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Tear Jerker: Band of Brothers
Every tear jerker is put Up to Eleven because it really happened.
Except Blithe who started off as a coward who died of his wounds. Historically he survived and continued to serve a few more decades until he obtained the rank of Master Sergeant. That is one of the few historical flaws in the show.
It becomes sort of a meta-example when you realize that the Easy Company men didn't know that he survived: the "fact" of his death was gotten from interviews with Easy Company men who were mistakenly informed he'd died, so his compatriots had no idea that he actually lived almost another 20 years.
You know they'll show the Nazi concentration camps sooner or later in Band of Brothers, considering the setting. Doesn't make the view less of a Tear Jerker.
When wisecracking tough guy Liebgott (a Jew) is translating between the prisoners and Winters, and they all suddenly realize why these people were gathered here to die. And Liegbott's corresponding mini-breakdown.
They barely need to say anything, you only have to look at their faces: the dawning horror, disgust and sorrow as they come to understand the true nature of the horrendous Final Solution.
Winters' voiceover at the end of the last episode, telling the audience how everyone's lives turned out.
Especially those who have died since then. It's sad and odd to think that men who survived the absolute best that the Nazis could muster would die from such mundane causes as a traffic accident (Moore), cancer (Roe), or even just old age (Winters).
The aptly-titled seventh episode, "The Breaking Point," sees characters the viewers have become emotionally invested in horrifically injured, killed, or suffer nervous breakdowns, made all the worse because it all really happened. Episode Nine, "Why We Fight," borders on Nightmare Fuel with the discovery of a (brutally accurate) concentration camp, as mentioned above.
Special attention to the real Malarkey starting to cry in the introduction to "The Breaking Point," the only time that happens in the interviews. Picture the quote below with obvious visual tics at every comma or verbal pause. Then obvious distress. The interview ended as he was starting to break down.
Malarkey: You don't have a chance, when your friends go down, to really take care of 'em as you might, especially if you're in an attack, moving, whatever, and uh, uh, ... I withstood it well, but I had a lotta trouble in later life, uh, because, uh, those events would ... come back, and ... you never forget 'em.
'The Breaking Point' is an episode-long Tear Jerker. Skip and Penkala are killed in their foxhole. One minute they're there, and the next they're gone.
The end scene of 'The Breaking Point' as the dead are named and they fade away.
Liebgott translating the speech that ends with "You all deserve long and happy lives in peace."
The real Richard Winters talking about what Mike Ranney wrote in a letter he sent him: "I treasure my remark to my grandson who asked, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said, 'No...but I served in a company of heroes.'"
Episode 6, "Bastogne," for obvious reasons.
Episode nine, "Why We Fight," with the discovery of a (brutally accurate) concentration camp.
Liebgott (When asked who was kept in the camp): I don't think criminals, sir. [Translating for the prisoner] Doctors, musicians, tailors, clerks, farmers, intellectuals... I mean, normal people.
Seeing the resident Easy Company hardass Leibgott just break down, unable to continue translating for the concentration camp prisoners after having to tell them they can't have any more food. Leibgott is a proud Jew. Devastating.
In the same episode, a malnourished prisoner who can barely stand on his own power musters up the strength to salute Perconte, who returns the gesture.
Local civilians living nearby apparently had no idea that there was a concentration camp next door to their town. Many broke down in tears upon witnessing the horrors within after being enlisted to help cleaning up the place.
In particular, Nixon had earlier gotten a Death Glare from the wife of a German soldier when she caught him looting their house. Then Nixon spots her as part of the clean-up crew, and she can't look him in the eye after learning what her husband was really fighting for.
Finally, the Easy Company gathered as much food as they could, only to be told- just as they were about to start distributing the food to the recently-liberated prisoners- that they need to put a brake on the deed, ironically in the interest of those ex-prisoners' own safety.