more commonly used than dynamite, as PE (Composition "B") is a fast explosive and more effective than slower-burning dynamite, which did work, but had the effect of "cooking" the enemy tank crew instead of vaporizing them. In either manner, being on the wrong end of a sticky bomb was a gruesome, horrible way to die. See more »
During the final fight scene the German armour enters the town (a built up area) with open-topped AF V's and unbuttoned tanks. The Germans learned not to do this, greatly to their cost, at Stalingrad and other urban battles. It is very unlikely they would have risked their scarce armour in such a way without first securing the area with infantry. See more »
[running to comfort his father]
[flashback to D-Day]
[shouting out the soldiers on the raft]
CLEAR THE RAMP! THIRTY SECONDS! GOD BE WITH YA!
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There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »
German television-version is heavily cut, missing most of the violence particularly during the landing-scene at the beginning of the film. See more »
The most realistic harrowing battle scenes ever filmed...
Steven Spielberg makes a unique motion picture in regards to the D-Day invasion of World War II just in the gritty reality of the detail For more than twenty minutes he revives for us the landing at Omaha beach No one was prepared for how horrific it really was No one understood what was going on: The terror, the chaos, the maelstrom of bullets, the near-deafening explosions You really got a sense of what these guys had to go through
Within that perplexity, the focus settles on six soldiers under the command of Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) after they've survived their terrible hours breaking through the first line of German defense, they're given a strange perilous mission, to find one man, Pvt. Ryan (Matt Damon), a paratrooper who's somewhere behind German lines For them, it's an abstruse order, but they have to get it done
Throughout the film, Spielberg's attention to detail is amazing For me, the most chilling scene in the movie is the death of an American officer It's one of the most intimate It's also a slightly confusing moment because two German characters resemble each other so greatly
Toward the middle, a German soldier called "Steamboat Willie" is introduced By the end of the film, he has become the 'bad' German Later in the movie, another German is involved in the final fight He takes part in an exceedingly painful scene of hand-to-hand combat with the American soldier The two German soldiers have similar short haircuts and black uniforms Because they looked so much alike, many of us have believed that they're one character They're not, and the distinction of the two is very significant
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