Saving Private Ryan Quotes: Effective and Significant

(Total Quotes: 57)

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Robert Rodat
Tom Hanks – Capt. John H. Miller
Tom Sizemore – Sgt. Mike Horvath
Edward Burns – Pvt. Richard Reiben
Barry Pepper – Pvt. Daniel Jackson
Adam Goldberg – Pvt. Stanley Mellish
Vin Diesel – Pvt. Adrian Caparzo
Giovanni Ribisi – T-5 Medic Irwin Wade
Jeremy Davies – Cpl. Timothy P. Upham
Matt Damon – Pvt. James Francis Ryan
Ted Danson – Capt. Fred Hamill
Paul Giamatti – Sgt. Hill
Dennis Farina – Lt. Col. Anderson
Joerg Stadler – Steamboat Willie
Max Martini – Cpl. Henderson
Dylan Bruno – Toynbe
Demetri Goritsas – Parker
Nathan Fillion – Pvt. James Frederick ‘Minnesota’ Ryan
Leland Orser – Lt. DeWindt
Harve Presnell – Gen. George C. Marshall
Harrison Young – Ryan as Old Man
Kathleen Byron – Old Mrs. Ryan
Rob Freeman – Ryan’s Son


From the opening scene you immediately feel that Saving Private Ryan quotes are a compelling insight into warfare. The movie is very effective and the lines used just display seriousness of the subject. The main criticism that can be given to this movie is the sentimental part of the storyline, but this is forgivable from a movie of this caliber.

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]saving-private-ryan-1
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.saving-private-ryan-2
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]
Mellish: Yeah.
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!saving-private-ryan-15
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?saving-private-ryan-3
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.


Total Quotes: 57



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