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Band of Brothers (2001) d5-6/6

Director(s): David Frankel / Mikael Salomon

Theatrical Release: 2001

Cast: Damian Lewis, Donnie Wahlberg, Ron Livingston, Matthew Settle, Eion Bailey, Jimmy Fallon

Genre(s): Drama, docudrama, biography, Action, war, Dean's List

Countries: USA


Location in store:

IN
(1 / 1)
Ant Rating
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Why We Fight - The men of Easy Company come face to face with the horrors of the Holocaust in "Why We Fight," the ninth installment of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. The episode opens with the company in Germany, where they find no enemy resistance. In fact, they find warm beds and hot meals in the houses they commandeer. Many of the men go about looting the German homes and farms for food and valuables. Spiers (Matthew Settle) is particularly industrious, sending several shipments home. At least one soldier is lucky enough to bed down with a willing fraulein. A new replacement, O'Keefe (Matt Hickey) arrives, and gets a typically cool reception from the veterans. Major Winters (Damian Lewis) is keeping a close eye on his friend, Nixon (Ron Livingston), who was recently involved in a jump in which nearly all the troops were killed. To make matters worse, Nixon gets the news that his wife is divorcing him. He starts devoting all of his energy to tracking down bottles of his favorite booze. It's clear to these men that the war is almost over, and they begin discussing their plans. Liebgott (Ross McCall) talks about going back to the cab company and finding "a nice Jewish girl," while Webster (Eion Bailey) plans to finish school at Harvard. The men have grown increasingly cynical about what they've accomplished in Europe. Then they make a gruesome discovery -- a small concentration camp in the woods of Landsberg. Several of these combat-hardened veterans break down when they see the condition of the prisoners. Winters and his men are shocked to learn that the men who have been starved and murdered at the camp are not criminals, but Jews, Poles, and Gypsies. (allmovie.com)

Points - In the tenth and final episode of HBO's critically acclaimed WWII miniseries Band of Brothers, Easy Company enters the Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden, once home to Hitler's top officers. They find the town deserted and rush on to capture Hitler's famed "Eagle's Nest" before the French can get there. Here they learn of the German army's surrender. Amid the celebrations, Winters (Damian Lewis) brings his alcoholic friend Nixon (Ron Livingston) to Herman Goring's house, where he presents a "gift" of Goring's impressive liquor collection. The company moves on to Austria, where they learn that those without enough "points," awarded for combat experience, will be sent to fight in the Pacific. Despite all that they've been through, few of the men are eligible to go home. Winters and Nixon request an immediate transfer to a unit that is going to the Pacific, but they are denied. "I think your men have earned the right to keep you around," the commander tells Winters. Winters continues to work to keep the men of his company out of harm's way. Meanwhile, the troops are restless. Liebgott (Ross McCall) takes Webster (Eion Bailey) to the home of a man he believes was a labor camp commandant. Despite Webster's concern about Liebgott's lack of proof, when the man tries to escape, he is killed. As the occupation of Zell Am See, Austria continues, one member of the company is killed in a car accident and another is shot in the head by a drunken soldier from another company. As Winters explains in his narration, "They didn't have the points. What they did have were weapons, alcohol, and too much time on their hands." But the series ends with the happy news that the Japanese have surrendered, and the surviving men of Easy Company can return home. (allmovie.com)

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Disc 6 Special Features:

! We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company - Director/producer Mark Cowen and writer/producer Will Richter were thinking of making a WWII documentary when they heard that HBO was producing a miniseries based on Stephen Ambrose's book, Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne From Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. The Easy Company paratroopers were an elite unit, and one of the most honored units in military history, but, fighting on the European front for nearly two years, they suffered a 150 percent casualty rate during the war. Cowen proposed tracking down and interviewing the surviving members of Easy Company for a companion piece. Cowen interviewed 44 veterans, compiling nearly 200 hours of footage. Bits of these interviews were used to introduce segments of the miniseries, and edited, along with rare archival footage of paratroopers, into this documentary, Band of Brothers: We Stand Alone Together. The men calmly describe their harrowing experiences and the bonds they formed in combat. Their courageous commanding officer, Richard Winters downplays his own heroism, lamenting that maybe if he'd done a better job, there might have been a few more men going home. Cowen also took two of the men, William Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron, to the woods of Bastogne, where Easy Company held the line in the Battle of the Bulge, and where Guarnere lost his leg during heavy shelling by the Germans. Guarnere remembers his friend, Joe Toye, losing his leg at the same time, and shouting, "Jesus Christ! What do I have to do to die?!" Cowen also filmed reunions of the company, and interviews with relatives of some of the men, like Toye, who are no longer around to tell their own stories. (allmovie.com)

! The Making of Band of Brothers

! Ron Livingston's Video Diaries
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