Saving Private Ryan might have the best cast of all time and you didn't even know it 3 years ago

Saving Private Ryan might have the best cast of all time and you didn't even know it

What a film.

When we see certain films for the very first time, we instantly know that they are destined for classic status. It's a very prestigious list that includes Star Wars, The Godfather, Airplane! and Showgirls (cough, cough)

Steven Spielberg's World War II classic, Saving Private Ryan, definitely deserves its place on this list though and 19 years ago this week, it was released in cinemas.

It's easy to see why the Tom Hanks and Matt Damon-starring film went on to win five Oscars. We all know that famous Normandy beach landing scene, but what's even more impressive is the list of superb supporting actors who starred in the film.

OK, so everyone can recall Hanks, Damon, Tom Sizemore, Ed Burns and Giovanni Ribisi, but what about the rest of the cast that you might not have been as familiar with.

Seriously, we reckon that this could be one of the best casts ever.

Bryan Cranston

Before he built up a crystal meth empire in New Mexico, Walter White himself was the very reason why Tom Hanks and his company marched into Europe to rescue Matt Damon's character.

The future Breaking Bad star played an unnamed Colonel who insisted that Jason Bourne was to be saved from the same fate that befell his brothers.

We reckon that Private Ryan must have been feeling very lucky that the future Walter White was "the one who knocked" on his General's door.

Clip via - Tommy Hutomo

Ted Danson 

This actually happened. Cheers barkeep Sam Malone played Captain Hamill, the leader of the 101st Airborne Pathfinders platoon, who met Miller and his unit in the French town of Neuville.

When Tom Hanks asks if Hamill had a soldier by the the name of Ryan in his unit, it turned out to be a pretty funny case of mistaken identity... but more of that later.

Because he is such a nice guy Ted Dans... erm, sorry... Captain Hamill even allowed Hanks' company to sleep in an abandoned church.

We weren't surprised to see Danson playing a role which required him to take care of a large group of youngsters; he had perfected those skills with Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck in 'Three Men and a Little Lady'.


Andrew Scott 

We were amazed to discover that the world's smartest villain was once just an anonymous soldier on a beach in Wexford.

We imagine that the future Moriarty must have perfected his evil ways after being up close and personal with the Nazis during WWII.

Before you ask though, we haven't just read his IMDB profile and accidentally stumbled onto this amazing piece of movie trivia, we knew it already because of our expert knowledge and eyesight.

Cue crickets and tumble-weed.

"Locke" - Screening - Red Carpet Arrivals: 57th BFI London Film Festival

Vin Diesel

I am Groot.

Well said, but we first took notice of Diesel when he played the honourable Private Caparzo in Spielberg's war epic.

It looked like he pulled the short straw on set though because his character was the first of the platoon to meet their maker, but if you're going to die on film, then do it for the best possible reasons and Vinny did just that.


Vin Diesel Saving Private Ryan

Paul Giamatti

We have a theory that certain actors, no matter how bad the film is, make some movies 27% better just by their sheer presence in it.

J.K. Simmons, Stanley Tucci, David Morse and Nathan Fillion are just some of the names that we always love reading in the credits but, in our opinion, Paul Giamatti is the undoubted king of versatile actors.

He played Sergeant Hill in the film, a soldier who was part of Ted Danson's platoon in Neuville.

Hill helped guide Miller's platoon through the streets of France and he even saved the life of the medic Wade (Giovanni Ribisi) after he went to help Vin Diesel's character when he was shot.

If that wasn't enough, Hill also accidentally uncovered a nest of Nazi soldiers and rather brilliantly described one German soldier as 'Dagwood Dusseldorf'. For shame if you don't remember him.

Adam Goldberg

The extremely gifted character actor has been memorable in so many different things like Entourage, Ed TV, Fargo and Zodiac, however, in our minds he will always be Eddie from Friends.

In all seriousness, his performance as Private Mellish is probably the best one in the film. His character is immensely brave and loyal, while also providing some much needed comedic relief.

Still though, we wouldn't feel comfortable if he was sleeping next to us.

Clip via - Banana Post

Nathan Fillion

Low and behold, Captain Mal Reynolds from Firefly and Serenity served in WWII.

Yep, not content with having just one wonderful ensemble actor, Spielberg cast two in his war epic and we were absolutely amazed to see his face appear.

In the film, Fillion played Private James Fredrick Ryan from Minnesota who, as we mentioned a few moments ago, was mistaken for Matt Damon's character Private James Francis Ryan.

After being incorrectly informed that his brothers are dead and that he'll be going home, the grief-stricken Fillion takes a moment to gather this thoughts before remembering that his brothers are in grade school and not actually fighting Nazis in mainland Europe.

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, skip to around 1:15 and see for yourself.

Clip via - Singsonggirl

Garth Brooks

Oh how different things could have been if the country singer agreed to star in Spielberg's film.

Apparently, Brooks was offered the role of a Nazi sniper in the film (probably the one who killed Vin Diesel's character) but he turned it down because it wasn't a leading role.

Could you imagine?