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We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company (2001)

HBO We Stand Alone Together The Men of Easy Company

Companion documentary of HBO’s World War II miniseries “Band of Brothers.” Executive produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, this documentary tells the remarkable story of the men of Easy Company-506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Film combines the words and memories of the former soldiers with archival footage and photos, from the boot camp origins of Easy Company in 1942 to their D-Day surge and later offensives in Germany and Belgium.
Compiled over two years, “We Stand Alone Together” features recent interviews with the real life company members, along with rare and archival photographs and film footage, whose deeds are dramatized in the “Band of Brothers” miniseries.
Director/producer Mark Cowen and writer/producer Will Richter were thinking of making a WWII documentary when they heard that HBO was producing a miniseries based on Stephen Ambrose’s book, “Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest”. The Easy Company paratroopers were an elite unit, and one of the most honored units in military history, but, fighting on the European front for nearly two years, they suffered a 150 percent casualty rate during the war.
Cowen proposed tracking down and interviewing the surviving members of Easy Company for a companion piece. He interviewed 44 veterans, compiling nearly 200 hours of footage. Bits of these interviews were used to introduce segments of the miniseries, and edited, along with rare archival footage of paratroopers, into this documentary, Band of Brothers: We Stand Alone Together.
The men calmly describe their harrowing experiences and the bonds they formed in combat. Their courageous commanding officer, Richard Winters downplays his own heroism, lamenting that maybe if he’d done a better job, there might have been a few more men going home. Cowen also took two of the men, William Guarnere and Edward “Babe” Heffron, to the woods of Bastogne, where Easy Company held the line in the Battle of the Bulge, and where Guarnere lost his leg during heavy shelling by the Germans. Cowen also filmed reunions of the company, and interviews with relatives of some of the men, who are no longer around to tell their own stories.

A DreamWorks/Playtone Production in Association with Cowen/Richter Productions for HBO

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