Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan

Director: Steven Spielberg | Genre: Drama, War

Released: 1998 | Runtime: 169 min

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Stars of this Movie

Saving Private Ryan Quotes

  • Gen. George C. Marshall : I have a letter here, written a long time ago, to a Mrs. Bixby in Boston. So bear with me. "Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln."
  • Private Jackson : Sir... I have an opinion on this matter.
    Captain Miller : Well, by all means, share it with the squad.
    Private Jackson : Well, from my way of thinking, sir, this entire mission is a serious misallocation of valuable military resources.
    Captain Miller : Yeah. Go on.
    Private Jackson : Well, it seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift, made me a fine instrument of warfare.
    Captain Miller : Reiben, pay attention. Now, this is the way to gripe. Continue, Jackson.
    Private Jackson : Well, what I mean by that, sir, is... if you was to put me and this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile of Adolf Hitler with a clear line of sight, sir... pack your bags, fellas, war's over. Amen.
    Private Reiben : Oh, that's brilliant, bumpkin. Hey, so, Captain, what about you? I mean, you don't gripe at all?
    Captain Miller : I don't gripe to *you*, Reiben. I'm a captain. There's a chain of command. Gripes go up, not down. Always up. You gripe to me, I gripe to my superior officer, so on, so on, and so on. I don't gripe to you. I don't gripe in front of you. You should know that as a Ranger.
    Private Reiben : I'm sorry, sir, but uh... let's say you weren't a captain, or maybe I was a major. What would you say then?
    Captain Miller : Well, in that case... I'd say, "This is an excellent mission, sir, with an extremely valuable objective, sir, worthy of my best efforts, sir. Moreover... I feel heartfelt sorrow for the mother of Private James Ryan and am willing to lay down my life and the lives of my men - especially you, Reiben - to ease her suffering."
    Mellish : [ chuckles ] He's good.
    Private Caparzo : I love him. [ they make mocking kissy-faces at each other ]
  • Private Jackson : What I mean by that, sir, is if you was to put me and this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile from Adolf Hitler... with a clean line of sight... Pack your bags, fellas. War's over. Amen.
  • Private Reiben : You wanna explain the math of this to me? I mean, where's the sense of riskin' the lives of the eight of us to save one guy?
    Captain Miller : Twenty degrees. Anybody wanna answer that?
    Medic Wade : Reiben, think about the poor bastard's mother.
    Private Reiben : Hey, Doc, I got a mother, all right? I mean, you got a mother. Sarge's got a mother. I mean, shit, I bet even the captain's got a mother. [ he turns and looks at Miller, who has a bemused expression on his face ]
    Private Reiben : Well, maybe not the captain, but the rest of us got mothers.
    Upham : "Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die."
    Mellish : La-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la, la-la. What the fuck is that supposed to mean, Corporal, huh? We're all supposed to die, is that it?
    Captain Miller : Upham's talking about our duty as soldiers.
    Upham : Yes, sir.
    Captain Miller : We all have orders, and we have to follow 'em. That supersedes everything, including your mothers.
    Upham : Yes, sir. Thank you sir.
    Private Reiben : Even if you think the mission's FUBAR, sir?
    Captain Miller : *Especially* if you think the mission's FUBAR.
  • Lieutenant Dewindt: FUBAR.
    Private Reiben: FUBAR.
    Sergeant Horvath: FUBAR.
    Captain Miller: FUBAR
    Private Jackson: Y'all got that right.
    Corporal Upham: I looked up fubar in the German dictionary and there's no fubar in here.
  • Captain Miller: Private, I'm afraid I have some bad news for ya. Well, there isn't any real easy way to say this, so, uh, so I'll just say it. Your brothers are dead. We have, uh, orders to come get you, 'cause you're going home.
    Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: [starts sobbing] Oh, my God, my brothers are dead. I was gonna take 'em fishing when we got home. How - How did they die?
    Captain Miller: They were killed in action.
    Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: No, that can't be. They're both - That... That can't be. My brothers are still in grammar school.
    Captain Miller: You're James Ryan?
    Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: Yeah.
    Captain Miller: James Francis Ryan from Iowa?
    Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: James Frederick Ryan, Minnesota. [the whole crew looks embarrassed]
    Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: Well, does that - does that mean my brothers are OK?
    Captain Miller: Yeah, I'm sure they're fine.
  • Captain Miller: James... I'm here to tell you your brothers were killed in combat. They're dead.
    Private Ryan: Which one, sir?
    Captain Miller: All of them.
  • Gen. George C. Marshall: My dear Mrs Ryan: It's with the most profound sense of joy that I write to inform you your son, Private James Ryan, is well and, at this very moment, on his way home from European battlefields. Reports from the front indicate James did his duty in combat with great courage and steadfast dedication, even after he was informed of the tragic loss your family has suffered in this great campaign to rid the world of tyranny and oppresion. I take great pleasure in joining the Secretary of War, the men and women of the U.S. Army, and the citizens of a grateful nation in wishing you good health and many years of happiness with James at your side. Nothing, not even the safe return of a beloved son, can compensate you, or the thousands of other American families, who have suffered great loss in this tragic war. I might share with you some words which have sustained me through long, dark nights of peril, loss, and heartache. And I quote: I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the somlemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of freedom. -Abraham Lincoln. Yours very sincerely and respectfully, George C. Marshall, General, Chief of Staff.
  • Private Reiben: You know what that song reminds me of? It reminds me of Mrs. Rachel Troubowitz and what she said to me the day I left for basic.
    Mellish: What, don't touch me?
    Private Reiben: No, Mrs. Rachel Troubowitz was our super's wife. She comes into my mom's shop to try on a few things, all right? And she's easily like a uh, a 44 double E. These things are massive. And I've got her convinced that she's like a 42D, all right. So we're in the dressing room, she's trying to squeeze into this side cut, silk ribbonned, triple panel girdle with the uh, shelf-lift brassiere and it's beautiful because she's just pouring outta this thing, you know? It's beautiful. And she sees me and she can tell I got a hard on the size of the statue of liberty, all right? And she says to me, Richard, calm down. And she says, Now when you're over there, if you see anything that upsets you, if you're ever scared, I want you to close your eyes and think of these. You understand? So I said, Yes, ma'am.
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