Saving Private Ryan

Discussion Questions

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

1) Why does General Marshall decide to send men to retrieve Private Ryan?

2) What does Lincoln's letter, at hand in Marshall's office, suggest about Lincoln, and Marshall's, opinion of sending troops to battle?

F.U.B.A.R. [scene runs from 42:05 through 45:40]

1) Answer Reiben's questions: "What is the sense of risking eight guys to save one?"

2) What is Captain Miller's response to Reiben's claim that the mission is F.U.B.A.R.?

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

1) Miller reasons that if he gives a command that "ends up killing" one of his men, he has saved the lives of "10, maybe one hundred others." How can a mission to save one man, Ryan, justify the loss of Caparzo?

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

1) Does Miller make the right choice, to take out the German gun and risk his men in a way unnecessary to accomplishing their mission?

THE CONSEQUENCES [scene runs 1:???? through 1:42:40]

1) Why doesn't Miller kill the German prisoner?

2) Why does Reiben object so strongly to Miller's leadership?

3) How does Miller diffuse the situation between Reiben and Sergeant Horwath?

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

1) Why does Ryan refuse to leave the bridge?

2) Should Ryan stay with his unit, or follow Captain Miller's orders and return to his grieving mother?

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

1) Is Miller's plan a good one? Do you think his improvised sock bomb is in the Army manual? What does his creativity suggest about his command?

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

1) Why does Upham fail to assist Melish? Is Upham a good soldier? What are his virtues and his defects?

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

1) What does Miller tell Ryan to earn?

2) How can Ryan live a life that will justify the loss of six of the eight men in Miller's platoon?

3) Why does Upham shoot the German?

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

1) Six men die in their effort to save Private Ryan. What do we know about his life? Was he a good man? Did he earn the freedom he has enjoyed these many years since he returned home from the War?

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