Saving Private Ryan Quotes
[first lines; running to comfort his father at the war]
Ryan’s son: Dad?
[we then see flashback to D-Day]
LCVP Pilot: Clear the ramp! Thirty seconds. God be with you!
[approaching the beach]
Captain Miller: Port side stick, starboard side stick, move fast and clear those murder holes.
Sergeant Horvath: I wanna see plenty of beach between men. Five men is a juicy opportunity, one man’s a waste of ammo.
Captain Miller: Keep the sand out of your weapons, keep those actions clear. I’ll see you on the beach.
Sergeant Horvath: Why don’t you just hand ’em blindfolds, Captain?
Captain Miller: All we can do here is die.
Medic Wade: We stopped the bleeding! We stopped the bleeding!
[a bullet hits the patient in the head]
Medic Wade: Fuck! Just give us a fucking chance you son of a bitch! You son of a fucking cocksucker!
[Miller purposely draws fire]
Sergeant Horvath: Captain, if your mother saw you do that, she’d be very upset.
Captain Miller: I thought you were my mother.
Captain Miller: This is all? That’s all that’ve made it?
Sergeant Horvath: We’re scattered pretty bad, sir. There’s bound to be more of us.
Captain Miller: Not enough, this is not enough.
Sergeant Horvath: Dog One, it’s got to be the cut on the right, or is it the one on the left, shit!
Captain Miller: No, no. Vierville is to the west of us, so this is Dog One.
Sergeant Horvath: That’s quite a view.
[Miller takes swig of his water can and looks ahead]
Captain Miller: Yes it is. Quite a view.
[a view of the seashore is shown scattered with dead and mutilated bodies of soldiers]
[reading to the men gathered in his office]
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 but 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.”
[talking about Ryan]
Gen. George C. Marshall: That boy is alive. We are gonna send somebody to find him. And we are gonna get him the hell out of there.
Lt. Col. Anderson: What about our casualties?
Captain Miller: Well, the figures were, thirty five dead, times two wounded. They just didn’t wanna give up those eighty eights.
Lt. Col. Anderson: It was a tough assignment, that’s why you got it.
Captain Miller: Yes, sir.
Lt. Col. Anderson: John, I’ve got another one for ya.
Captain Miller: Yes, Sir.
Lt. Col. Anderson: This one’s straight from the top.
Sergeant Horvath: It’s not gonna be easy trying to find one particular soldier in the middle of a goddamn war.
Captain Miller: It’s like finding a needle in a stack of needles.
Corporal Upham: Caparzo, is it?
Private Caparzo: Hey drop dead, Corporal!
Corporal Upham: Got ya.
Private 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’m standing next to him, capisce?
Corporal Upham: Uh, capisce.
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: Oh, well, maybe not the captain, but the rest of us got mothers.
Corporal 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.
Corporal Upham: Yes, sir.
Captain Miller: We all have orders, and we have to follow ’em. That supersedes everything, including your mothers.
Corporal 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.
Corporal Upham: What’s FUBAR?
Mellish: Oh, it’s German.
[he chuckles derisively]
Corporal Upham: Never heard of that.
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.
Private Reiben: 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 kiss-faces at each other]
[talking about Miller]
Corporal Upham: Reiben, so you even know where he went to school?
Private Reiben: Cap’n didn’t go to school, they assembled him at OSC out of spare body parts of dead GI’fs.
Private Caparzo: You gotta pay attention to detail, I know exactly where he’s from and I know exactly what he did ‘cuz I pay attention to detail.
Private Jackson: Hey, Upham, careful you don’t step in the bullshit!
[listening skeptically to German propaganda coming over a loudspeaker]
Captain Miller: “The Statue of Liberty is kaput”, that’s disconcerting.
[shouting to Dagwood DuselDorf]
Mellish: Your father was circumcised by my rabbi, you prick!
Captain Miller: Caparzo, get that kid back up there!
Private Caparzo: Captain, the decent thing to do is at least take her over to the next town.
Captain Miller: We’re not here to do the decent thing, we’re here to follow fucking orders!
[Miller takes the child from Caparzo]
Captain Miller: Sarg, take this goddamn kid!
[Caparzo gets shot]
[lining up a rifle shot]
Private Jackson: O my God, I trust in thee, let me not be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me.
[to the squad while pointing at Caparzo’s dead body]
Captain Miller: That’s why we can’t take children!
[after staring at Caparzo’s dead body]
Private Reiben: Fuck Ryan.
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.
[Ryan starts sobbing]
Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: 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 okay?
Captain Miller: Yeah, I’m sure they’re fine.
Pvt. James Frederick, Ryan: Are you sure that they’re okay?
Captain Miller: We’re looking for a different Private Ryan. This is just a big foul up.
Captain Hamill: You gotta take Caen so you can take Saint Lo.
Captain Miller: You’ve got to take Saint Lo to take Valognes.
Captain Hamill: Valognes you got Cherbourg.
Captain Miller: Cherbourg you got Paris.
Captain Hamill: Paris you got Berlin.
Captain Miller: And then that big boat home.
Captain Miller: You see, when…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. Do you know how many men I’ve lost under my command?
Sergeant Horvath: How many?
Captain Miller: Ninety four. But that means I’ve saved the lives of ten times that many, doesn’t it? Maybe even twenty, right? Twenty times as many? And that’s how simple it is. That’s how you…that’s how you rationalize making the choice between the mission and the man.
Sergeant Horvath: Except this time the mission is the man.
Captain Miller: This Ryan better be worth it. He’d better go home and cure some disease or invent a longer-lasting lightbulb or something. Cause the truth is, I wouldn’t trade ten Ryans for one Vecchio or one Caparzo.
Sergeant Horvath: Amen.
Private Reiben: What’s the saying? “If God’s on our side, who the hell could be on theirs?”
Corporal Upham: “If God could be for us, who could be against us?”
Private Reiben: Yeah, what’d I say?
Medic Wade: Well, actually the trick to falling asleep is trying to stay awake.
Mellish: How is that, Wade?
Medic Wade: Well, when my mother was an intern, she used to work late through the night…sleep through the day. So the only time we’d ever get to talk about anything is when she’d get home. So what I…I used to do, I used to lie on my bed and try to stay awake as long as I could, but it never worked ’cause…’cause the harder I’d try, the faster I’d fall asleep.
Private Reiben: Yeah well, that wouldn’t have mattered none in my house. My ma, she would’ve come home, shook me awake, chatted me up ’til dawn. I swear that woman was never too tired to talk.
Mellish: That was probably the only time she could get a word in.
Medic Wade: Funny thing is, sometimes she’d come home early, and I’d pretend to be asleep.
Mellish: Who, your mom?
Medic Wade: Yeah. She’d stand in the doorway looking at me and I’d just keep my eyes shut. And I knew she just wanted to find out about my day, that she came home early… just to talk to me. And I still wouldn’t move, I’d still pretend to just be asleep. I don’t know why I did that.
Corporal Upham: “War educates the senses, calls into action the will, perfects the physical constitution, brings men into such swift and close collision in critical moments that man measures man.”
Captain Miller: Well, I guess that’s Emerson’s way of finding the bright side.
Corporal Upham: You know Emerson, sir?
Corporal Upham: Yeah…some.
Corporal Upham: So where are you from, Captain? What’d you do before the war?
Captain Miller: What’s the pool up to?
Corporal Upham: [chuckles] Uh…up over three hundred, sir.
Captain Miller: Well, when it gets up to five hundred, I’ll give you the answers and we’ll split the money. How about that?
Corporal Upham: Well, if that’s the way you feel sir, I feel it’s my duty and your command to suggest that we wait until it gets up to a thousand, sir.
Captain Miller: What if we don’t live that long?
[makes a show of considering]
Corporal Upham: Five hundred?
Captain Miller: Five hundred would be good, yeah.
Corporal Upham: Yes, sir.
Captain Miller: Get some sleep, Corporal.
Corporal Upham: Yes, sir.
Lieutenant Dewindt: FUBAR.
Private Reiben: FUBAR.
Sergeant Horvath: FUBAR.
Captain Miller: FUBAR
Private Jackson: Y’all got that right.
Corporal Upham: Hey, I looked up “fubar” in the German dictionary and there’s no fubar in here.
[reading Upham’s written question of does he know where Ryan is]
Paratrooper Mandelsohn: Yeah, yeah, we missed our drop zone by about 20 miles, ended up way over by, uh…Bumville or some damn place. Him, me and a couple of other guys where coming here to the rally point, ran into a colonel who was gathering up men to go to, uh…Rumelle.
Captain Miller: Rumelle?
Paratrooper Mandelsohn: To babysit a bridge. That’s the last I’ve seen of him, sir.
Captain Miller: Great…great. Thank…thank you.
Private Reiben: Sir, I just…eh…I don’t have a good feeling about this one.
Captain Miller: When was the last time you felt good about anything?
Sergeant Horvath: Maybe I should go up the middle, sir.
Captain Miller: The way you run? I don’t think so.
Sergeant Horvath: Maybe I should go left, sir.
Captain Miller: Maybe you should shut up!
[Wade’s lying down, shivering with pain and anguish, after being shot through the stomach]
Corporal Upham: Tell us what to do…tell us how to fix you.
Captain Miller: What can we do Wade? Tell us what to do.
[Wade’s still shivering]
Medic Wade: I could use some…I could use a little mor…morphine.
Captain Miller: Okay…give it to him…give it to him!
Captain Miller: Get your gear. Let’s go.
[Reiben stays put]
Sergeant Horvath: You heard him, gear up. Captain just gave you an order.
Private Reiben: Yeah, like the one he gave to take this machine gun. That was a real doosey, wasn’t it Sergeant?
[walks over to Miller]
Sergeant Horvath: Soldier, you are way out of line!
Private Reiben: Yes sir, that was one hell of a call coming to take this nest, but what the hell, we lost one of our guys going for it. That’s right, I hope Mama Ryan’s real fuck’n 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? Have we?
[Horvath throws him to the ground then tries to get him up]
Private Reiben: Get the hell off me!
Sergeant Horvath: Reiben, get up. Gear up. Fall in.
Private Reiben: I’m done with this mission.
[pointing his gun at Reiben]
Sergeant Horvath: I’m gonna shoot you in your big goddamn mouth!
Private Reiben: Well put your money where your mouth is and do it!
Sergeant Horvath: You don’t know when to shut up…
Private Reiben: Do it, pull the trigger already!
Sergeant Horvath: …you don’t know how to shut up!
[to stop Horvath shooting Reiben]
Captain Miller: Reiben, what’s the pool on me up to right now? What…what’s it up to? What…what is it…eh…three hundred dollars, is that it? Three hundred? I’m a schoolteacher. I teach English composition…in this little town called Adley, Pennsylvania. The last eleven years, I’ve been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was a coach of the baseball team in the springtime.
Sergeant Horvath: I’ll be darn gone.
Captain Miller: Back home, I tell people what I do for a living and they think well, now that figures. But over…here, it’s eh…a big…a big mystery. So, I 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. It’s just a name. But if…you know if going to Rumelle and finding him so that he can go home. If that earns me the right to get back to my wife, well then…then that’s my mission.
[to Private Reiben]
Captain Miller: You want to leave? You want to go off and fight the war? All right. All right. I won’t stop you. I’ll even put in the paperwork. I just know that every man I kill the farther away from home I feel.
Captain Miller: James Francis Ryan?
Private Ryan: Yes, sir. How’d you guess that?
Captain Miller: James Francis Ryan of Iowa?
Private Ryan: Yes, sir. Payton Iowa, that’s correct. What…what is this about?
Captain Miller: Your brothers were killed in combat.
Private Ryan: Which…which one?
Captain Miller: All of them.
Private Ryan: You came all the way out here to tell me that?
Captain Miller: You’re going home. Our orders are to bring you back.
Captain Miller: You got three minutes to gather your gear.
Private Ryan: Sir, what about them? I mean…there…there’s barely hardly enough of us…
Private Reiben: Hey, asshole! Two of our guys already died trying to find you, all right?
[after being told he can go home]
Private 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.
Captain Miller: Is that what they’re supposed to tell your mother when they send her another folded American flag?
Private Ryan: Tell her that when you found me, I was here and I was with the only brothers that I have left. And that there was no way I was gonna desert them. I think she’ll understand that. There’s no way I’m leaving this bridge.
[after Ryan has refused to leave]
Sergeant Horvath: What are your orders.
Captain Miller: Sergeant, we have crossed some strange boundary here. The world has taken a turn for the surreal.
Sergeant Horvath: Clearly, but the questions still stands
Captain Miller: I don’t know. What do you think?
Sergeant Horvath: You don’t want to know what I think.
Captain Miller: No, Mike I do.
Sergeant Horvath: Well, part of me thinks the kid’s right. What he’s done to deserve this. He wants to stay here, fine. Let’s leave him and go home.
Captain Miller: Yeah.
Sergeant Horvath: But another part of me thinks, what if by some miracle we stay, then actually make it out of here. Someday we might look back on this and decide that saving Private Ryan was the one decent thing we were able to pull out of this whole godawful, shitty mess. That’s what I was thinking, sir. Like you said, Captain, we do that, we all earn the right to go home.
[talking about how to disable the tanks]
Captain Miller: You can take a standard issue G.I sock, cram it with as much Comp. B as it can hold, rig up a simple fuse, then you coat the whole thing with axel grease. Now when we throw it, it should stick. It’s a bomb that sticks, it’s a “sticky bomb”. Come up with a better way to knock out the tracks off the tank, I’m all ears.
Private Reiben: This is good, now we gotta surrender our socks.
Private Ryan: Captain, where am I during all this?
Captain Miller: No more than two feet away from me. And that’s not negotiable.
Mellish: Fucked up beyond all recognition. All right?
Corporal Upham: Yeah.
[Upham thinks for a moment]
Corporal Upham: FUBAR!
[whilst listening to an Edith Piaf song]
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.
Mellish: Double E?
Private Reiben: These things are massive.
Sergeant Horvath: Those are big.
Private Reiben: 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 ribboned, triple panel girdle with the uh, shelf-lift brassiere and it’s beautiful because she’s just pouring out of this thing, you know?
Mellish: Is it really tight?
Private Reiben: [laughing] No…no 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.”
Private Ryan: I can’t see my brothers faces. And I…I’ve been trying and I…I can’t see their faces at all. Has that ever happened to you?
Captain Miller: You gotta think of a context.
Private Ryan: What does that mean?
Captain Miller: Well, you just don’t think about their faces, think about something specific. Something you’ve done together. Well, when I think of home, I…I think of something specific. I think of my…my hammock in the backyard or my wife pruning the rosebushes in a pair of my old work gloves.
Private Ryan: This…this one night, two of my brothers came and woke me up in the middle of the night. They said they had a surprise for me. So they took me to the barn up in the loft and there was my oldest brother, Dan, with Alice, Alice Jardine. I mean, picture a girl who just took a nosedive from the ugly tree and hit every branch coming down. And…and Dan’s got his shirt off and he’s working on this bra and he’s tryin’ to get it off and all of a sudden Shawn just screams out, “Danny you’re a young man, don’t do it!” And so Alice Jardine hears this and she screams and she jumps up and she tries to get running out of the barn but she’s still got this shirt over her head. She goes running right into the wall and knocks herself out. So now Danny’s just so mad at us. He…he starts coming after us, but…but at the same time Alice is over there unconscious. He’s gotta wa…wake her up. So he grabs her by a leg and he’s drag…dragging her. At the same time he picks up a shovel. And he’s going after Shawn, and Shawn’s saying, “What are you trying to hit me for? I just did you a favor!” And so this makes Dan more angry. He tries to swing this thing, he loses the shovel, goes out of his grasp and hits a kerosene lantern, the thing explodes, the whole barn almost goes up because of this thing. Ah…That was it. That was the last, that was…Dan went off to basic the next day. That was the last night the four of us were together. That was two years ago. Tell me about your wife and those rosebushes?
Captain Miller: No, no that one I save just for me.
[after Reiben courageously saves Ryan from being hit by a tank shell]
Captain Miller: Ryan!
[Miller runs to the building Reiben pulled Ryan behind]
Captain Miller: Ryan.
[to Reiben, who is sitting on Ryan]
Private Ryan: Get off of me!
Captain Miller: Are you all right?
Private Ryan: Uhh! Get off me!
Private Reiben: Yeah. I’m fine too, Captain. Thanks.
[firing a machine gun]
Parker: I’m out of .30 Caliber!
[before taking his shots]
Private Jackson: Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my hands to the war, and my fingers to fight.
[fires rifle twice]
Private Jackson: My goodness and my fortress…my high tower and my deliverer.
Private Jackson: My shield, and he in whom I trust.
[fires rifle, then to his rifle]
Private Jackson: Here you go, baby.
[fires rifle few more times, then notices a tank has spotted them]
Private Jackson: Parker, get down!
[the tank fires at the bell tower killing both Parker and Jackson]
[Horvath just got shot for the third time]
Captain Miller: Mike, Are you all right?
Sergeant Horvath: I just got the wind knocked out of me. I’m fine!
[Miller weakly mutters something and Ryan leans close to hear]
Private Ryan: What, sir?
Captain Miller: James, earn this…earn it.
Gen. George C. Marshall: [voice over] 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 oppression. I take great pleasure in joining the Secretary of War, the men and women of the Unites States 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 solemn 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.
[last lines; addressing Miller’s grave]
Old James Ryan: My family is with me today. They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I…I wasn’t sure how I’d feel coming back here. Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I tried to live my life the best that 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.
Ryan’s Wife: James?
[looking at the headstone]
Ryan’s Wife: Captain John H Miller.
Old James Ryan: Tell me I have led a good life.
Ryan’s Wife: What?
Old James Ryan: Tell me I’m a good man.
Ryan’s Wife: You are.
[Ryan stands back and salutes]
Total Quotes: 57
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