5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Saving Private Ryan

Twenty years ago, Steven Spielberg's classic World War II epic Saving Private Ryan was released. While the film was known for its intense violence and graphic nature, it earned praise and a number of accolades over the years.

Here are five things you probably didn't know about Saving Private Ryan.

The film was partly based on the true story of the four Niland brothers

Saving Private Ryan follows a mission related to the Department of Defense's Sole Survivor Policy, designed to protect service members who have already had family members die in the line of duty.

The story is loosely based on the four Niland brothers who fought in World War II. It was believed that three of the four brothers had died and the remaining brother, Frederick Niland, was sent back to the United States. Later, Frederick found out his brother Edward, who was presumed to be dead, had survived a POW camp.

Over 3,500 WWII replica uniforms were created for the movie

Costume Designer Joanna Johnston designed roughly 3,500 custom-fitted WWII replica uniforms for the actors. Additionally, roughly 2,000 replica weapons were created for the D-Day invasion scenes. While some prop weapons were rubber, other replicas were capable of firing blank rounds.

The Infamous D-Day scenes were filmed in Ireland, not France

Director Steven Spielberg replicated the look of Omaha beach in Normandy, at Ballinesker Beach in Curracloe, Ireland. Efforts to drop machine gun positions, fake blood and other historically accurate features contributed to the $12 million cost to film the scenes. The budget for the film was $70 million.

All actors except Matt Damon went through a week-long military boot camp

The intent was to create a sense of resentment among the rest of the cast toward Damon's character, who doesn't have to endure the same grueling elements as the squadron tasked with the rescue mission.

Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson were both considered for the part of Captain Miller before Tom Hanks

Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson, who have both been known for performances depicting military personnel, were each considered for the lead role of Captain John Miller before Tom Hanks was ultimately given the role.