There were no shortage of Easter eggs and pop culture references littered throughout Avengers: Endgame, with most of them paying homage to the MCU’s movies of the past, or the Marvel Comics that the film was inspired by. However, one of the most clever and well-hidden nods in the entire movie has nothing to do with Marvel at all. If you paid close attention to the final scenes of the film, you may have noticed the homage paid to Steven Spielberg’s highly-celebrated WWII film, Saving Private Ryan.
Avengers: Endgame pays homage to Saving Private Ryan
Avengers: Endgame pays homage to a number of films (such as The Big Lebowski and Back to the Future), and it seems as if the 1998 Steven Spielberg war epic Saving Private Ryan is among them.
The instance in the recently released Marvel blockbuster is subtle and occurs during a highly surprising and emotional scene, but it is arguably one of the enduring moments in both the Russo brothers film and the Tom Hanks war drama. And it seems only fitting that Matt Damon, who was in the Saving Private Ryan scene, also attended the Endgame premiere (and he did have a cameo in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok).
Major Avengers: Endgame Spoilers Ahead
WARNING: This article contains MAJOR spoilers for Avengers: Endgame! Continue reading at your own risk…
At the very end of Avengers: Endgame, Captain America is tasked with traveling back in time and returning the Infinity Stones to the places they were taken from. He takes a little detour after completing his mission and decides to stay in 1945 to live out his life with Peggy Carter. But we don’t know that at first. Sam and Bucky approach a bench by the lake and see Steve Rogers as an old man, reflecting on the long life he’s lived.
After Sam inherits the Captain America shield from Steve, he notices a wedding ring on his friend’s finger, and asks him, “You wanna tell me about her?” With a wry smile on his face, Steve replies, “No, I don’t think I will.”
This line is an homage to Saving Private Ryan‘s Captain Miller, the film’s main character played by Tom Hanks. Just before the final battle in that movie, Miller is sitting in the middle of an evacuated city talking to Matt Damon’s character, Private Ryan. The two talk about their lives at home and the memories that they’ve hung on to while at war. Miller mentions that when he thinks of his life at home, he thinks of his wife in their garden, pruning rose bushes. At the end of the conversation, Ryan asks Miller if he’s going to tell him about his wife, to which Miller replies, “No, that one I save just for me.”
When Saving Private Ryan comes to an end, we never learn about Miller’s wife, as he takes that memory with him when he dies. But we do get that resolution from Captain America in Avengers: Endgame. The final scene of the movie shows Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter finally sharing a dance in their living room, proving that they spent an entire life together after.”
Here is a trailer of Avengers: Endgame: