But he’ll remember with advantages What feats he did that day

This is pretty cool.

A significant number of the actors from HBO’s “Band of Brothers” did this a couple of years back, 20 years after the release of the series. But I didn’t see it until now.

I wish I’d seen it on D-Day itself, but hey, the Battle of Normandy was still far from won on June 7. So I pass it on, and hope you enjoy. Curahee!

It starts with “Captain Winters,” but you’ll recognize a number of the guys. Quite a few are Brits, which works well with Shakespeare, as they don’t have to put on American accents. But there are some Yanks as well — “Malarkey” and yes, the incomparable “George Luz.” (Actually, Luz should have done it as an impersonation of Major Horton.)

One or two of the guys look too young to have played soldiers two decades earlier. But on the whole, you see graybeards who seem ready to play the “old man” part of the “Henry V” speech:

He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’

Of course, the real old men, the ones with real scars to show, are all gone now. At least, all the ones whose portrayers in the series had speaking parts. (Unless you know of someone I don’t know about.) To them truly should go the honor.

But I also honor everyone involved in this series. And I’m glad quite a few of the real guys were still alive to see the tribute, and be a part of it.

I think this is James Madio, who played Frank Perconte. Isn’t it?

20 thoughts on “But he’ll remember with advantages What feats he did that day

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    This reminds me.

    I’ve always considered “Band of Brothers” to be somewhere in my Top Five, but I’m not sure where, in relation to, say, “West Wing” and “The Wire.”

    The other day, I ran across for the first time the Rolling Stone list of “100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.”

    And “Band of Brothers” isn’t even on the list. Of the top ONE HUNDRED!

    There are good things about this list, such as the fact that they’ve got The Sopranos and The Wire at No. 1 and No. 2.

    They’ve got “The Rockford Files” and other middling mediocre shows, and the perfectly awful “24” (which I thought was going to be good — boy, was I disappointed).

    But no “Band of Brothers.” Which I found disgusting. Still do.

    But I haven’t written about that yet, because I figure I need to present my own Top Five or at least Top Ten (which is easier), and that would take some time…

  2. Bryan Caskey

    Saw this clip a year or so ago…can’t remember when. I annually watch the first two episodes of Band of Brothers on D-Day eve.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, yeah.

      That second one is one of the best. But here’s a question: Which episode is THE best?

      I say it’s episode 7, “The Breaking Point.” For those who don’t remember, here is the synopsis from Wikipedia:

      Easy holds the line near Foy, Belgium, losing numerous soldiers. Winters and the men worry about the company’s new commander, first lieutenant Norman Dike, who is frequently absent without explanation. First sergeant Carwood Lipton attempts to keep Easy’s moral up. Lieutenant Lynn “Buck” Compton watches in horror as Joe Toye and William Guarnere lose their legs to shelling, and he too is pulled from the line. During the assault on Foy, Dike fails to lead Easy and Winters orders Spiers to relieve him. Victorious, Easy takes shelter in a church where Lipton is told he has been given a field commission as a second lieutenant and Spiers is officially assigned command of Easy.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Or, as Bill Guarnere (before losing his leg) summed up the situation:

        If you noticed, there’s a little town down the hill. In that town are these guys, and these guys are called Germans. And these Germans got tanks…. And our side’s gonna wanna go into that town. Guess who they’re gonna want to go knocking on the goddamn doors….

      2. Bryan Caskey

        Yeah, the scene in when Spears explains to them that you have to essentially think that you’re already dead in order to perform your job is pretty powerful. It’s also contrasted with Dike’s failure of leadership, and there’s the moment when Winters wants to go in and take charge of his old Company, but he’s reminded that’s not his job anymore.

        I would also put up “Points” for a top episode. The liberation of Berchtesgaden is really well done, with Nixon getting to see the liquor stockpile as a funny moment. Also, there’s the really great scene of the German commander who references the “brotherhood in combat” that isn’t ever explicitly stated by anyone in the 506 PIR, but is certainly applicable to them, as Winters listens. There’s also the great moment when Sobel fails to salute Winters (now a higher rank) and is called out for it. The best part is right after, Nixon’s face just subtly smirking behind Winters. It’s great understated acting.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          All good stuff.

          But I don’t think this was in that episode: “Spears explains to them that you have to essentially think that you’re already dead in order to perform your job is pretty powerful.”

          I think that was in “Carentan.” He said it to Blithe, and that was the episode that was largely about Blithe and his problems. Speirs says it before the Battle of Bloody Gulch….

  3. bud

    These list things are very subjective. We all have different backgrounds and life experiences that can lead us to different assessments that others may find odd. And that’s fine. So without any snarky comments here’s my preliminary top 10:

    10. Big Bang Theory
    9. All in the Family
    8. Star Trek
    7. Gilligan’s Island
    6. The Simpsons
    5. Twilight Zone
    4. Queen’s Gambit
    3. I Love Lucy
    2. Black Mirror
    1. Severance

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Those are mostly pretty good shows.

      But you know what? Everybody keeps telling me how great “Severance” is, and I’ve tried to watch it, but just haven’t gotten into it.

      Although I think people were right to recommend “Ted Lasso.” I’ve enjoyed that.

      But you know what I’ve enjoyed most on Apple TV+? “Slow Horses.” That was great, and it’s really frustrating that I have to wait now for the second season to come out. Come on, people, I know you already shot it — you showed me the preview. So put it on the air!

    2. Bart

      Good list but not familiar with 1, 2 & 4. I watch the INSP channel and really enjoy the old Westerns. What is fascinating to me is about most of the older Westerns is when the episodes address issues that are relevant today.

      How Native Americans were treated and some of the responses would be relevant today. Spousal abuse, fidelity, and other traits that were unacceptable then just as they are now. The treatment of females as second-class humans and how many reacted to it has been explored on several of the Gunsmoke episodes.

      Many of our well-known actors had their debuts on Gunsmoke, Bonanza, High Chapparal, and The Virginian. It was fun watching the future Captain Kirk play the part of an outlaw on a couple of episodes. Another good actor who was the future Mr. Spock had a few roles in Gunsmoke portraying a Native American. Now, they would be accused of “cultural appropriation”.

      Well, to each his or her own and hope each one enjoys watching their favorite shows. Don’t watch much, have too many other things to occupy my mind and time.

    3. bud

      There have also been some really awful shows:

      My Mother the Car
      Hogans Heroes
      Fear Factor (with Joe Rogan)
      Jerry Springer
      The Rush Limbaugh Show
      Mary Hartman
      The Bachelor/Bachelorette
      Beavus and Butthead
      Tucker Carlson
      The $64000 Question
      Pee Wees Big Adventure
      The Housewives of Beverly Hills

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I think you mean “Pee Wee’s Playhouse.”

        “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” was the movie about him trying to find his bike. I kind of enjoyed that…

        If you disagree, you should start by saying, “I know you are, but what am I?”

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        By the way, those were some awful shows on bud’s latest list. I don’t know what they were on when they came up with “My Mother the Car.”

        As for “Hogan’s Heroes” — even when I was watching it as a kid (I watched everything on TV back then), I knew it was offensive. Rest assured that later, I never asked my father-in-law — who was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of the Nazis — whether he had watched it. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have appreciated the “humor” in the situation.

        Interestingly, here’s a tidbit I ran across just in the last few days — Albert S. Ruddy, one of the guys who came up with “Hogan’s Heroes,” is now better known for producing “The Godfather.”

        He’s one of the main characters in the new movie about the making of that classic

  4. Bart

    Link to a video that makes sense about gun ownership.


    Thought this would be a good place for the video. A thoughtful and reasonable approach by a former Marine on gun laws and how they should be applied to everyone purchasing a gun. The point he makes is a good one and should be applied to every gun purchase in the US.

    I am a strong 2nd Amendment supporter but believe in reasonable and enforceable laws pertaining to our rights to be responsible owners. I also support legislation that requires anyone purchasing a handgun or AR-15 to complete a training course before taking possession of a weapon. Until the training course is completed, the gun should be in possession of the trainer and only fired while in the presence of the trainer and only after completing and passing the course be given to the owner to take home. Plus, a safe and secure place for storage after leaving the custody of the trainer be provided in the home.

    No 18-year-old should be able to walk into a gun shop or gun show and purchase a weapon under any circumstances. If you watch the video by the former marine, it makes perfect sense to have age restrictions even if someone is a member of the military.

    Legislation will never be enough to stop someone who is determined to commit mass murder of children or random people but there should be enough safety provisions to at least eliminate as much of the danger as possible and at the same time, protect our 2nd Amendment rights under the Constitution.


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