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Videos: Best moments from ‘Saving Private Ryan’

Person holding clapboard (Unsplash)
May 22, 2024

“Saving Private Ryan” is one of the most well-known military films ever made. Captain John Miller, played by Tom Hanks, takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat.

While much of the movie is a fictional account, the storyline was sparked by the true story of the Niland brothers — Edward, Preston, Robert, and Frederick — from Tonawanda, New York.

Below are five of the best moments from the film.

In one of the most brutal, yet accurate scenes in film history, an injured soldier searches for his arm without paying attention to the danger of the war around him due to the amount of shock he was in.

In another powerful scene, the group’s medic is critically injured. The troops desperately try to save him, knowing their brother-in-arms understands exactly what’s wrong with him and the likely tragic outcome. 

A third scene highlights how war impacts men regardless of their age or location. Hanks’ character talks about how he’s a teacher back home and contemplates how the war has personally changed him.
“Sometimes I wonder if I’ve changed so much, my wife is even going to recognize me whenever it is I get back to her and how I’ll ever be able to tell her about days like today,” Hanks’ character says. “I just know that every man I kill, the farther away from home I feel.”

Another scene shows Captain Miller’s resolve as he fires his pistol at a tank. He knows it will do nothing, but he refuses to give up and keeps fighting to the bitter end.

Another heartbreaking scene from the film shows the role of the sniper during World War II.