This is the story of "E" Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division from their initial training starting in 1942 to the end of World War II. They parachuted behind enemy lines in the early hours of D-Day in support of the landings at Utah beach, participated in the liberation of Carentan and again parachuted into action during Operation Market Garden. They also liberated a concentration camp and were the first to enter Hitler's mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden. A fascinating tale of comradeship that is, in the end, a tale of ordinary men who did extraordinary things. Written by
When the 101st Airborne was sent into Belgium just before the
Battle of the Bulge they were ordered to remove the Screaming Eagle patch from their uniforms, so the Germans would not know they were facing an elite division. It was only after the battle when they moved into Hagenau that they were able to wear the patches again. See more »
This week I saw three things based on WW-II novels. The first was 'The Pianist' about the Warsaw ghetto in the war and the survival of a Jewish pianist in that ghetto. The second was 'De Tweeling', a Dutch film about two twin-sisters, separated in 1926. One of them grows up in Nazi-Germany, the other in The Netherlands. That movie shows us more of the common persons during the war, Germans and not-Germans. The third was 'Band of Brothers', a true story about combat in the war. All three things are great, the films I mean, and you definitely should see all three of them.
'Band of Brothers' follows Easy-company from their training in England, through D-Day, the rest of France (including Bastogne), Holland (including operation Market Garden), Germany and Austria. This story is shown to us in ten different episodes. Every episode starts with the real men from Easy-company telling about their experiences and ends with a short written update of Easy-company. Between beginning and ending of episodes one of the best things I have seen on screen is presented to us.
The casting is amazing. Even David Schwimmer (from 'Friends') as the bitter Captain Sobel is great. Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston are superb as Major Winters and Captain Lewis Nixon. Every actor seems to be perfect for his character. The photography and direction is great also. I especially loved the direction of the episode done by executive producer Tom Hanks, possibly with some help from the other executive producer Steven Spielberg. 'Saving Private Ryan' was great for showing us the horror in combat, 'Band of Brothers' does the same thing but adds some other things. You really learn to know the characters (in 600 minutes you can do that), you sympathize with them.
If you have the chance to see this masterpiece, do so. It is long but you can spread the episodes over some days. But if you start watching it is very hard to stop. Definitely one of the best WW-II movies or series out there.
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