scorecardresearch
0 of 0 correct
0 question streak
Advertisement

When Tom Hanks' character, John Miller, tells the rest of the unit what he does for a living back home, Hanks' speech was actually much longer in the original script. Why was the scene shortened?

Saving Private Ryan, Paramount Pictures
Advertisement
When Tom Hanks' character, John Miller, tells the rest of the unit what he does for a living back home, Hanks' speech was actually much longer in the original script. But Hanks felt that his character wouldn't have said so much about himself, and he told Steven Spielberg so. Spielberg agreed, and the speech was shortened

Steven Spielberg has claimed that he directed Private Ryan as a tribute to who?

Pixabay
Advertisement
Jack Churchill was a WW2 Commando who served with distinction in a number of theaters, his exploits earned him the Distinguished Service Order as well as the Military Cross. He was known as ‘Mad Jack’ by his men and his fellow officers for his ferociousness in combat. Unlike his more conventional peers his weapons of choice were not the traditional British fire arms of the period, instead he chose to rush in to combat with a long bow, a Scottish broadsword and his bag pipes.

At one point during the film, two “German” soldiers are shot while trying to surrender. Except they aren’t actually speaking German. What language are they speaking?

Getty Images
Advertisement
The two "German" soldiers who are shot trying to surrender were speaking Czech. "Please don't shoot me, I am not German, I am Czech, I didn't kill anyone, I am Czech!" After taking their lands, German troops forced many Czech and Polish citizens into the German military.

Where was the iconic Omaha Beach scene filmed?

Flickr, Anna & Michal
Advertisement
Omaha Beach was actually shot in Ireland. The real-life beaches in Normandy, where Allied forces invaded France, have strict filming restrictions. So what's a big-budget, Hollywood film crew to do? A little movie-making magic, that's what. In order to get the realism he craved, without ever actually setting foot on the beaches, Spielberg created an almost exact replica of the Omaha Beach in Ireland at Ballinesker Beach.

True or False: the action in Saving Private Ryan was so realistic, one of the veterans acting on set actually had to quit.

Wikipedia
Advertisement
One of the actors in the German-dubbed version of the movie was actually a German veteran from the invasion of Normandy. He had to drop out because of the emotional realism of the movie.
0 of 0 correct
0 question streak

How were the sound effects of gunfire recorded for the film?

Flickr
Advertisement
Gunfire sound effects heard throughout the film were recorded from actual gunfire with live ammunition fired from authentic period weapons. The sound effects were recorded at a live fire machine gun range.

Which of these actors was also considered for the role of Private Ryan?

Pixabay
Advertisement
Neil Patrick Harris was considered for the role of Private Ryan.

Scenes in the bombed-out French city may have been convincing, but they weren’t really filmed in France. Where were they filmed?

Saving Private Ryan, Paramount Pictures
Advertisement
Scenes in the bombed-out French city may have been convincing—but they weren't filmed in France. Shooting took place in a shell-town which was purpose-built for the movie, outside London. Spielberg realized that shooting a destroyed French city would be a logistical nightmare, so the fictional city of Ramelle was painstakingly recreated at a now-closed WWII air base located about 30 miles outside the English capital. It took four months to build, partly due to an almost fanatical commitment to detail. Par exemple? To add a hint of believability, tons of genuine rubble were purchased from nearby construction sites, hauled in, and delicately dumped onto the set. Sure, they could have used some kind of foam facsimile... but that just shows you how seriously Spielberg and his team took their commitment to reality.

True or False: the scenes for the Omaha Beach battle scene were not planned on a storyboard.

Saving Private Ryan, Paramount Pictures
Advertisement
The Omaha Beach battle was filmed in sequence over a four-week period, moving the action up the beach shot-by-shot, and day-by-day. For the actors, the grueling progress may well have felt like some small approximation of the torment their real-life counterparts would have suffered in the real assault (albeit with a little less risk involved...) Steven Spielberg claims that none the action was storyboarded in advance.

Which actor suffered from drug addiction on set?

Wikimedia Commons
Advertisement
Tom Sizemore was battling a drug addiction during the filming of the movie. Spielberg gave him an ultimatum where he would be blood tested every single day. According to Sizemore, Spielberg said that if Sizemore failed, “He would fire me on the spot and shoot all 58 days that I'd worked over again with someone else.”
0 of 0 correct
0 question streak

The story of Saving Private Ryan was based on…

Saving Private Ryan, Paramount Pictures
Advertisement
Contrary to popular belief, Saving Private Ryan is not based on the Sullivan brothers. It was based on the Niland brothers, four siblings who served in the US Army during World War II. Three brothers—Robert, Preston, and Edward—were supposedly killed in action, which caused their remaining brother (Fredrick, nicknamed "Fritz") to be shipped back to America so that the Niland family wouldn’t lose all of their sons. Edward, who was originally thought dead, was actually found alive after escaping a Japanese prison camp in Burma.

How much was Vin Diesel paid to appear in the film?

Getty Images
Advertisement
Vin Diesel received $100,000 for his portrayal of Caparzo. Obviously, this was a time when Diesel still fell into the category of actors so desperate for a shot in Hollywood, they would film a movie for free if you let them.

True or False: In order to achieve the camera shaking effect during explosion sequences, Spielberg invented a new technique.

Getty Images
Advertisement
When the camera shakes during explosions, it’s because Steven Spielberg attached drills to the sides of the cameras, which were turned on when shaking was required. While shooting, the crew's photographer let Spielberg know that there were shaker lenses for cameras. Spielberg said in an interview that he was bummed because he thought he had invented an awesome new technique.

Which computer animation studio helped to bring the realism of the film to life?

Pixabay
Advertisement
The input of Industrial Light & Magic was significantly downplayed so as not to make the film appear to be a special effects movie. ILM's contribution, however, was subtle but critical, as most of the bullet hits in the Omaha Beach battle were digitally created.

All actors playing soldiers were forced to endure difficult army training… except for who?

PxHere
Advertisement
The soldiers went through grueling army training before filming, but Matt Damon didn’t participate. Spielberg let Matt skip the training so that the other actors would resent him and show it in their performances.
0 of 0 correct
0 question streak

True or False: Saving Private Ryan was the first film edited on a digital editing system to win an Academy Award for editing.

Pixabay
Advertisement
Saving Private Ryan is actually the last film edited on a non-digital editing system to win an Academy Award for editing.

What rating did Saving Private Ryan recieve in America?

Max Pixel
Advertisement
On top of being the highest grossing movie of 1998, Private Ryan was also the last R-Rated movie to lead box-office charts until 2014, when American Sniper hit the silver screen. That's a pretty astoundingly long run.

How long did it take to film the Omaha Beach sequence?

Shutterstock
Advertisement
The Omaha Beach battle was filmed in sequence over a four-week period, moving the action up the beach shot-by-shot, and day-by-day. For the actors, the grueling progress may well have felt like some small approximation of the torment their real-life counterparts would have suffered in the real assault (albeit with a little less risk involved...)

Which actor was offered a role in Private Ryan, only to turn it down because he was afraid of water, and worried that filming would be too stressful?

Public Domain Pictures
Advertisement
Billy Bob Thornton was offered the role of Sergeant Horvath, but declined because he didn't want to film the Omaha beach scenes. Billy's reasoning? He has Aquaphobia, a fear of water.

When Matt Damon was cast as Private Ryan, it was because Spielberg wanted a relatively unknown actor. This backfired when Damon’s first big hit was released just a short while before Spielberg’s movie. What was Damon’s first hit?

Flickr
Advertisement
When Matt Damon was cast as Private Ryan, it was because Spielberg wanted a relatively unknown actor at the time. This backfired when Good Will Hunting made Damon an overnight star shortly before this movie was released.
0 of 0 correct
0 question streak

True or False: The screenplay for Saving Private Ryan was written by Steven Spielberg.

Rawpixel
Advertisement
Saving Private Ryan was the only movie that Steven Spielberg directed up to that point in his career that he hadn’t developed on his own. Screenwriter Robert Rodat’s script was actually sent to Spielberg by his agent. In a stroke of luck, the script had also been sent to actor Tom Hanks, who wanted to make the movie. Spielberg and Hanks, who had never worked with each other at that point, called each other when they found out they were reading the same script and decided to collaborate on the movie.

Which of these steps did Spielberg NOT take in order to increase the realism of the movie?

Getty Images
Advertisement
The answer was D!

True or False: Saving Private Ryan wasthe highest grossing film of 1998.

Shutterstock
Advertisement

True or False: Two of the landing crafts in the Omaha Beach scenes were actually used during World War II.

Good Free Photos
Advertisement
True! The filmmakers were forced to get special permission in order to use these historical objects for filming.
About This Quiz
Saving Private Ryan is largely considered the best war film of all time, and perhaps more importantly, amongst the best films ever made. It's certainly one of Spielberg's most ambitious and awe-inspiring movies to date (which, in-and-of itself, is truly saying something). The film's opening scene, which depicts the landing at Omaha beach, is said to be the most accurate portrayal of D-Day ever put to film. But how much do you know about the film? Time to find out…


Featured Article
43 Scandalous Facts About Edward VIII, The King Who Lost His Crown “I wanted to be an up-to-date king. But I didn't have much time.”—Edward VIII. For such a short-reigning king, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom left behind no shortage of controversy. First, there was the…
Featured Article
People Describe Creepy Imaginary Friends from Their Childhood “I was a loner as a child. I had an imaginary friend—I didn't bother with him.”—George Carlin. Many adults had imaginary friends as children. At their best, these make-believe buddies were cute, helpful, and whimsical…


Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team