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Saving Private Ryan synopsis

Synopsis of the film Saving Private Ryan

D-Day and Battle of Normandy filmography

Warning to the reader: This text presents the entire scenario of the film “Saving Private Ryan, including its outcome.


The story begins on June 6, 1944 in Normandy at Omaha Beach. Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and his men land on a beach where the battle rages. The American soldiers are massacred on the Norman beaches and only survive those who take shelter of a dune. But impossible to go further. With the aid of bangalore torpedoes, the American units cross the various obstacles and eliminate the last German defenders. The losses are appalling.

In England, three of the four brothers of the Ryan family died in battle. One on the soil of New Guinea, the second at Omaha Beach and the last at Utah Beach. A rescue mission is organized to find the last of the four brothers, James F. Ryan (interpreted by Matt Damon), parachuted behind the enemy lines the day before the landing, with airborne forces. Captain Miller, accompanied for the occasion by a small elite group of eight men, sets off in search of this Ryan. But the soldiers who accompany him begin to doubt the mission and ask themselves questions. But doubt fades when, in a ruined Norman village, one of the rank-and-file soldiers is killed by a German sniper. Ryan’s research intensifies, which does not exclude sometimes mistakes concerning the identity of the parachutists they encounter.

It was only later, by chance, that Miller found Ryan. The latter is responsible for monitoring a very important bridge over the Merderet.

The captain announces that he has lost his three brothers and that he has to go home, but Ryan does not want to abandon his friends who defended this bridge as much as he did. Why would he deserve more than another to return home? Miller decides to stay a little with Ryan and wait for the American reinforcements. But he knows that the Germans will attack before the arrival of these reinforcements. Then he decides to fortify the city in view of the enemy attack.

The Germans attack! The battle raged between a SS regiment with armored units and the small group of Americans. Finally, at the last moment, while Miller’s men were retreating and the Germans crossed the bridge with their tanks, allied planes made the assailants flee. Of the 8 men who went in search of Ryan, only 2 would manage to get away with it. Ryan, for his part, is repatriated home, in the United States, Iowa. He will try to live as best he can to honor the sacrifice of those men who died to save him.

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