Now Spielberg would actually direct Saving Private Ryan as a tribute to his father, Arnold Spielberg. Arnold had served in the U.S. Army and Signal Corps, and he also fought as a radio operator in Burma during World War II. What’s most heartwarming is that Arnold helped a young Steven direct his very first movies as a teenager, both which involved plots during World War II.
True Story, Kind Of
Popular to contrary belief, Saving Private Ryan is not based on the Sullivan brothers but the Niland brothers – four siblings that served in the US Army during World War II. Robert, Preston, and Edward are the three brothers who supposedly were killed in action, while the remaining brother Fritz (whom Private Ryan is based on) was to be shipped back to the United States so that the Niland family would not lose all of their sons. Furthermore Edward was originally presumed dead but he was actually found alive after he escaped a Japanese prison camp in Burma, which means that two out of four brothers survived.