There is a scene in Saving Private Ryan where someone indicates that he knows a soldier who was in combat with a private named Ryan. He goes fetch him, and the soldier is hard of hearing because of a grenade that exploded near his ears; he says that you need to talk to him with a high volume. Captain Miller doesn't raise his voice much, as if it was annoying for him to do so, and eventually prefers to communicate with the soldier in writing.

Are there elements in the movie that could explain such a reaction from him?

1 Answer 1


He does try to raise his voice, but it doesn't seem to be of much help, as the soldier with hearing loss still mishears what he's saying. It's easier and less error-prone to communicate all the details through writing than shouting them and having to confirm that the soldier heard it correctly. He's not necessarily annoyed because of having to speak louder, he's annoyed because of having to shout back and forth to convey a simple message.

Besides, he's probably uptight to begin with, as he does not like this mission, thinking it's a waste of time and manpower. It is also indicated earlier that he is suffering from PTSD, which might cause him to be somewhat short-tempered at times.

  • 2
    Actually I think it's more that Miller quickly realises that shouting is useless, and signals for pencil and paper.
    – Tim
    Feb 26, 2018 at 1:09

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