Trivia: Saving Private Ryan


  • Actor Allusion: Tom Hanks served in Vietnam. At least he survived that conflict.
  • AFIS 100 Years Series:
  • Banned in China:
    • 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.
  • Dawson Casting: Sort of. By the time of Normandy, most officers (in battle and combat) were in their late twenties to early thirties at most, with everyone under them being younger, even if only by a couple years. Tom Hanks was in his early 40s when this was filmed. All of the other actors were (for the most part) older than their characters, save Horvath (whose relative age is left untouched entirely). Furthermore, the stress of combat causes accelerated aging, which a lot of the soldiers on the battlefields of World War II would have faced.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor:
    • 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 Bryan Cranston, who is not an amputee.
  • Drugs Are Bad: 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.
  • Dueling Movies: This film and The Thin Red Line; 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. (not to mention one is the Pacific War, the other the European Theater).
  • Enforced Method Acting: The actors portraying the rest of the eponymous Ryan's platoon had to go through very realistic, difficult military training. The 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 characters' feelings.
  • Fake American: Daniel Jackson (the sniper)'s actor Barry Pepper is Canadian.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The squad includes Vin Diesel, Daniel Faraday, Phoebe's brother Frank, Chandler's crazy roommate Eddie, and Guard Stanton\Johnny Goodboy Tyler.
    • Captain Miller is given the Ryan assignment by Ray "Bones" Barboni\Cousin Avi.
    • The first city Miller squad's visits makes them meet Paul Giamatti, Ted Danson and Nathan Fillion.
    • The soldier who piloted a crashed glider had been used by John Doe in the Lust murder, and later played Dr. Lucien Dubenko on ER.
    • Bryan Cranston plays a Colonel at the War Department.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford were both considered for the role.
    • A draft of the screenplay had Miller survive and Upham die.