Up on doing some research i stumbled across a site full of trivia on Saving Private Ryan, it was mostly interesting with the occasional dull one. I thought they would be worth sharing, so here they are...
All the principal actors underwent several days of grueling army training - except for Matt Damon, who was spared so that the other actors would resent him, and would convey that resentment in their performances.
Real amputees were used for the shots of people with limbs missing.
The two German Tiger tanks in the movie were in fact Russian T-34 tanks modified to appear as convincing Tiger tanks. You can see the difference between these fake Tigers and the real ones by the differing road wheels.
Upham is chastised for saluting Miller (Tom Hanks) because it will make Miller a target for snipers. In Forrest Gump (1994), Forrest (Hanks) is chastised for doing the same thing to Lt. Dan.
Although Steven Spielberg reduced the color saturation of the movie by 60% for artistic reasons, both major American satellite providers (DirecTV and Dish Newtork) and numerous cable TV providers turned up the chroma gain to re-enhance the color saturation to normal-looking levels when broadcasting the movie. They did this because on the first day or two of the movie's broadcast run, their customer service centers were swamped with calls from viewers complaining that something was wrong with the color.
For the initial fighting scenes in the sea, spare ammunition carried by the actors was made from wood, as metal was too heavy.
The two "German" soldiers who are shot trying to surrender were speaking Czech. They were saying, "Please don't shoot me, I am not German, I am Czech, I didn't kill anyone, I am Czech!" They were members of what the Germans called Ost [East] Battalions, men - mostly Czech and Polish - taken prisoner in eastern European countries invaded by Germany and forced into the German army.
Edward Norton was offered the role of Private Ryan, but turned it down.
The siege in the village of Ramelle was filmed on a set created on a disused airfield in Hatfield, England. The bridge so valiantly defended actually crosses a three foot deep canal created for the movie. Earlier scenes in the village of Neuville-au-Plain used the same set carefully shot from different angles.
In the German-dubbed version of the movie, one of the actors, himself a German veteran of the Normandy invasion, couldn't deal with emotional realism of the film and dropped out and had to be replaced.
Just after the scene where Captain Miller "recruits" Upham for the mission there is a short scene that shows the motor pool. For a few brief seconds a jeep with a small trailer rolls by. If you look carefully you can see that the jeep and trailer contain Captain Miller and his men. The next scene shows Miller and the others walking through a meadow on foot with no vehicle in sight. This is due to the fact that the scene which shows how Miller and the men lose the jeep was deleted from the final cut. Later in the film Miller mentions something about losing "most of their ammo". This occurred when they lost the jeep.
When the camera shakes during explosions, Steven Spielberg used drills attached to the side of the camera which were turned on when required. While shooting with this effect the crew's photographer let Spielberg know that there was a shaker lens for cameras. Spielberg said in an interview that he had thought he had invented a great new technique at first.
Two of the landing craft used in the Omaha Beach scenes were actually in use in World War II.
40 barrels of fake blood were utilized in the opening battle scene.
There are many many more, it would be pointless me listing them all, these are just ones i found quite interesting. The link for the information is the one below.