Band of brothers

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Band of brothers

Band of Brothers is an acclaimed 10-part television miniseries set during World War II, co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The mini-series first aired in 2001 on HBO and still runs frequently on different US TV channels — most recently The History Channel.

The mini-series centers on the experience of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, U.S. 101st Airborne Division and one of its early platoon leaders, Richard Winters. It is based on the book of the same name written by historian and biographer Stephen Ambrose.

The events portrayed in the mini-series are based on Ambrose's research and recorded interviews with Easy Company veterans. Some literary license has been taken with the episodes, and other reference books will highlight the differences between recorded history and the film version.[1] All of the characters portrayed in the mini-series are based on actual members of Easy Company; some of them can be seen in prerecorded interviews as a prelude to each episode. (Their identities, however, are not revealed until the close of the finale.) DreamWorks has confirmed a new 10-part miniseries from the creators of Band of Brothers (Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman) is in development as of August 2006.[2] The new miniseries will focus on the Pacific Theater. The untitled project is due out in 2009, although this is subject to change.[3] A deal is being finalized for HBO to partner in the miniseries, which is expected to cost more than $100 million.[4]

Awards The series was nominated for nineteen Emmy Awards, and won six, including prizes for "Outstanding Mini-Series", "Outstanding Casting for a Mini-Series, Movie, or a Special" and "Outstanding Directing for a Mini-Series, Movie, or a Dramatic Special". It also won a Golden Globe for "Best Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television", an American Film Institute award, and was selected for a Peabody Award for "...relying on both history and memory to create a new tribute to those who fought to preserve liberty." It also won a 2003 Writers Guild Award (Television, Adapted Long Form) for episode six (Bastogne).

[edit] Episodes Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

  1. Episode title Director Original airdate

1 "Currahee" Phil Alden Robinson September 9, 2001 Easy Company undergoes training and are introduced to Captain Sobel. The company is shipped to England. 2 "Day of Days" Richard Loncraine September 9, 2001 The Company lands in Normandy and Lieutenant Winters completes their mission by assuming command. 3 "Carentan" Mikael Salomon September 16, 2001 The Company battles in Carentan. Private Albert Blithe struggles with fear. 4 "Replacements" David Nutter September 23, 2001 Easy Company, along with replacements, parachute into and fight in the Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden. 5 "Crossroads" Tom Hanks September 30, 2001 Winters writes a report on the challenge of an unexpected resistance to a German attack, and is haunted by his conscience after shooting a teenage German soldier. 6 "Bastogne" David Leland October 7, 2001 Easy Company experiences the Battle of the Bulge and have to hold ground near Bastogne. 7 "The Breaking Point" David Frankel October 14, 2001 The Company battles near Foy, Belgium, and the actions of Lieutenant Norman Dike are examined and questioned. 8 "The Last Patrol" Tony To October 21, 2001 Easy Company carries out a dangerous mission, and Captain Winters is promoted to Major. 9 "Why We Fight" David Frankel October 28, 2001 A concentration camp, near Landsberg, is discovered by the Company. 10 "Points" Mikael Salomon November 4, 2001 The company captures Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden, and the end of the war is announced.

[edit] Historical errors The end of episode three states that Albert Blithe never recovered from the wounds he received in Normandy, and that he died in 1948. Albert Blithe did not die until 1967, after having two children, working for Westinghouse Electric, serving in the Korean War and achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.[5] In preparation for Operation Market Garden, Sergeant Denver "Bull" Randleman tells a new soldier to "drop your reserve chute — you won't need it — we'll be jumping low." This is incorrect for Market Garden, but had been correct for Normandy: on D-Day most troops jumped at 600 ft or less (200 m) — barely enough for the main chute to deploy. The Market-Garden drop was a high drop, with average exits from 1,200 to 1,500 feet [370 to 460 m]."[6] At the beginning of episode nine, it is stated that the date is April 11, 1945 and shows a scene with the Company stationed in Thalem, Germany. At the end of the episode it finishes off the scene with Captain Lewis Nixon announcing the death of Adolf Hitler. Hitler did not die until April 30, 1945. Also, the episode frames this after the Company left Landsberg. The company was present at Landsberg from April 25 until April 30, and orders given in that same scene to advance on Berchtesgaden were not received until May 3.[7] Due to the miniseries only casting a limited portion of the Easy Company roster, certain roles had to be changed from their historical counterparts. For example, in 'The Last Patrol' at Hagenau, the book cites Sergeant Mercier as the leading NCO with Second Lieutenant Jones as ranking officer. As Mercier was not cast in the mini-series, the position was filled by Staff Sergeant Martin (Dexter Fletcher). Another possible mistake in the same episode is the actual members of the patrol. In David Webster's memoirs he said that he was laying down suppressing fire from the river bank. However, in the episode, he crosses the river and takes part in the raid. The series states that Easy Company was the first unit into Berchtesgaden and the Eagle's Nest, capturing the town and surrounding area without incident. Historians usually identify the first Allied troops to arrive as the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division who secured Berchtesgaden and the Berghof, followed four days later by the French 2nd Armored Division who secured the Eagle's Nest, then 1st Battalion of the 506th, led by Company "C". This, however, may be incorrect. The 2nd Battalion of the 506th came into Berchtesgaden by a different route and lost men in a skirmish with the crews of two German 88 mm guns[8] Controversy has come up in recent years as to precisely which unit captured Berchtesgaden, but in the book Beyond Band of Brothers, Major Dick Winters states "Major General John W. "Iron Mike" O'Daniel's 3rd Infantry Division certainly seized neighboring Salzburg without opposition and may have had their lead elements enter Berchtesgaden before we (2nd Battalion, 506 PIR) arrived in force, but let the facts speak for themselves. If the 3rd Division was first into Berchtesgaden, where did they go? Berchtesgaden is a relatively small community. When I walked into the Berchtesgaden Hof with Lieutenant Welsh, neither of us saw anyone except the hotel staff. Goering's officers' club and wine cellar certainly would have drawn the attention of a Frenchman from LeClerc's 2nd Armored Division or a rifleman from the 3rd Division. I find it inconceivable to imagine that if the 3rd Division were there first, they left those beautiful Mercedes staff cars untouched for our men." At the end of the final episode, "Points", it is stated that Technician Fifth Class Joseph Liebgott became a San Francisco taxi driver after the war, but most accounts, including that of his son, state that Joseph Liebgott in fact became a barber after returning home from the war. Technical Sergeant Donald Malarkey was actually in a hospital, despite his attempts to be discharged to join the fighting. As a result, he did not participate in capturing the Eagle's Nest. In the final episode, "Points", Major Winters accepts the surrender of a German Colonel, who offers him an ornate Luger pistol. In the scene, Winters tells him to keep his sidearm, but in the Bonus Features DVD, the real Winters recalls the incident and shows the pistol (a Walther PP) he accepted. In Ambrose's book of the same title, he describes how when Winters examined the firearm, he found it had never been fired.

[edit] The title The title for the series and the book on which it is based comes from a speech delivered by Henry V of England before the Battle of Agincourt in William Shakespeare's Henry V; Act IV, Scene 3:

And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. King Henry, V.iii

The expression was also used by the British Admiral Horatio Nelson to refer to his council of Captains (aboard his flagship), whom he encouraged beyond common practice in his day to be assertive and take initiative. Harry Macarthy used the term in his American Civil War song 'Bonnie Blue Flag'.

[edit] Main cast For most of the main characters, actors who resembled their real-life counterparts were cast if possible.

Damian Lewis as Major Richard Winters (1918–), born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania Ron Livingston as Captain Lewis Nixon (1918–1995) born in New York City, New York Matthew Settle as Captain Ronald Speirs (1920–), born in Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K. David Schwimmer as Captain Herbert Sobel (1912–1987), born in Chicago, Illinois Rick Warden as First Lieutenant Harry Welsh (1918–1995), born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Neal McDonough as First Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton (1921–), born in Los Angeles, California Donnie Wahlberg as Second Lieutenant C. Carwood Lipton (1920–2001), born in Huntington, West Virginia Ross McCall as Technician Fifth Class Joseph Liebgott (1915–1992), born in San Francisco, California Frank John Hughes as Staff Sergeant William "Wild Bill" Guarnere (1920–), born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Scott Grimes as Technical Sergeant Donald Malarkey (1921–), born in Astoria, Oregon Rick Gomez as Technician Fourth Class George Luz (1921–1998), born in Rhode Island Eion Bailey as Private First Class David Kenyon Webster (1922–1961), born in New York, New York. James Madio as Technician Fourth Class Frank Perconte (1917–), born in Joliet, Illinois Michael Cudlitz as Sergeant Denver "Bull" Randleman (1920–2003), born in Rector, Arkansas Dexter Fletcher as Staff Sergeant John Martin (1922–2005), born in Columbus, Ohio Shane Taylor as Technician Fifth Class Eugene "Doc" Roe (medic) (1921–1999), born in Bayou Chene, Louisiana Matthew Leitch as Staff Sergeant Floyd "Tab" Talbert (1923–1982), born in Kokomo, Indiana Dale Dye as Colonel Robert F. Sink (1905–1965) Lexington, North Carolina Nicholas Aaron as Private First Class Robert "Popeye" Wynn, (1921–2000), born in South Hill, Virginia George Calil as Sergeant James H. "Mo" Alley, Jr.,(1922–), born in Mount Ida, Arkansas Kirk Acevedo as Staff Sergeant Joseph Toye (1919–1995) Richard Speight, Jr. as Sergeant Warren "Skip" Muck Peter McCabe as Corporal Donald Hoobler Robin Laing as Private Edward "Babe" Heffron (1923–) Ben Caplan as Corporal Walter "Smokey" Gordon Stephen Graham as Private Myron 'Mike' Ranney Marc Warren as Private Albert Blithe (1923–1967) Peter Youngblood Hills as Staff Sergeant Darrel "Shifty" Powers (1923–) Mark Huberman as Private Lester "Leo" Hashey (1925–2002) Tim Matthews as Corporal Alex Penkala Michael Fassbender as Sergeant Burton P. "Pat" Christenson (1922–1999) Doug Allen as Private Alton Moore (1920–1958) Nolan Hemmings as Sergeant Charles E. "Chuck" Grant (1915–1985) Matt Hickey as Private Patrick O'Keefe (1926–2003) James McAvoy as Private James Miller Tom Hardy as Private John A. Janovec Stephen McCole as First Lieutenant Frederick T. 'Moose' Heyliger Simon Pegg as First Sergeant William Evans Kieran O'Brien as Private Allen Vest (1925–2001) Douglas Spain as Corporal Antonio C. Garcia (1925–2005) Rene L. Moreno as Corporal Joseph Ramirez Jamie Bamber as Second Lieutenant Jack E. Foley (1922–) Philip Barrantini as Private Wayne A. "Skinny" Sisk (1922–1999) Craig Heaney as Private Roy Cobb Rocky Marshall as Private Earl "One Lung" McClung (1923–) Jason O'Mara as First Lieutenant Thomas Meehan III Peter O'Meara as First Lieutenant Norman Dike Colin Hanks as Second Lieutenant Henry Jones Iain Robertson as Private George Smith

DVD cover art [edit] DVD Release All ten parts of the mini-series were released on DVD November 5, 2002.

[edit] Notes ^ In particular, the books Biggest Brother: The Life of Dick Winters and Parachute Infantry, an autobiography by David Kenyon Webster. Also, the website Trigger Time by 101st historian Mark Bando has a detailed discussion of the miniseries' historical accuracy. ^ Pacific ^ ^ ^ Arlington National Cemetery ^ Bando critique, page 5 ^ 506th documents online. (Disputed below) ^ article

[edit] External links Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Band of BrothersThe official website of the veterans of E-Company Band of Brothers Official Currahee memorial site HBO Band of Brothers — official site CMOH Website for Major Richard D. Winters Band of Brothers at the Internet Movie Database Official site of William 'Wild Bill' Guarnere Mark Bando's Band of Brothers pages (Bando is a prolific historian of the 101st Airborne) Band Of Brothers and Thomas Meehan background (French) Band Of Brothers Band Of Brothers French website (Japanese) Band Of Brothers at WOWOW INC. Band Of Brothers Band Of Brothers Polish website Retrieved from ""

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