Saving Private Ryan

Corrected entry: In the German version the Americans are translated, so they speak German... but the Germans also speak German, yet they don't understand each other.


Correction: This is not a mistake, but an extremely common technique used to make viewing the film easier for speakers of a particular language and avoid the need for extensive subtitles. German viewers are expected to take it as a given that the American characters are actually speaking English to one another and that Upham is the only character that can actually speak and understand fluent German.


Makes me wonder how they explain "fubar" though.


I'm always curious how slang terms that are that specific are translated into other languages. Take it to the forums and see if anyone who speaks German can watch that version. I'd be curious to see the answer myself.


Corrected entry: What Ryan said to Miller would not have been enough to convince Miller to let him stay behind. Military members can't just choose which orders to obey.

Correction: Doesn't matter if it would have, Miller decided to stay himself and keep him safe. Miller was ordered to get him home, but understands Ryan wanting to stay so he decided to stay too and help defend the bridge and keep Ryan alive at least. Even though it was an order it doesn't mean Miller doesn't or shouldn't take Ryan's opinion into consideration.


According to history buffs Fritz Niland the person which the movie is based on responded the way Ryan responds in the movie. Unlike private Ryan though Fritz had no chance of convincing the army otherwise because you can't just pick and choose the orders that were given. He was told that he had to go home and that was that.

Corrected entry: When Caparzo is shot by the sniper in the church the shot hits him in the front of his chest/lung, indicating the church is in front of them, but when Jackson sees the church the sniper is stationed in, it's behind them.


Correction: No, the shot hits him in his back and goes through his body, you see it exiting out his chest. He had his back to the church, facing the rest of the squad, when he is hit. There is no error in this scene.


Corrected entry: At the start of the beach landing, the landing craft are either beached or a few feet out - we know this from the view of the machine gun nest and the cameras beside the landing craft. Several soldiers are waist deep in water, but when the men go over the side they fall into water that is 10-20 feet deep, as we see men sink to the bottom and drown and get shot etc. This is a continuous scene so the landing craft would not have moved.

Correction: You will also see that not all the landing craft are beached or "a few feet out" so the men we see drown could be off those crafts. Also in the actual landings there are reports of men jumping over the side before they arrived so they stood more of a chance.

Ssiscool Premium member

Corrected entry: Well after the beach has been secured and communication posts are set up where Upham is typing and Miller comes to reassign him, it then shows a panning view of the beach of soldiers still unloading. However, the big X-shaped tank traps are still littered all over the beach. During the assault there were combat engineers telling soldiers to get away from the traps so they can destroy them. How come even now after they've had the beach secured this long they haven't removed the tank traps? The fact that many of the engineers were killed in some of the initial waves on the beach is irrelevant as there were many coming ashore after the beachhead was established. (00:38:05)

Correction: Yes the tank traps are still on the beech head, however if you look closely during the panning shots you will see that the far end of the beach has been cleared of the traps to make room for the landing crafts that are carrying the armor. At the close end of the beach, you can see smaller boats deploying soldiers only. As such there is no need to remove the traps from that area as it would be a waste of manpower and resources.

Ssiscool Premium member

Corrected entry: Right after the medic dies, when the unit has killed the Germans except for the one they eventually let leave, one of the dead bodies is breathing.

Correction: While it is safe to say that they are seriously wounded, It can take a few minutes for them to die completely. Therefore it's a reasonable assumption that there would be shallow breaths.

Ssiscool Premium member

Corrected entry: When they first enter the field hospital, look at the side of the glider. By the door, there is no dead body. When they come back, there is a body resting against the glider. Did a wounded man get up to die next to the glider? (01:11:10)

Correction: It's a different door. Note the pilot section, and the tree coverage.

Ssiscool Premium member

Corrected entry: During the beach landing sequence we see what is left of Captain Miller's company fire up the German bunker with a flamethrower. A few seconds later Miller and troops are running along the top of a trench shooting into it. In the background you can see the same bunker not on fire and then bursting into flames as the SFX fire is added. (00:24:10)

Correction: What you see is people running out of the bunker followed by the flames coming back out the door. It's on fire the entire time.

Corrected entry: In Newville when Caparzo is taking the girl he gives her his dog tags. When he dies, Capt. Miller takes his dog tags from his neck. He never got them back from the little girl.


Correction: Caparzo gives the Little girl rosary beads he had around his neck, not his dog tags.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the ATP is ambushed by the two groups of Americans we see Cpt. Miller take their right flank and kill three Germans trying to run for it. But watch as he shoots. The second he stops shooting an explosion goes off in the background 20 yards away. This can't happen with the gun he's firing (Thompson) because it doesn't shoot explosive rounds. In addition to the shooting, a German messed up by getting shot way after Cpt. Miller stopped shooting.

Correction: The explosion is caused by a bazooka in Ryan's group, not Miller's Thompson.

Corrected entry: When the Waffen SS unit attacks the town at the end of the film (Ramelle), the Germans use "allied" tactics such as crowding behind a tank to enter the center of the town at a disadvantage by the tall buildings and rubble that inhibits quick forward thrusts. At this stage of the war, especially Waffen SS units (even if they may be replacement units - which I doubt) they would not be blindly led in such horrific maneuvers.

Correction: This assumes that the unit is competently led. At this stage of the defense of Normandy it is very likely that the unit is being led by a junior officer with little formal tactical experience. This is the Waffen SS...they aren't supermen and were the equivalent of Rangers or Airborne. It is also likely that the common ranks were made up of non German soldiers or standard or replacement infantry which would lead to such tactical errors.

Corrected entry: When Mellish's gun gets jammed he doesn't fix his gun or do anything to it. When the Germans kill the Airborne soldier through the wall, they try to enter the room and Mellish shoots another shot, killing the first German.

Correction: When Henderson takes up his position with his Thompson you can hear an M1 Garand cycle. He cleared his jam off camera.

Steve Kozak

Corrected entry: In Neuville just after Miller's group joined the other scattered soldiers, they try to get to the other side of the city. One of them tears down a wall with Germans hiding in the building. After screaming at each other, the Germans all get shot by others from above. Some moments after this shootout, you hear this very distinctive M1 Garand "pling" sound. This sound only is to be heard after the last shot has been fired and the clip is ejected automatically. Bang - pling. But in this scene there is no shot. If you unload manually, the pling will not sound.

Correction: If the only round left is in the chamber, and you pull the operating rod back, the round in the chamber is ejected as well as the empty clip, making the ping noise. No shots necessary.

Steve Kozak

Corrected entry: After the taking of the beaches, and Miller returns for revised orders, the fleet in the background appears/disappears.

Correction: Watched the scene three times. There is no evidence of ships in the bay behind the actors.

Corrected entry: In the scene in the Pentagon between several officers and General Marshall, when the camera pans over Marshall's left shoulder towards the officers, you can see that the colonel, who was missing his left arm in earlier scenes, has it again; it's missing again in the next shot. It may be just that his sleeve's rolled down in the middle shot, but that's still an error. (00:34:00)

Correction: The officer lost his right arm. That sleeve of his jacket is hanging empty as the officers follow Gen. Marshall across the room. At the point where the mistake is supposed to happen the camera shoots an angle from behind Gen. Marshall left shoulder upon the one-armed officer. You see a bit of his sleeve, 6-8 inches. There is no indication it is filled or has changed from previous shot. You just do not see all of it.

Corrected entry: In the Ryan farmhouse scene, the camera pans across the room. You see a telephone hanging on the wall. That type of phone did not appear until at least the 1950s.

Correction: That is a Western Electric model #354 telephone, released in 1937, and remained popular for many years. That telephone is completely appropriate considering the era.

Corrected entry: During the battle of Ramelle, Private Jackson aims his rifle (at his own men) and although a gunshot sound effect is heard, his rifle does not recoil or flash. (02:16:05)


Correction: If you are referencing the scene with the Germans burning after the Molotov cocktail attack, you see an American on the ground shooting a burning German soldier. Jackson makes no effort to cycle the bolt on his rifle, therefore he didn't shoot. The American on the ground made the shot.

Steve Kozak

Corrected entry: When they exit the beach and attack the big concrete bunker two grenades are thrown at the entrance some distance away but the explosion happens on the other side of the wall and not near the entrance at all.

Correction: They threw them and they missed. Same thing happens in baseball, a wild pitch, football an incomplete pass etc.The grenades they threw just simply didn't land where the throwers wanted them to land.

Steve Kozak

Correction: The grenades are thrown at the entrance to the bunker, to suggest they didn't land there is ludicrous, the explosion behind the wall was done for action and drama purposes only.

Corrected entry: During the climatic battle scene near the end, a Marder III tank destroyer is driven into the city and gets destroyed by American soldiers with molotovs. However, a Marder III would never be driven into a city as a vanguard with such high ambush possibility, as it was a vehicle solely dedicated for anti-tank purposes and would be hopeless against infantry.

Yue Hin Yeung

Correction: Tanks aren't just used to fight other tanks. It is an armored vehicle used as cover for the foot soldiers, its use as a tank destroyer is irrelevant. They weren't expecting enemy armor, but they were expecting snipers, so the tank was used to protect the foot soldiers. It later was used to take out the sniper position, so it did serve its purpose well.


Corrected entry: When inside the higgins boats, we see some men have netted helmets. However when they started to get blown to bits, they all have regular helmets.

Correction: Actually, if you look closely, some of the soldiers getting shot do have netted helmets.

Continuity mistake: When they go to find Private Ryan there are eight of them, when they go to a French town and a solider 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)

More mistakes in Saving Private Ryan

Private Reiben: You wouldn't shoot the kraut and now you're gonna shoot me?
Sergeant Horvath: He's better than you.

More quotes from Saving Private Ryan

Trivia: The pivotal role of "Minnesota Ryan", the Private Ryan that Captain Miller mistakes for the Private Ryan for whom he is searching, is played by a very young and, at the time quasi-unknown, Nathan Fillion.

Cubs Fan
More trivia for Saving Private Ryan

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