Monday, June 08, 2009

Band of Brothers rewind, episode 3: "Carentan"

The On Demand run of "Band of Brothers ended over the weekend, so hopefully everybody either watched it or has the DVDs as we continue to revisit this great series. Spoilers for the third episode, "Carentan," coming up just as soon as I get another Purple Heart...

"Carentan" was my least favorite episode when I initially watched the series eight years ago, and although this viewing offered up some redeeming features, it remains the low point, in my mind.

I've said before, and will talk more about this when we get to "Bastogne," that the miniseries took a significant leap forward when it started doing more POV-centric storytelling. Well, "Carentan" is largely told from Albert Blithe's point of view, but in this case, it doesn't work for two reasons: 1)Because it isn't told from his point of view enough, and 2)Because he's a very poorly-drawn, and played, character.

Let's take the second point first. I've liked Marc Warren in other projects that have crossed the pond ("Hustle," his episode of "Doctor Who"), but he's terrible here. He struggles mightily with the American accent and, like a number of other Brit-as-American performances of recent vintage (see Michelle Ryan in "Bionic Woman"), he's so distracted by the issue that he fails to give much of a performance beyond that. He's whispering half the time, as if that might better hide his inflections, and he significantly overplays Blithe's moments of terror during the battle scenes. It feels like he was cast largely because of his piercing blue eyes, which always tend to look haunted, rather than anything he brought to the role.

And, unfortunately, the role itself is really undercooked. It feels like the "Band of Brothers" producers (and, specifically, writer E. Max Frye) wanted to do an episode about the way fear can paralyze men in combat, and they chose to center it on Blithe, who receives only two mentions in Stephen Ambrose's book: first when Winters cures him of the hysterical blindness, second when he suffers the wound that would eventually take his life. And because Blithe died so young(*), and was apparently not close to the Easy men who survived the war and the decades after, there's not much other color to him, and the script fails to add any. He's not a person so much as he is an archetype, and a fairly thin one at that. To bring it back to the inevitable "Saving Private Ryan" comparison, "Carentan" is an entire hour of Corporal Upham cowering outside the room where Melish is fighting for his life, only without the characterization that Upham had gotten to that point.

(*) Or not; check the comments for evidence of what appears to be the largest screw-up in the book and miniseries.

And yet, I still think it might have worked if the entire episode had done nothing but follow Blithe. Doc Roe, the main character of "Bastogne," is just as minor a character in both the book and the miniseries, but Shane Taylor is given a bit more meat to play as Roe, and simply showing the battlefield through his eyes (with one or two exceptions) makes a big difference in terms of the intensity of the experience. Here, sometimes we're with Blithe, and sometimes we're just in the middle of the chaos in and around Carentan following other soldiers. And after Blithe is wounded and sent to the hospital, the episode goes on for another 10 minutes or so, just to set up things for the next episode with the arrival of the replacements. The final scene with Malarkey picking up the laundry for all the men of Easy who fell since D-Day is an affecting, unusual way to tell that particular emotional beat, but even with Blithe's clothes in with the pile, it doesn't really feel like it's of a piece with the rest of the episode.

All that being said, watching "Carentan" now with a better understanding of who everybody is, there are a number of scenes that stood out far better than they did in '01. The two major combat scenes aren't always easy to follow in terms of who's where, but the sheer spectacle of them, and small moments within them, are amazing. I love the bit in the first battle (inside the city) where Liebgott pauses to tenderly comfort the soldier who was so badly wounded by the grenade, and the fight scene in the hedgerows has that wonderful sequence where the normally-reserved Winters has to use his force of will to urge one man after another (including Blithe) to get the hell out of his foxhole and start shooting back.

But "Carentan" remains the one episode I'm likely to skip if I ever choose to re-watch the series again (with no blogging obligation) down the line.

A few other thoughts:

• I did like the one scene Blithe (the man overpowered by his fear) shares with Speirs (the man seemingly without fear), which features one of my favorite quotes from the miniseries: "The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse."

• This episode introduces a nice running thread about Harry Welsh's attempt to hold onto his reserve chute so his wife can use it to make a wedding dress. It also offers up a rare tough side to the usually genial Welsh, who seems to suspect Blithe's cowardice more than the others, and treats him suspiciously as a result.

• Ambrose's book says that the words to "The Night of the Bayonet" were lost to history, so either Frye came up with a new poem on his own, or one of the men somehow remembered them after the book came out.

• I haven't yet mentioned Michael Kamen's score, and since it's one of the best things in an episode I otherwise don't like very much, now seems as good a time as any. What I love about the "Band of Brothers" music -- both the theme song and the score used throughout -- is how counter-intuitive it is. Instead of going with bombast because of the scope of the story and all the pyrotechnics within, Kamen instead keeps things spare, sticking mainly with strings, and the theme song itself might as well be a waltz. Chokes me up damn near every time.

Keeping in mind, once again, that we're trying to be vague about who lives and who dies for the benefit of the people watching for the first time, what did everybody else think?


Orion7 said...

As far as who lives and who dies, Wikipedia says that Blithe didn't die. The guys in the unit heard it wrong, and Ambrose didn't question their account.

When I watched this, I was more focused on the guys I already knew. Blithe's reason for existing as a character was evident pretty early on, and it wasn't developed much, so I wasn't as interested. In contrast to that, the stories of the guys who came in as replacements in later episodes were much more interesting.

Sister T said...

Oh I got suckered in by Marc Warren's blue eyes. I really like this episode because of the depiction of the street fighting,i.e., clearing the houses. It showed more characters in different types of action. Lip was running around. Even Winters got dinged.

And I liked Blithe's story. My second favorite character in The Winds of War and War and Remembrance novels is Leslie Slote, the coward who learns to accept and cope with his cowardice. I like the story of a person who is a coward but doesn't want to be one. Maybe I imposed Herman Wouk's writing on Marc Warren's acting, but I really enjoyed Blithe's story and the look in his blue eyes haunted me. I'd rejoice when I saw actor Marc Warren on other shows and think to myself. "Private Blithe, is alive!" (I do that with a lot of the actors when they show up in other roles). Then one day I wikipediaed the real Blithe, and found out he really was alive...for two more decades...that he stayed in the army...and died an active serviceman in Germany. Those real life facts played into the theme of coping with cowardice that I had built up in my head. So that's why I like Carentan.

One question, during the first battle, as Easy is going into Carentan Nixon is up on a hill somewhere and comments (expositions) to the guy next to him that Dog and Fox companies are pulling out, is that guy Lt. Dike?

Probably not, I don't think Dike was even in Europe until at least Market Garden, but I was wondering if that was was someone I should recognize. Maybe it was Strayer.

Also, who is driving the motorcycle that Malarky is riding along?

On this re-watch, I'm making an effort to get to know and identify as many "minor" characters as possible. The benefit for me so far is that I've finally picked out Babe Heffron and it gave me a great moment. I cried when Babe Heffron and Bill Guarnere seemingly met for the first time.

This series just gets better and better as you re-watch it. Thanks for doing these posts Alan.

Anonymous said...

My dvd has deteriorated and cut out about halfway into this, but I think the motorcyclist was Shifty Powers. That's only a vague memory, couldn't watch that bit.

I don't know about the score, I always thought the opening credits were overly long in contrast to the too short credits most shows of this decade have. I really like the interviews, but the credits are just too saccharine for me and really drag.

jcpbmg said...

Alan- I completely agree with your first opinion of the episode- which is it is arguably the worst so far (I've watched through 8 to date).

Not only can Warren (who was great in Hustle) not handle an American accent, but he looks notably British. The gravity of the war is perfectly handled by almost all of the actors however Warren just doesn't seem up for the task.

Needless to say I'm very happy he really only stuck around for 1 episode (as one of the things I liked about all of the other individual POV episodes, including the doc and Webster, is that the stick around for future episodes)

Jesse said...

Orion7 and Sister T:

This is where supplemental material comes in handy. I've got the Blu-rays--and, yes, I mention it all the time because I love having HD discs of my favorite movies and series, they're cool--and they have an interactive doohickey that you can turn on and off.

The Blithe information is called out in the credits, including his service in Korea. It was a huge error on the part of the miniseries (and the book too, IIRC).

The guy standing next to Nixon on the hill is indeed Lt Col Strayer, who apparently relieved the CO of Fox Company on the spot(!) for ordering his men to retreat.

Anonymous said...

The motorcyclist is actually Alton More :)

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

I'm so glad you mentioned the music, Alan, because I was going to if you didn't. I think HBO does a great job with the music and opening credits--I NEVER fast forward through them, and this series chokes me up every time. But it's not just this series; I do the same thing (listen every time, not choke up) for The Sopranos, Rome, and Big Love. Right now I can't find my DVDs, so I had to watch the entire series On Demand to get it all in by today (and then I started over because I knew who the men were by then), and I watched the opening credits every single time.

I also thought the scene where Liebgott comforts the wounded soldier was really affecting. The battle scenes were amazing, and throughout the series, I found myself tensing up all the time. I had to make a conscious effort to relax from time to time--it just sort of snuck up on me, and suddenly I would realize just how tense I was.

I'm so glad you decided to do these posts.

Sister T said...

Jesse and anonymous, thanks for the clarification.

Re: the scene where Liebgott comforts Tipper after he is hit. It might relax some of your tension, anonymous, to know Tipper survived to live a long life. I noticed real-life Tipper (and his daughter) in the We Stand Alone Together documentary.

Mapeel said...

Even a weak episode of this series is riveting. The music and opening credits are now my second favorite HBO (right behind Deadwood).

I was thinking about this shared experience of how hard it is to keep track of the characters. Tom Shales saw it as a huge negative in his 01 review: "When you watch two hours and still aren't quite sure who the main characters are, something is wrong."

But I think it's actually a masterstroke of storytelling for this story. Soldiers are units in a machine. One replaces another, and it doesn't matter who they are, it only matters when they are alive and actively fighting. I think it heightens the experience the story is trying to tell to not see quickly or easily who is who.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that this is a weak episode and the Blithe character is not very satifying.

Will second Alan's comments about the score. The theme is just perfect for the show.

Good to see Matthew Settle in a role with some meat to it as oppose to the whimp he plays on Gossip Girl. ;-)

Hatfield said...

Are you sure it's More driving the motorcycle? I thought it was Shifty as well. Also, can anyone tell me the name of the soldier on crutches, with all the purple hearts, who reads the poem at the end? I feel like I've got most of them down, but not all.

I guess I don't have as big a problem with Warren as everybody else, even if he is a little over the top. The episode gives us nice moments with Winters, Roe, Martin, Guarnere and the introduction of Babe, Liebgott, and Harry Welsh, who is one of my favorite guys on this. I would complain about Blithe being the focal point when we haven't really seen him yet, but episode 8 is a POV of someone relatively minor too, and it works wonderfully. Still, agree that it's probably the weakest of them all, but without it you'd miss out on some great character stuff, or that hilarious look between Winters and Nixon when that redhead officer who's just below Sink (Strayer, I think?) asks if it's safe to come out yet.

Hatfield said...

Um, just to be clear, I only meant the introduction of Babe. Liebgott and Welsh have been around since the first episode. I should have worded that differently.

Sister T said...


My guess is that the guy on crutches is Dukeman.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, can anyone tell me the name of the soldier on crutches, with all the purple hearts, who reads the poem at the end?

That's Walter "Smokey" Gordon, who really did wind up with three Purple Hearts for one wound, and who gave one of his spares to Floyd Talbert, who wasn't eligible by dint of being stabbed by his own man.

Hatfield said...

Smokey! Ok, that was basically who I had it narrowed down to, using IMDb as my guide. Thanks.

paul said...

I agree that the Blithe story line is probably the weakest of the series. Aside from not liking the character or the actor's portrayal of him, I don't like the approach of explaining why men stand and fight under such extreme circumstances through monologues. It felt forced and out of character to the rest of the series. In any event, the series shows us the answer to that question in a much more profound way, especially in the Bastogne episodes, and then the veterens tell us themselves in the concluding documentary.

Aside from that, the assault on Caranten and defense against the German counter-attack were amazing.

George Luz has to be about my favorite character. His disgusted "I have no idea!" response to Frank still makes me laugh, despite what is going on around him.

JenJen said...


Couldn't agree more with you about the Carentan episode, and Warren's poor portrayal of Albert Blithe.

As far as the actual Pvt Blithe, Dick Winters writes about him in his excellent book "Beyond Band of Brothers", which I highly recommend to any fan of Easy Company. Of Blithe's battlefield blindness, Winters writes,

"As soon as Blithe regained his vision, he immediately returned to duty. If you think about that for a minute, that boy had been paralyzed by fear, yet he had the guts and dedication to stick to his buddies in Easy Company. As soon as he relaxed and pulled himself together, he returned to the front rather than taking the easy way out with an evacuation. In Blithe's case, he rejoined the company and was wounded in action during the upcoming fight (main line of resistance, south of Carentan)."

A better actor, with better direction, could have done a lot with that.

Austin Gorton said...

Chokes me up damn near every time.

Me too! Kamen's title theme is one of my favorites, and his score throughout the show is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

My recollection of this episode was not good for the Blyth storyline and all the issues stated so far. But watching this ep again, I am ranking it higher than several eps just for the two full Co battle scenes.

The Foy assault in Breaking Point is still No 1 but for one ep to have both the Carentan assault and defense moves it up the list.

It's nice to see Nix at the front of the assault and Winters exposing himself to fire on the line during the defense. It's easy to see why LTs have such high mortality rates. Is it Welch who charges the machine gun nest with a grenade? Awesome. Then he's staring down a Tiger with a bazooka. Sgt Lip almost loses his nuts and gets his cool scar.

Then in the end they get saved by the Shemans. It's better to be lucky than good. There's a lot of good in the episode if you can get through the Blythe stuff.

"And no playing grab *ss with the guy in front - that means you Luz."

Hatfield said...

How did I forget Welsh and that other guy (looks like Shifty, maybe More; again, help me out if you know) running into the middle of the field with the bazooka to take out that tank? That was badass to the point of ridiculousness. Sometimes when crazy stuff happens here I have to remind myself that it's all true. I think that move has a lot to do with why Welsh is one of my favorites, even if he's third-tier as far as screen time.

Eugene Freedman said...

This is the episode where Welsh is featured as a leader and soldier. He has various snippets throughout and doesn't appear in every episode, but I've always liked him. He had a much larger place in Winters' book than in BoB the book or mini-series.

He charged the machine gun nest in the building and tossed in the grenade and then went out in the open to challenge the tank. Winters' book talks about leading from the front. Welsh epitomizes this and he gains the respect of his men for it. While not featured to the degree Winters is the rest of the way, he surely appears as formidable a leader.

Orion7 said...

Oh, the tanks. My blood ran cold when the German tanks rolled in. Then there was massive relief when the American tanks rolled in and drove them off. That whole battle sequence was mesmerizing. I think I watched most of it with my hand over my open mouth.

That was a fleeing German soldier who was squashed under a fleeing German tank, wasn't it?

Bryan Murray said...

I agree with the negative assessment of Blithe and Marc Warren. This is always the episode I forget about when I'm watching the series. I also was never a huge fan of the inconsistent characters of Liebgott or Welsh but they were both great here. Sometimes it's hard to separate the acting from the real person, but something didn't sit right with those two. Blithe, on the other hand, is really bad.

I'm not sure why they didn't establish his character a little bit in the first or second episodes - just one scene would have been better than nothing. The series just switches to the POV of someone we have barely seen before and it almost seems like he is in a different show. Very strange. Just like the early episodes of Wire season 2, weak BoB is better than almost anything else on tv.

Loretta said...

I'm actually really surprised by this largely negative review. I loved Marc Warren's episode of Doctor Who (a series I burned through just last month, so seeing him in that was fresh in my mind), and really enjoyed him in this as well.

Of course, this is my first viewing, and I've only watched through episode 4 so far, so maybe this just suffers in comparison to later, greater episodes.

And to that, I'd like to add a question - I couldn't cram it all into the brief On Demand allotted period. Can anyone tell me which DVD disc episode 5 and thereafter is on? I'm going to netflix the remaining...

Hatfield said...


Six discs total, 2 episodes per disc, with Disc 6 having a documentary and some other special features. You want discs 3-6

Angela said...

Hey, I couldn't get the DVD's fast enough to watch the series a second time in "real time", with you guys so only a couple things I wanted to say.

Thank you JenJen for mentioning the book "Beyond the Band of Brothers". I just found it's at our library and can't wait to get it!

I don't recall thinking that this episode was any less enthralling than any of the others. Blithe scenes didn't/don't stand out in my mind much, but there was soooo much else going on as mentioned, that it didn't bother me one bit. Or maybe I just assumed it was my error for not catching the full impact of the part he played.

To the person who asked, (sorry I can't remember your name after reading 60 some comments to 2 episodes) "Why wasn't Livingston in more beginning episodes, and did anyone else find him so very likable to watch?", (paraphrasing here), I totally agree! He DID stand out to me very much and I wanted to know more about him right off. He is a pleasure to watch.

Damin Lewis's acting is amazing. I read a comment somewhere about his acting in the series "Life" as being more non-acting but I disagree. I feel he played both roles with a similar style. And it works perfectly.

Loretta said...


Thanks so much!

J-rod said...

I don't understand what people expected of Blithe. I thought this episode did a good job of showing a person overwhelmed by fear. Yes, he was screaming in his foxhole but I wouldn't characterize that as "over the top". He was catatonic without drooling, responded to people who engaged him, etc but clearly he'd been pushed into a place that wasn't comfortable for him. You can't really control how you are going to act under pressure like that, just as the intro clips mention.

Blithe was overwhelmed, but he also dealt with it the best he could. Once his CO broke through his fear and got Blithe into combat, he actually became cool enough to be able to zero in his sights and take down the enemy. He volunteered for a dangerous scout mission that resulted in a Purple Heart.

I'm glad they told this story, of men overwhelmed by fear. It needed to come at the beginning as well. It wouldn't work for one of the bigger characters as anyone who suffers like Blithe wouldn't be able to rise in our estimation as soldiers. It had to be a throwaway character.

I like this episode and always remembered it from my first watching. No complaints about Blithe and as others mentioned, the fights over Carentan were phenomenal.

Topcat said...

Damin Lewis's acting is amazing. I read a comment somewhere about his acting in the series "Life" as being more non-acting but I disagree. I feel he played both roles with a similar style. And it works perfectly.

If you want to understand the amazing acting range Damian Lewis has, rent The Forsyte Saga. His character, Soames Forsyte, is a horrendous, pathetic bastard (and yet Lewis still manages to make you feel some sympathy).

Anonymous said...

Blithe is first seen in episode #1 on the troop ship as it passes the Statue of Liberty. I disagree with this episode being the worst of the 10. Your blog missed A LOT of underlying points that helped define the miniseries. I've watched the series 20+ times and each time I learn a nugget more.
Sister T, it was the second battle where Easy's left flank collapses under an armored assault, and it was Major Strayer with Nixon. Also, it was Alton Moore driving the motorcycle. He appears occasionally throughout the miniseries, and only in the last episode does he get the spotlight, if only for 5 minutes.
Lt. Welsh goes out with Pvt McGrath to take out the tank. A move that probably saved the entire company.
Alan is spot on with the score. I bought the CD and the music is nothing short of inspiring, even on its own merit. But seriously, what else do you expect from a Spielberg effort? That man is all about the music.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I disagree with this episode being the worst of the 10

So what would you consider the worst?

Anonymous said...

I have to rewatch it but I remember 'Crossroads' as a bit of a snoozer. Maybe I'll change my mind when I see it again. --Milhouse

tinmann0715 said...

Hi, it was me who wrote the previous post.

I felt that #6, Bastogne, was the least enjoyable of the 10. I stress 'least enjoyable' because it was still enjoyable. For a war miniseries #3 had the most action, its POV of Blithe was not great, but quite a bit spun off of his storyline: McGrath and his good traits (bazooka & tank) & bad traits (falling behind on night marches and picking volunteers), Spiers, Winters as a leader (Remember how naive he sounded during the debrief of Brecourt compared to him kicking soldiers lying in the ditch during the Carentan assault?), looting and the impact of the losses for the company. Don't let the Blithe POV poison the other bits of #3 and you'll see a very good episode.

Hatfield said...

Oh man, Bastogne as the worst? Well, agree to disagree, and maybe it's just because I feel that Blithe is only sort of interesting while the rest of the episode is awesome, and Doc Roe is totally interesting and the whole episode is awesome.

Is McGrath only in this episode? Don't see a listing on IMDb

tinmann0715 said...

McGrath doesn't make an appearance in the rest of the series.

Here is my real beef with #6, and keep in mind that I dig war flicks. Two reasons: #1 - Bastogne was the most intense and stressful time for Easy during WWII. A good portion of the episode was spent with Doc behind the lines at the church with the nurse. I found that disappointing. I was hoping for a 'Saving Private Ryan-opening sequence' type of experience. #2 - In the documentary they talk about this episode and they mention that the battle that ensues when Smokey Gordon is shot and paralyzed was the biggest battle of them all. Instead, we follow Doc Roe back into town.
I agree that Doc Roe, and all medics, was an important figure in Easy Company. I wish they decided to highlight him at a different time in the war... perhaps Hagenau.

Toeknee said...

This episode is probably my least favorite as well, but I still think it's a great episode, and certainly wouldn't skip it the next time I rewatch this series. As others have stated, the battle scenes were fantastic. But, like others, I didn't care for the parts with Blithe. I know they were trying to show that not everyone rises to the occasion, like Winters and Welsh and most of the rest of Easy Co., but the Blithe character still didn't work for me (perhaps because I would act like he did in combat - being completely petrified). And I thought the bit with the Edelweiss was kinda hokey.

A couple nice touches of this episode....

Early in the episode, when the guys were showing off the loot they collected, Talbert was really proud of his German poncho. That poncho almost ended up costing him his life.

The scene with Malarkey, Muck and Penkala (along with More and Blithe) sitting around shooting the sh!t, laying the groundwork for the closeness of those characters which comes to play in future episodes.

Shifty Powers taking out the German machine gunner in the building, the first of many great shots by Shifty.

Unknown said...

I always found "The Last Patrol" to be the worst episode for me. Partly because of Colin Hanks but mainly because I think that Eion Bailey's POV narration to be atrocious, especially right after the gold that was Donnie Wahlberg's narration in "The Breaking Point".

I thought that Wahlberg and Damian Lewis infoused their narrations with a warmth and understanding that simply made Bailey's effort look mediocre in comparison.

Anonymous said...

Actually, "Carrentan" is one of my favorite episodes in the miniseries . . . despite Marc Warren. I liked the two battle sequences shown. And it features one of my favorite Spiers moments.

As for Warren, I think he was handicapped by the role. One, Albert Blythe was from Philadephia, not the South. Two, he was a lot better looking than Marc Warren (pardon me for saying so). Three, the real Blythe died in 1967, not 1948. His Army career continued well into the 50s or early 60s. And four . . . the whole "temporary blindness" thing seemed a bit cliched.

But despite the Blythe role, I really liked this episode.

Carolyn said...

I didn't really have the problems with Blithe others did.

I find him totally spooky in every scene (underplayed or not) not just b/c of his eyes but also b/c he seemed so much younger than the rest of the men.

So yes maybe that's due to the writing & acting and not intentional...but it worked for me.

also him seeming so much younger than the others lent something to it as well.

not up par with episodes 1 and 2, but still had some nice stuff. (this is my first time through / so i don't have a favorite ep yet!!)

Elizabeth Carter said...

"Carentan", this is the one not favored by alot of people and I can see why, but I also dont think it deservs the crap it gets, too. this one falls at #8 becuase of the fact that it's alittle dry, even in the battle scene. I know that war is something no one should experience but I still wanted more.
Luz being one of my favorites, was a fantastic soldier and had a great sense of humor. Rick Gomez, who plays Luz, did a fantastic job when they were in the first battle scene.
The other downer to this one was Blithe. Yeah he was suppose to show fear and yeah he did ok with it, but instead of me feeling his fear and feeling fear for him, I just felt sorry for the guy. Wrong picture there. The guy that played him was very confused on what accent he was going for. At first it was like a southern accent then an I dont know what accent. His acting wasnt the best either and I wish, no I wnated this one to be through Welsh's or Talbert's view.
Once again, my opinion, so what ev's

Anonymous said...

Wow-amazing, the differing opinions on the Caranten episode. I think Marc Warren did a superb job as Albert Blithe. Blithe did not look like a coward, he was a soldier who overcame his fear-that is called "bravery". I think it also shows how battle can affect soldiers in different ways, and that they deal with it in different ways.

lolo341 said...

I agree. This is the episode that hooked me on the series. Incidentally, I did not like Saving Private Ryan, so I was thrilled that Band of Brothers was so rewarding.