Private Ryan

MRS. RYAN'S BOYS [scene runs 33:00 through 36:08]

[The scene begins with Mrs. Ryan, the mother of four boys serving in the US Armed Forces. An officer and a priest have come to her home to tell her that three of the four boys have been killed. Next we move to General Marshall's Office in theWar Department]

GEN. MARSHALL: Goddamn it.

COLONEL: All four of them were in the same company in the 29th Division but we split them up after the Sullivan brothers died on the Juneau.

GEN. MARSHALL: Any contact with the fourth son, James?

COLONEL: No, sir. He was dropped about fifteen miles inland, near Neuville, but that's still deep behind German lines.

STAFFER: Now Mac, there is no way you can know where in the hell he was dropped. General, first reports out of Ike's people at Schaef suggest the 101st are scattered all to hell and gone. There's misdrops all over Normandy. Now, assuming Private Ryan even survived the jump, he could be anywhere.

In fact, he's probably KIA. And frankly sir, we go sending some sort of rescue mission flat-hatting throughout the swarms of German reinforcements all along our axis of advance, there gonna be KIA too.

GEN. MARSHALL : I have a letter here, written a long time ago to Ms. Bixby in Boston. So bear with me.

[Reading from a book he took out of a desk drawer].

Dear Madam:

I have been shown in the files in the war department a statement from 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 that would 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.

That boy's alive. We're going to send someone to find him and we are going to get him the hell out of there.

ALL: Yes, sir.

FUBAR [scene runs from 42:05 through 45:40]

[This scene introduces Captain Miller and his platoon. He formerly commanded an entire company, but, as he's been assigned the task of finding the last of the remaining Ryan brothers, he has been removed from command of that company. Miller and his seven men platoon are combing the countryside for the misdropped Ryan.]

MELISH: Do you want your head blown off you fancy little f***? Don't you ever f****** touch me with those little rat claws again. Get the f*** back in formation.

UPHAM: Just want to know where you're from. Caparzo, is it?

CAPARZO: Hey, drop dead corporal.

UPHAM: Got'cha.

CAPARZO: And another thing. Every time you salute the captain, you make him a
target for the Germans. So do us a favor. Don't do it. Especially when I am standing next to him. Capice?

UPHAM: Capice.

WADE: Hey, Corporal, what's your book about?

UPHAM: Actually, it's supposed to be about the bond of brotherhood that develops between soldiers during war.

CAPARZO: Brotherhood? [laughter] What do you know about brotherhood? Get a load of this guy. Why don't you ask the captain where he's from?

MELLISH: Yeah, ask the captain. He'll tell you everything you want to know about him.

REIBEN: You mind explaining the math to me? I mean where's the sense of risking the lives of the eight of us to save one guy?

MILLER: Anybody want to answer that?

WADE: Reiben, think of the poor bastard's mother.

REIBEN: Hey, doc, I got a mother all right. I mean, you got a mother; Sarge has got a mother. I mean, s***, even the captain's got a mother. Well, maybe not the Captain, but the rest of us got mothers.

UPHAM: "There's not to reason why, there's but to do and die."

MELISH: La la la la lalalala. What the f*** is that supposed to mean, corporal? We're all supposed to die, is that it?

MILLER: He's talking about our duty as soldiers.

UPHAM: Yes sir.

MILLER: We all have orders and have to follow them, and that supercedes everything, including your mothers.

UPHAM: Yes, sir. Thank you sir.

REIBEN: Even if you think the mission is FUBAR sir?

MILLER: Especially if you think the mission is FUBAR.


MELLISH: Well, it's German. [laughter]

UPHAM: Never heard of that.

JACKSON: Sir, I have an opinion on this matter.

MILLER: By all means, share it with the squad.

JACKSON: Well, for my way of thinking sir, this entire mission is a serious misallocation of valuable military resources.

MILLER: Yeah, go on.

JACKSON: Well, sir. It seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift, made me a fine instrument of warfare.

MILLER: Reiben, pay attention now, this is the way to gripe.

JACKSON: What I mean by that is, if you was to put me with this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile from Adolf Hitler, with a clear line of sight, sir, pack your bags fellows, war's over.

REIBEN: Oh, that's brilliant bumpkin. And what about you, Captain? You don't gripe at all.

MILLER: I don't gripe to you, Reiben. I'm a captain. There's a chain of command.
Gripes go up, never down, always up. You gripe to me, I gripe to my superior officers. 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. You're a Ranger.

REIBEN: I'm sorry, sir. But let's say you weren't a captain, or maybe I was a major, what would you say then?

MILLER: In that case, I would say this is an excellent mission, sir, with an extremely valuable objective, worthy of my best efforts, sir. Moreover, I feel heartfelt sorrow for the mother of Private James Ryan and I'm more than willing to lay down my life, and the lives of my men, especially you, Reiben, to ease her suffering.

REIBEN: He's good.

CAPARZO: I love him.

CAPTAIN MILLER AND COMMAND [scene runs from 1:05:22 through 1:08:46]

[Miller and his men get rest in a church. Earlier in the day they lost one of their men to sniper fire. The soldier who was killed, Caparzo, was seeking to bring a young French girl to safety. The effort cost him his life.]

HORVATH: What's with your hand?

MILLER: I don't know. It started in Portsmouth when they brought us down for embarkation. It comes and goes.

HORVATH: Well, you may have to get yourself a new line of work. This one doesn't seem to agree with you anymore.

[Captain Miller laughs.]


MILLER: What was the name of that kid at Anzio? The one that was always walking around on his hands, you know, and he was singing that song, like the man on the flying trapeze.

HORVATH: Vecchio.

MILLER: Yeah, Vecchio. He was a goofy kid.

HORVATH: I remember he used to pee a V on everyone's jacket for Vecchio. For victory. He was so short. He was a midget, wasn't he? "How did you get to be a Ranger?" [chuckling] He got shot in the foot once, didn't he? And he was walking on his hands?

MILLER: Yeah, well, he could walk faster on his hands. He could run faster on his hands than....Vecchio. Yeah. Caparzo. You see, when you end up killing one of your men, you tell yourself it happened so you could save the lives of two, or three, or ten others. Maybe a hundred others? You know how many men I've lost under my command?

HORVATH: How many?

MILLER: Ninety-four. But that means I've saved the lives of 10 times that many, doesn't it? Maybe even 20, right? 20 times as many? And that's how simple it is. That's how you rationalize making the choice, between the mission and the men.

HORVATH: Except this time, the mission is a man.

MILLER: This Ryan better be worth it. He better go home and cure some disease or invent a longer-lasting light bulb or something. Cause the truth is I wouldn't trade ten Ryan's for one Vecchio or Caparzo.



THE ROAD TO RAMELLE [scenes runs from 1:23:38 through 1:25:30]

[When this scene opens, Miller's platoon is making its way across the French countryside to a town called Ramelle. Miller has discovered that Private Ryan is at Ramelle, guarding a bridge over the Merderet river there. Miller knows that the Allied aim is to take Cherbourg -- the Allies can't push onto Paris until they take a deep-water port. The German commander Rommel also knows that, so, Miller reasons "he's going to try to get his armor across the Merderet river anywhere he can. That way he can hit our invasion forces in flank when we make the big right turn to Cherborg. That makes any village on that river with an intact bridge solid gold real estate." The platoon comes upon a number of dead Allied soldiers.]

HORVATH: What the hell is that?

MILLER: A radar site. It's gotta be out of action. No it looks like we have something in there. Sandbag bunker, underneath the station. See that?

HORVATH: My guess too.

REIBEN: What is it?

HORVATH: Machine gun. Probably MG-42

REIBEN: Jesus. Is that what got those guys?

MELLISH: Maybe one of them's our boy.

MILLER: Their patches are 82nd. So your luck's not that good.

REIBEN: I don't know how fast the rest of you Betties are, but I'm thinking we detour this way quick and quiet, the krauts will never even know we were here. So, Captain, what I'm trying to say is maybe we can just go around the thing.

MILLER: I hear what you're saying. But, we can't go around it.

JACKSON: I'm with Reiben on this one, sir. I mean we left them eighty-eights.

MILLER: For the Air Force. The Air Force isn't going to spend ordinance on one machine gun.

MELLISH: Uh, Captain. We can still skip it, and accomplish our mission. I mean this isn't our mission, right, sir?

MILLER: Oh, that's what you want to do, Mellish? You just want to leave it here so they can ambush the next company that comes along?

MELLISH: No sir, that's not what I'm saying. I'm simply saying, it seems like an unnecessary risk given our objective, sir.

MILLER: Our objective is to win the war.

REIBEN: Sir, I just, uh, I don't have a good feeling about this one.

MILLER: When was the last time you felt good about anything?


THE CONSEQUENCES [scene runs 1:35:00 through 1:42:40]

[Miller and his soldiers take the machine gun, and capture a gunner. But, before they do, the German gunner shoots the medic, Wade, and kills him. The scene opens with Reiben beating the prisoner.]

UPHAM: Sir, this is not right, sir.

MILLER: You can help him with the bodies.

UPHAM: What is happening?

[Cut to the German, digging a grave for Wade and the dead paratroopers. Captain alone with a copy of a letter Wade made of Caparzo's letter to his father. Wade had copied it because it got stained with Caparzo's blood when he was shot and killed. Now the same letter is stained with Wade's blood. Miller is crying. Upham and the German rest.]

GERMAN: American, I like American.

GERMAN: Steamboat Wille. Toot toot.

UPHAM: Steamboat Wille.

UPHAM: He says he's not finished.

MELLISH: Yeah, that's what you think.

GERMAN: Please, I like American. Fancy shmancy. What a cinch! Go fly a kite! Cat got your tongue! Cool beans! Betty Boop, what a dish. Betty Grable, nice gams. I say can you see. I say can you see. F*** Hitler. F*** Hitler.

UPHAM: Sir, he says he's sorry about Wade. He says he's sorry about Wade, sir. He surrendered. He surrendered sir! Captain! Captain, this isn't right. You know this. He's a prisoner.

MILLER: Tell him to march a thousand paces in that direction and he can take off the blindfold, we'll be gone, and he turns himself into the first allied patrol he comes across.

REIBEN: You got to be kidding me; we're letting him go?

MILLER: He's a P.O.W. Reiben. We can't take him with us. Our guys will pick him up sooner or later.

REIBEN: Only if he doesn't get picked up by his own Vermarcht first and thrown back into circulation. Captain, you just let the enemy go.

MELLISH: This is such b*** s***.

JACKSON: You got that right.

UPHAM: B*** s***? This is b*** s***. Shooting a prisoner is b*** s***, it's against the goddamn rules!

REIBEN: Well, the goddamn rules just walked off with your new friend. But I guess that was the decent thing to do, huh, captain?

MILLER: Get your gear. Let's go.

HORVATH: You heard 'em gear up. The captain just gave you an order.

REIBEN: Yeah, like the one he gave to take this machine gun. That was a real doozy, wasn't it Sarge?

HORVATH: Soldier, you are way out of line.

REIBEN: Yes, sir. That was one hell of a call coming to take this nest, but, to hell, we only lost one of our guys going for it. I swear, I hope Mama Ryan's real f****** happy knowing that little Jimmy's life is a little bit more important than two of our guys. But then again, we haven't found him yet, have we? Huh?

[Horvath pushes him to the ground]

Get the hell off me!

HORVATH: Reiben, get up. Gear up. Fall in.

REIBEN: I'm done with this mission.

HORVATH: Hey, hey! Don't you walk away from your captain. Reiben, get back in line.

REIBEN: No sir, I'll spend the rest of my life in the stockade if I have to, but I'm done with this.

HORVATH: I'm not going to ask you again, soldier.

UPHAM: Captain!

HORVATH: Fall in.

JACKSON: This is b*** s***.

REIBEN: You going to shoot me over Ryan?

HORVATH: No I'm going to shoot you 'cause I don't like you.

JACKSON: If he wants to go, just let him go!

UPHAM: Are you letting this happen? Captain! You see this?

MELLISH: Sir, Ryan is dead. Captain, I have a sixth sense about these things, I know it in my bones.

REIBEN: You won't kill that son of a bitch Kraut and now you're going to shoot me?

HORVATH: He's better than you.

REIBEN: Then why don't you just do it Sarge. Do it man, put one in my leg.

HORVATH: I'm going to shoot you in your big ******* mouth.

REIBEN: Well, put your money where your mouth is and do it...

HORVATH: You don't know when to shut up. You don't know how to shut up.

UPHAM: Captain, please!

MILLER: What's the pool on me up to?

HORVATH: You are a coward son of a bitch!

REIBEN: I'm waiting Sarge.

MILLER: Mike, what's the pool on me up to right now? What, what is it up to? What is it, three hundred dollars, Is that it, three hundred?

I'm a school teacher, I teach English composition in this little town called Addley Pennsylvania. For the last eleven years I've been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was the coach of the baseball team in the springtime.

HORVATH: I'll be doggone.

MILLER: Back home, when I tell people what I do for a living, they think, "Well, that figures." But over here, it's a big, big mystery.

So I've guess I've changed some, 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. Ah, Ryan, I don't know anything about Ryan, I don't care. The man means nothing to me. He's just a name. But if… going to Ramelle, and finding him, so he can go home, if that earns me the right to get back to my wife, well then, then, that's my mission. You want to leave? You want to go off and fight the war? All right. I won't stop you. I'll even put in the paperwork. I just know that every man I kill the farther way from home I feel.

[Walks off and drags a body to its grave.]

JAMES FRANCIS RYAN OF IOWA [scene runs from 1:47:30 through 1:51:22]

[At Ramelle, the platoon finds Ryan with a handful of soldiers, and no real command or weapons. They are hoping for reinforcements to come and assist them with holding the bridge.]

MILLER: James Francis Ryan of Iowa?

RYAN: Yes sir. Payton, Iowa. That's correct.

MILLER: Your brothers were killed in combat

RYAN: Which ones?

MILLER: All of them.

RYAN: Uh… on ... on the level?

MILLER: Yeah, I'm afraid so. Uh...You want to take some time with this. Is there someplace you can go?

SOLDIER 1: What's this all about?

SOLDIER 2: Ryan lost his brothers.

SOLDIER 1: Which ones?

SOLDIER 2: All of them.

RYAN: You… you came all the way out here to tell me that?

MILLER: Well, you're going home. Our orders are to bring you back.

RYAN: Bring me back?

MILLER: Corporal Henderson, I don't mean to leave you even more shorthanded, but orders are orders. Any communication about when you're going to be relieved up here?

HENDERSON: Sir, there's no way to tell. We have no idea what's happening south of us.

RYAN: I have my orders too, sir. They don't include me abandoning my post.

MILLER: I understand that, but this changes things.

RYAN: I don't see that it does, sir.

MILLER: The chief of Staff of the United States Army says that it does.

HENDERSON: Sir, our orders are to hold this bridge at all costs. Our planes in the 82nd have taken out every bridge across the Merderet with the exception of two ... one at Valognes and this one here. If we let the German's take 'em we loose our foothold and have to displace.

MILLER: Private, your outfit wants to stay, that's one thing. Your party's over here.

RYAN: Sir I can't leave until at least reinforcements...

MILLER: You got three minutes to gather your gear.

RYAN: Sir, what about them. There's barely…

REIBEN: Hey, a*******! Two of our guys already died trying to find you, all right?

RYAN: Sir?

MILLER: That's right.

RYAN: What were their names.

MELLISH: Irwin Wade and Adrian Caparzo.

RYAN: Wade and …

MELLISH: Caparzo.

RYAN: It doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make any sense sir. Why, why do I deserve to go? Why not any of these guys? They all fought just as hard as me.

MILLER: Is that what they're supposed to tell your mother when they send her another folded American flag?

RYAN: Tell her that when you found me that I was here. And, I was with the only brothers that I have left and there was no way that I was going to desert them. I think she'll understand that. There's no way I'm leaving this bridge.


STICKY BOMB [scene runs from 1:54:46 through 1:56:05]

[The Captain, after some agonizing, determines to stay with Ryan at the bridge until reinforcements arrive. Unfortunately, the Germans arrive first. As the ranking man at the bridge, the Captain proposes they bottleneck the Germans in front of the bridge by disabling the first German tank to approach and thus buy time for the reinforcements to arrive.]

REIBEN: Yeah, well it's not the worst idea ever, Captain, but it's just that everything depends on getting the tank down this main road for us to knock out, right? So how the hell do you plan on doing that?

HORVATH: Reiben's right. As our esteemed colleague from the airborne pointed out, what we got here are a bunch of spit wads, so how do we stop the tank if we get it to commit?

MILLER: Give it a rabbit to chase. We could hit the tank in the tracks.

RYAN: Yeah, but with what?

MILLER: We could try a sticky bomb.

RYAN: Sticky bomb sir?

HENDERSON: Sir, are you making that up.

MILLER: No, it's in the field manual. Check it out if you want to.

RYAN: Well, we seem to be out of field manuals sir, perhaps you could enlighten us.

MILLER: Well, you have some demolition don't you, some TNT or some Composition "B"?

SOLDIER: Yes, that sir is one thing we've got plenty of. I've got that bridge wired with enough Composition B to blow it twice.

MILLER: All right, you can spare some then. You take a standard issue GI sock, cram it with as much Comp B as it can hold, rig up a simple fuse, then you coat the whole thing with axle grease. That way when you throw it, it should stick. It's a bomb that sticks, it's a sticky bomb. Come up with a better way to knock the tracks off a tank, I'm all ears.

REIBEN: This is good, now we got to surrender our socks.

UPHAM'S FEAR [scene runs from 2:20:48 through 2:21:30 and 2:24:00 through 2:26:44]


[Upham is outside, too scared to move]

Upham! Upham! Upham - ammo!

[Upham, afraid, cowers against the wall to the building where Henderson and Mellish are inside.]

[To Henderson] You got any 30 cal?




Upham? Upham!

[Henderson shoots at the wall. A pool of blood spills in the doorway. Suddenly a burst of gun fire is returned. Henderson is hit and is gagging, violently. He dies. A German soldier enters. It is the same man who Upham persuaded Miller to spare earlier, the same man who Miller instructed to turn himself in to Allied troops as a prisoner of war. He attacks Mellish in hand to hand combat, as both are out of amunition. Upham hears the struggle and is paralyzed. The German kills Mellish and descends the stairs passing Upham. They look at each other in recognition. Upham, ashamed, watches him leave.]

EARN THIS [Scene runs from 2:32:47 through 2:36:55]

[Captain Miller is shot. As he lies on the ground, he fires his pistol at the tank. It explodes, not from his pistol, but from aircraft cover. Upham jumps up from his cowering position in a trench right below a number of German soldiers. He addresses them in German and they surrender. He shoots the German man who killed Mellish.]

REIBEN: Hang in there, Captain.

RYAN: They're tank busters, sir. P-51s.

REIBEN: Medic, medic! We got a medic?

MILLER: Angels on our shoulders.

RYAN: What sir?

MILLER: James, earn this. Earn it. [Dies.]


A GOOD MAN [SCENE RUNS 2:38:58 through 2:42:21]

[Scene shifts to Private Ryan as an old man, at the gravesite of Captain Miller]

RYAN: My family is with me today. They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I wasn't sure how I'd feel coming back here. Everyday, I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. And I've tried to live my life the best I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that at least in your eyes, I've earned what all of you have done for me.

WIFE: James. Captain John H. Miller.

RYAN: Tell me I've led a good life.

WIFE: What?

RYAN: Tell me I'm a good man.

WIFE: You are.

[Ryan salutes tombstone.]




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