* ActorAllusion: Tom Hanks served in [[Film/ForrestGump Vietnam]]. At least he survived that conflict
** Actually, Malaysia. Though it was released in DVD afterwards.
** Averted in India. The Indian Censor Board demanded Spielberg to cut out some of the more violent scenes in the movie. Spielberg refused. When the Indian Home Minister saw the movie for himself, he ordered it to be released uncut.
** In the opening scene, a soldier who had just had his legs blown off was played by an actor who had lost his legs years before. A number of the other soldiers on the beach are also played by amputees with prosthetic limbs to simulate having arms or legs eviscerated.
** Subverted with the one-armed colonel, played by Creator/BryanCranston, who is not an amputee.
* DrugsAreBad: Tom Sizemore (Sgt. Horvath) was battling drug addiction while filming the movie. Spielberg knew about this and had Sizemore tested for drugs every day during filming, with the condition that Sizemore would be fired and his character recast should he tested positive for drugs just once.
* DuelingMovies: This film and ''Film/TheThinRedLine''; they were pitted against each other at the Oscars and amongst war movie buffs. This was more a function of marketing than anything else -- ''The Thin Red Line'' was significantly slower-paced and more philosophical as compared to ''Ryan's'' traditional war movie feel.
* EnforcedMethodActing: The actors portraying the rest of the eponymous Ryan's platoon had to go through very realistic, difficult military training. The [[Creator/MattDamon eponymous Ryan]]...didn't. Which actually doubles this trope: Damon's exemption was planned to create resentment on the part of the rest of the cast, which mirrored their character's feelings.
* FakeAmerican: Daniel Jackson (the sniper)'s actor Creator/BarryPepper is Canadian.
** Michael Madsen was offered the role of Sgt. Horvath. He declined the role and recommended Tom Sizemore for the part.
** Edward Norton was also tapped for the role of Private Ryan.
** Before Tom Hanks was tapped for the role of Captain Miller, Creator/MelGibson and Creator/HarrisonFord were both considered for the role.
** A draft of the screenplay had [[spoiler: Miller]] survive and [[spoiler: Upham]] die.