?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Congrats to everybody who made it through the rewatch with me! I feel a special bond with all of you. The kind of bond that exists only between people who've watched a lot of DVDs together.

So much to love in the extras. First let's talk about We Stand Alone Together, the documentary feature about the real men of Easy Company.

Oh, and this post will spoil those who haven't watched the series or the documentary yet. Back to your DVDs, grasshoppers.

I stayed up late last night, after I had watched the inauguration on Tivo *shakes fist at stupid job* to rewatch We Stand Alone Together and take some notes. I really wanted to get this up TODAY. January 21st.


Happy Birthday, Major Winters

 


Favorite Moments

“My name is C...Carwood...Lipton.”

I’ve said before, I don’t think Donnie Wahlberg looks much like Carwood Lipton. Especially when you look at Lipton as a young man. He actually looks more like Neal McDonough, with the cheekbones and the jawline. That doesn’t bother me; I don’t think it’s that important that the actors look like the real guys.

But over the years and along the rewatches, I’ve come to see the resemblance between DW and CCL more and more. You don’t see it in the episode interviews as much, but in We Stand Alone, you get glimpses of Lipton’s smile. There’s the similarity. When I’m watching DW as Lipton or watching the real Lipton, I catch myself smiling at the TV.

And they both have this interesting combination of sweetness and strength. Donnie has that fantastic Wahlberg quality of gentle badassery. Like, “Guys, please stop doing that, or I will have to fuck you up. And say hello to your mother for me.” I don’t really see a badass in the real Lipton, but I do see toughness. And when you look at his picture from back then, you can imagine it.

Plus, you can tell that C. Carwood is a pretty smart and thoughtful guy. I can really believe that he had that natural sense of the right thing to do, as we see in Breaking Point.

“Some of ‘em lost as much as 40 pounds. But I didn’t have nothin’ to lose. I only weighed 130; I wouldn’t have been big enough to stand.”

Popeye is awesome, isn’t he? He’s one of the guys that I could just listen to all day, the way he phrases things.

“Rembrandt, and all those people.”

Ha. Shifty might be my favorite RL Easy man. The way he talks, the things he says. He’s just such a gentle soul. It’s even more impressive to know that a man with a sweet heart like that did what it took to be in the 101st and get through the war alive.

He also gives us the biggest fangirl tease, when he says that after they had discovered all of Hitler’s booze, “the whole company fell out in their underwear.” Dammit, Spanks, what happened to your celebrated commitment to telling the story exactly as it happened?

“Georgie Luz come over and he hollered, ‘I can’t see nothin of them. There’s nothin there.’”

Look at those two, in their red berets, walking through the Bois Jacques. They actually remember exactly where their foxholes were, and where Muck and Penkala died.

And Babe remembering how Jim Campbell saved his life. “(Toye said) ‘I already checked him, he’s gone.’ Jim Campbell might be alive today if he hadn’t said, ‘Heffron, you stay here with your gun. I’m going up.’ And I never, never, never...I sleep on it, I eat on it...never forget that... It’s just so bad. All you life you gotta remember what one guy did because he thought it was his job to do, and he took a shot for you.”

Guarnere talks about how the people of Holland loved them. “They called us angels from the sky. Which we were!”

“I’d better not talk about it.”

Lipton remembers what happened to Toye and Guarnere and even he sort of chokes up. Then, oh, Don Malarkey. I think you’re the one who gets me most of all.

“We didn’t think we had a chance to come home.”

John Martin talking about how he and Guarnere went to Scotland to get tattoos, cause, why not? Martin tearing up is almost as bad as Malarkey.

“My god, it’s beautiful...”

Popeye tells about getting hit by the grenade during the assault on the guns at Brecourt. “It felt like it blowed my butt over my head.”

Then Winters, with tears in his voice: “He’s behind enemy lines on D-Day. Does he holler ‘Help!’? No. He hollers, ‘I’m sorry, Lieutenant. I’m sorry. I goofed.’ My god, it’s beautiful, when you think of a guy who’s that dedicated to his company, to his buddies, that he apologizes for getting hit. But that’s the kind of guy he was, and that’s the kind each one of them was. They were all the same.”

I love the way he says, “beau-tee-ful”. :-)

“‘Sergeant Joe Toye, 506 PIR, 101st Airborne Division.’ That’s what he wanted on his tombstone.’”

Pete Toye, who I assume is Joe Toye’s son, talking about him. That’s a really nice bit. It’s nice to see that the families of the men really appreciate what they went through and the bonds they have to the others in the company.

“Every army unit thinks they’re the best. But we knew we were the best.”

Ha! See? That’s why I love both Liptons. Creamy on the outside, tough in the center.

“Grandpa said, ‘No. But I served in a company of heroes.’”

Well it made us cry at the end of Points, and it doesn’t get any better the more you see it, does it?

“Sure your story and your shoes are mighty thin.”

Babe! Singing! Brigid O’Flynn. Isn’t that the most fantastic thing? “Joe Toye. Oh there was a big Mick. He’d say, ‘Guarnere, you’re Italian. You don’t know that song.’ Guarnere could sing it better than he did!”
 


Questions

Who are your favorite real-life Easy men and why?
Which actors’ portrayals most closely match the real guys?
What are your favorite parts of We Stand Alone Together?
What surprised you about the real Easy Company?
What would you ask them if you had the chance?


Link of Awesome

newredshoesis the best kind of fangirl: smart, passionate, and lots of fun. She comes bearing so many gifts! I heart her very much for that. Just look at these boys!
 

 

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
anatolealice
Jan. 22nd, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
It was so lovely seeing how close they've remained over the years. I loved the reunion footage.

He also gives us the biggest fangirl tease, when he says that after they had discovered all of Hitler’s booze, “the whole company fell out in their underwear.” Dammit, Spanks, what happened to your celebrated commitment to telling the story exactly as it happened?

Hee! I did think of you when I heard that bit :-)
gatsbyfan
Jan. 22nd, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
My god, it’s beautiful
It really is. That line strikes me every time I watch this documentary. I mean really, you get hit and you apologize? I don't think we'd ever see something like that today.

“Grandpa said, ‘No. But I served in a company of heroes.’”
DAMN HIM. Every time I see it or read it I need to reach for kleenix.

It just so amazing to me that these men don't see themselves as heros. I can't remember who it was that commented the real heros didn't come home. Again, they don't make them like that anymore.

What's also pretty amazing is what these men went on to accomplish after the war.

Under different circumstances we might have been good friends.
I think that comment is sweet. He recognizes that while they were on opposites sides of the War, they probably had more in common than not.
gatsbyfan
Jan. 22nd, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
I think you're right about Lipton,Mary. But I think Frank John Hughes does a good job of portraying Guarnere.

As for best, I'm not sure... The book showed up today so maybe after I get a chance to read through I'll have more incite.

I'm also struck by the image of Nixon that appears clearly drunk and surrounded by bottles. Ron Livingston does sort of look like him. I'm just said that he died before the series was produced because it would have been interesting to hear from him as well.

I like the shot of the reunion. How cool would it be to attend and listen to the stories these men could tell? Clearly there are some characters among the bunch. That would be a memorable experience. But also sad because as the years go on the number of attendees is probably shrinking. (Side note: I loved hearing from Grandfather's stories during the war. He was busy repairing planes in FL.)

More later when my hand isn't killing me
marymary
Jan. 22nd, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
It just so amazing to me that these men don't see themselves as heros. I can't remember who it was that commented the real heros didn't come home. Again, they don't make them like that anymore.

I know. Even after all the attention --- the book, the miniseries, the documentary --- they still consistently talk about what the other men did and how the others are heroes, not them. When they talk about themselves, they sort of minimize it.

I think you're right about Lipton, Mary. But I think Frank John Hughes does a good job of portraying Guarnere.

Oh, absolutely! It's incredible. In the case of the Liptons, I was not seeing the resemblance at first, then over time I did, so that's why I brought it up. But the accuracy of the Guarnere thing gets you right away. FJH's commitment to the underbite alone! *g* And I've said before, that I think Peter Youngblood Hills gets Shifty's voice and personality just right. They look nothing alike, but he did a great job.

Hee! I did think of you when I heard that bit :-)

Heh. It's nice that my friends know me so well. :-)
marymary
Jan. 22nd, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
Listen, you guys HAVE to follow that link at the bottom of my entry and see those pictures! It's all kinds of photos of the real guys and their actor counterparts. AND THEN IT GETS EVEN CUTER! I'm telling you, do not miss that picspam.
gatsbyfan
Jan. 22nd, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
You know I saw those things. She has a gift. I'm looking forward to Winters & Nixon. That should be funny.
(no subject) - marymary - Jan. 22nd, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gatsbyfan - Jan. 22nd, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
marymary
Jan. 22nd, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
Hey, guys, here's a very cute and on-topic entry on Dick Winters. I forgot to suggest that you eat ice cream in his honor yesterday. I'm sure he won't mind if you do it today. ;-)

http://newredshoes.livejournal.com/785015.html
tomfoolery815
Jan. 22nd, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
Hi. I'm watching RL's Video Diaries right now, because work is just going to be awful today and for a while, and I opted for a fun extra instead of an inspirational extra.

I was ambivalent about participating in discussion of the extras. Now that I'm watching the Video Diaries, I'm puzzled as to why I was.

So while I haven't watched We Stand Alone Together yet, I promise to try to make time for it. And I'm ready to talk about the Video Diaries when you guys are.
marymary
Jan. 22nd, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
I was ambivalent about participating in discussion of the extras. Now that I'm watching the Video Diaries, I'm puzzled as to why I was.

I'm puzzled too! *g* The extras are WAY better than most DVD extras.
- The WSAT is just what you feel like you want, after watching. All that footage and stories from the real guys.
- The Normandy premiere, avec dignitaries!
- THE VIDEO DIARIES ARE LOVE. I always want to go back and re-produce them, but still. The peek inside the boot camp is worth its weight in gold.

I would kill at least six POWs to see some outtakes. Can you imagine the awesomeness of BoB outtakes?? All those guys? All that footage? All those chances to screw up? The frightening-bromantic-chemistry-induced joshing around? The mind boggles.

If I get my work done today, I'll post on The Diaries tonight sometime.

Picspams will have to wait till next week. Make sure you hydrate, gatz; it will be Damian-heavy.
aunt_deen
Jan. 23rd, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
My friends-page failed me. I didn't even realize this was up!

I'm not sure how many Kleenex I used while I sat and watched the real men of Easy. More than one, less than a box.

The little darlings are walking in my door in about four minutes, so all I'll say right now is that I think the closest portrayal has to go to Frank John Hughes as Guarnere. God, how his jaw must have ached maintaining that ferocious underbite through all those hours and days and weeks of shooting. And looking at the real deal, I think he got everything right. The accent, the mannerisms, all of it.

I remember reading something about the first time the actor met the man. (This might be in one of your links, Mary, at which I have not had time to look.) FJH went to meet Guarnere at the airport, dressed in his full WWII-era dress uniform. Guarnere said, "Hey, kid. Good to meet ya," and crutched rapidly past Frank to head outside for a cigarette.

Plus (yes, the students are in my room now and I'm ignoring them) as I was watching 24 the other day with misreall, we were fast-forwarding through a bunch of stuff and I jumped and grabbed for the remote. "Guarnere! It's Guarnere!" Yes, it's Frank John Hughes who has a recurring role as an FBI guy this season. Quite odd to see him sans underbite & accent and in a suit.
tomfoolery815
Jan. 23rd, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
My friends-page failed me. I didn't even realize this was up!
I hear ya, aunt_deen. I used to get an e-mail when Mary would update her journal, which of course is quite helpful when you're eager to start talking about a BSG episode, or B of B. As I usually am. :-)

"You would still go out on your own and run the mountain at night. Which was ridiculous, because when you had to run it during the day, all you did was bitch and moan. And at night, they'd get a couple of guys, and go up and do it on your own."

(I think it was Mr. Bain who said this. Anyone? Bueller?)

I was really struck by this, the tremendous pride the men of Easy Company. Every man who joined up, of course, wanted to serve, had the same sense of duty as my grandfather. But these men, the men who wanted to be paratroopers, didn't just want to serve, they wanted to achieve. And so they ran Currahee at night, when they didn't have to.

I can't help but connect it to what the men were saying about growing up in the '30s, growing up poor. Of course, nobody wants to be poor. But some young people, I find, decide to push themselves, challenge themselves as a means to improve their lot in life, and to be somebody.

It wasn't for the pay that these men became paratroopers, of course. But I have to think that these particular men wanted the toughest challenge they could get their hands on.
aunt_deen
Jan. 23rd, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
Okay, I just looked at the pics of the real guys meeting the actors and I am drowning in cuteness.
gatsbyfan
Jan. 23rd, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
I KNOW.

The pictures are just too great. I spent about an hour trolling around facebook yesterday looking at the Band of Brothers Groups/Nix & Winters Groups looking to see if there were any other adorable photos.
tomfoolery815
Jan. 23rd, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
My god, it’s beautiful, when you think of a guy who’s that dedicated to his company, to his buddies, that he apologizes for getting hit. But that’s the kind of guy he was, and that’s the kind each one of them was. They were all the same.”

I'm also moved by what Popeye says right before that, and the way he says it: "I felt like I kinda let 'em down. But that's neither here nor there." He says it quietly, and casts his eyes downward.

1) These aren't men who grew up talking about their feelings.
B) I'm convinced he was right back in Normandy in that moment, still disappointed in himself.

Jeebus, Richard Speight should have played Lester A. Hashey. Mr. Hashey's face just leaped off the screen at me. How can that not be Skip Muck? :-)

ETA: Some of 'em still run together for me.

Edited at 2009-01-23 06:00 pm (UTC)
gatsbyfan
Jan. 23rd, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
But I have to think that these particular men wanted the toughest challenge they could get their hands on.
We know this was true... at least for Malarkey. I don't have the exact comment but he made of point of saying that he wasn't just going to serve in any unit. I remember being struck by how he said it.
marymary
Jan. 23rd, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
But I have to think that these particular men wanted the toughest challenge they could get their hands on.

We know this was true... at least for Malarkey. I don't have the exact comment but he made of point of saying that he wasn't just going to serve in any unit. I remember being struck by how he said it.


I agree. You hear this pretty consistently. The story about Lipton reading about the paratroopers' high standards in Life magazine, then choosing the Airborne, was a true one. And in the book about Winters, Larry Alexander writes,

...it was at Fort Benning that Winters first saw paratroopers up close. They were everything he'd always envisioned a soldier to be: lean, hard, well trained and disciplined, bronzed and tough. The men bore a fierce pride, and the more Winters saw them, the more he thought to himself that if he had to go to war, these were the guys he wanted to fight with.

Ha. I love Alexander's description. maybe he's one of us

I think I know what you mean, at least about the RL Hashey's presence, Tom. He's very animated and articulate. Hashey in BoB is much more subdued. As for casting, I wonder whether maybe they had Speight and wanted to give him a meatier role than Hashey, hence Muck. That or Speight's audition clicked with accounts of the real Muck's personality.

Speaking of Richard Speight, I don't know whether I told all of you that he's guesting on Life this season! Very cool. *says another prayer for the DL/RL convergence*
tomfoolery815
Jan. 24th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
I think I know what you mean, at least about the RL Hashey's presence, Tom. He's very animated and articulate. Hashey in BoB is much more subdued. As for casting, I wonder whether maybe they had Speight and wanted to give him a meatier role than Hashey, hence Muck. That or Speight's audition clicked with accounts of the real Muck's personality.
Well, now I wish I'd meant what you thought I meant. Yours sounds more thoughtful. :-) I just meant the physical resemblance, that the real Hashey struck me as looking the way Richard Speight will look in 50 years.

Or, he looks the way Scott Grimes will look in 50 years. As I said, I'm running TV Muck and TV Malarkey together in my head. But Mr. Hashey definitely looks an aged version of one of those two actors. :-)


Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )