Character of the Month: 2nd Lt Jack Foley - Jamie Bamber News
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Character of the Month: 2nd Lt Jack Foley


Title: Band of Brothers
Film Date: Premiered September 9, 2001
Availability: Blu-ray and DVD

Synopsis: Band of Brothers follows the story of E ("Easy") Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division from their initial training in 1942 to the end of World War II. Among their many accomplishments: Easy Company parachuted behind enemy lines in the early hours of D-Day, participated in the liberation of Carentan and Operation Market Garden, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, held the vital crossroads at Bastogne, liberated a concentration camp within Germany, and were the first to enter Hitler's retreat in Berchtesgarten. All of this frequently done under horrendous conditions. In addition to the enemy, they had to battle questionable leadership, bitter cold, insufficient shelter and limited food and ammunition.

Worth Watching? Definitely. Originally, I had only planned to watch the episodes Jamie appeared in, but soon found myself sucked by the triumphs and tragedies of the men of Easy Company - and many amazing performances. I soon was tracking down the episodes I missed and have watched the series numerous times since my initial viewing.

Speaking of the amazing performances, Band of Brothers is a Who's Who of future television and film stars. Damien Lewis, Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Cudlitz, Scott Grimes, Neal McDonough, David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg, Colin Hanks, Tom Hardy - and future mutants Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy - are just some of the names you'll recognize. Of course, much like Jamie's part, you may miss some of them if you look away from the screen for a moment. ;)

Does he live or die? Given the number of casualties during WWII, as well as in the mini series, I didn't have high hopes for 2nd Lieutenant Jack Foley's survival. But! It turns out that, not only did he survive the war, Foley passed away in 2009 at the age of 87.

Band of Brothers, at nearly twelve hours in length, would be impossible to recap. Good thing Jamie only appears in about two minutes over the course of two episodes. I don't care what Jamie's imdb credits say, I have not been able to spot him in 'Why We Fight', only 'The Breaking Point' (his more significant screen time) and 'The Last Patrol'.



If you've watched the series, you know it's not just the subject matter that is often bleak. In depicting the harsh realities of fighting during a German winter, the filmmakers chose to use a monochromatic color palette, bordering on black and white. This coupled with the actors appearances – exhausted, unshaven and covered in dirt – it's frequently hard to tell one actor from another. The first time I watched 'The Breaking Point', I was half way through Jamie's scenes before I realized it was him. True story!

A brief recap: in the climactic battle in The Breaking Point, the Germans have been pushed back to the town of Foy. When Easy Company is finally given orders to attack, they are led by Lt. Dike, a man clearly in over his head, who makes numerous bad tactical errors that lead to unnecessary casualties. Captain Winters (Damien Lewis, often the series POV character), observing the disastrous fight from the nearby woods, wants to rush into battle to lead his old company, but is ordered to stay. Thinking fast, Winters orders (the fearless or insane – hard to tell!) Lt. Speirs to take over command of the company. Spiers not only saves lives, but salvages the assault on the town.


Our introduction to 2nd Lt. Jack Foley, running for cover.



And this is his cover. I mentioned Foley lived to be 87, right?



This is Lt. Norman Dike. Making life easier for the enemy.


Honestly, I feel it's hard to judge someone, like Dike, when you've never had to experience the terrifying situations these men have been in and have the lives of others in your hands. On the other hand, Wikipedia tells me his actions in battle were pretty accurately represented in the series and he was NOT popular with those who served with him, so.....

As Foley takes refuge (HA!), Dike complains he can't see him. My reaction is, "Isn't that a good thing?" I mean, if Dike can't see him, hopefully neither can the Germans.


This is not really the time you want to be taking a phone call.


Having lost site of most of the men under his command, Dike feels the need to have a face to face chat with Foley. No problem! Well, accept for Foley having to abandon his crappy cover to run across an open field as bullets fly by.


Face to face with Dike, Foley quickly realizes just how very, very screwed he and his men are about to be.


When Foley...and everyone else wanting to live...asks what the plan is, Dike, now in full on panic mode, responds with, "I don't know! don't know!" It's at moments such as these I remind myself we won the war. Meanwhile, Captain Winters is furiously trying to get Dike on the radio in an attempt to get him to do something besides leaving the men in the open to be picked off.



Finally, Dike orders Foley to take his men on a flanking mission around the village and attack from the rear. This was not part of the original plan. The one in which there was a chance to live. Which leads to the what will become known as......


The many "Are you fraking kidding me?" faces of Jamie Bamber.


However, what Foley actually says is, "You want the 1st platoon to go around and attack the village by itself?!" Dike promises suppressing fire to cover them. Foley points out, "We're going to be kind of alone out there, Lieutenant."


Foley runs back to share the bad news with his men.


Fortunately, before they embark on Dike's mission to get them all killed, Winters sends in Spiers to take over from a now frozen and unable to do anything Dike.


Action Jamie! I mean, Foley! Taking aim at the sharpshooters.



Before charging in to save the day! Well, help a lot, I am sure.


When next we see Lt. Foley it's, very briefly, in the The Last Patrol. Easy Company has been moved across the Rhine to France, where things are slightly better for the men. Private David Webster, injured during an operation months before, has returned to the company, but soon realizes his long absence from the fighting has caused him to be looked at as an outsider.


Webster tries to reintroduce himself by joking with his old comrades. It's really not the time for it.


Finally, looking close to shell shocked by his recent experiences and really not giving a rat's ass about a guy whose been safely tucked away in a hospital for months, Foley tells Webster to report to 2nd Platoon, which lost more men then they did. :(


The look on his face? Sums up well how they are all feeling



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Comments
(Deleted comment)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 29th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
The many "Are you fraking kidding me?" faces of Jamie Bamber' part is definitely my favorite part

He does this exceedingly well. I would pretty much give anything for him to get a role that required him to make one of those faces weekly. (I actually have a concept in my noggin that would allow for that. Finding the time to write a show pitch as a nobody is... tricky, though. XD)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 30th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm glad you liked it! I don't recall anyone ever being so eager for a CotM post. :)

Yeah, I think it was clear there was more to Foley's story, but I understand they only had so much time, A LOT of men in the company, and it made sense from a dramatic standpoint to focus heavily on just a few. I imagine if BoB was filmed today, after HBO's many series successes, there may have been more episodes and more stories told.
(Deleted comment)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 5th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Thanks for the feedback on the CotM posts. It was an idea I had for awhile and then decided to pursue after getting zegeekgirl's two cents on the matter (also, she volunteered to alternate months with me :). I know people read them when they are posted, but I wondered if new fans were actually going back and reading them. Now, I have an answer! :)

As far as the significant roles in his career, Archie Kennedy still needs to be covered. I laid claim to that one, it's just a matter of finding the time to give it the attention it deserves. He also starred in Ultimate Force, but I may need a large quantity of alcohol to get through tthe series again. It's so, so bad.
koolaidmom11 From: koolaidmom11 Date: June 29th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Seriously? THis is one of the BEST SERIES EVER! Watched it a million times. Own it too! Didn't even know who Jamie was...
baciami2 From: baciami2 Date: June 29th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Good news. This is NOT our introduction to Lt. Jack Foley, believe it or not. It's either this ep or the one before, but we meet him in a circle in the forest. There's a group of LT's standing around in a circle trying to keep warm and bemoaning their fate with their forever absent commander, infamous DIKE. Dike eventually shows up to say he's leaving for HQ for a brief bit. It's weak lighting, they're dirty, and they're dressed identically. I think Jamie has one line, but you can see him on camera. Voila, meet 2nd Lt. Jack Foley. If I had this on dvd, I'd get it out for the exact ep and timing, but I distinctly remember.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 29th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Ok, I've seen watched this series like four times and I swear I have not seen him. But I believe you! I'll have to get the DVDs out later and find him. I'll definitely update with a screencap - if I can get a decent one - with credit to you, of course. ;)

Edited at 2011-06-29 08:06 pm (UTC)
baciami2 From: baciami2 Date: June 29th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
No need to credit me, as someone else focused me on Jamie in the mist. The more Bamber, the better I say!
anamarya From: anamarya Date: June 29th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Definitely. Originally, I had only planned to watch the episodes Jamie appeared in, but soon found myself sucked by the triumphs and tragedies of the men of Easy Company - and many amazing performances. I soon was tracking down the episodes I missed and have watched the series numerous times since my initial viewing.

me too. except that for would have been a rewatch because was the whole thing a couple (ok, more than a couple) of years back. but the story just glued me to the screen.

thanks for the great description of the scenes. idk why i was under the impression that they were like more of them, well at least one more - i should probably look that up. and the captions for the snapshots are just great.

to end here - if there are people who didn't see it yet please go - rent, borrow, buy, whatever - and watch it. is great. sad, and dark and that but great.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 29th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Now that people mention it, I am having a vague recollection of Jamie standing around in a scene. I haven't watched the whole series in awhile, and the last time I caught any of it was as I flipped the channel just as Foley was charging onto the field. :)
anamarya From: anamarya Date: June 29th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
well, the scene that i "seem" to remember involved just some standing there nothing major. when i manage to fish my dvd's from wherever they are i'll try to find it and give details.
helen_c From: helen_c Date: July 2nd, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Well, I'm just rewatching the series now, and the scene where he's standing (and has maybe one line) is set shortly before the assault. They discuss their strategy, with Dike sitting a few feet from them, apparently uninterested.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 5th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Thanks! :) My weekend has been busier than expected and I haven't had a chance to drag the DVDs out. I'll definitely try to make a cap and add it though.
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: June 30th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Thanks so much for this! It saved my day!

I have the same "circle" scene memory.

The Spiers rescue is my favorite part of the mini series. They way they show the contradictions in character between Dike and Spiers, both in the same circumstances, two very different men with two incredibly different responses. It moved me.

I looked up Jack Foley as soon as I realized it was Jamie playing the part too. I remembered him as the one who accepts to follow orders on a suicide mission and that broke my heart the first time I watched it . . . until Spiers came in.

I'm considering taking the DVDs on the plane with my on my flight to England on Friday. I'll have 16 captive hours after all.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 30th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Spiers was one of my favorite individuals in the series. Winters was more the classic hero, but Spiers, while certainly heroic and definitely a guy you want watching your back, was shown to have flaws.

One of the most wrentching scenes for me was when Spiers was sent to execute the German POWs, one of which was an American forced to return to Germany by his parents.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 30th, 2011 02:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
From Wikipedia, just in case anyone's curious ;)

>>>Foley returned to the University of Pittsburgh to complete his degree and began his career at ALCOA.[3] His mother died in 1949, aged 55.[8] Bill Guarnere was able to find Foley through a letter.[8] After that, Foley attended the Easy Company reunions.[8] He went back to Europe three or four times.[8] Following that, he was employed in advertising newsletters for the Aluminum Cooking Utensil Co. in New Kensington, the Cutco Co. in Olean, N.Y., the Alcoa Wrap Co. in New Kensington and Alcoa in Pittsburgh before retiring in 1982.[4] He and his wife Mary-Lou had five children; Karen, Barbara, John, David, and Nancy.[3] And along with grandchildren; Julia, Elaine and Rita Foley, Mara and Anthony Ferreira, and Kate and Jonathan Neuse.[3] His two brothers predeceased him- Randall James of Texas, and Richard of California.[3]<<
Jane Lindholm From: Jane Lindholm Date: July 14th, 2011 05:40 am (UTC) (Link Me)

Capt Jack Foley

Would you believe JEF and I wrote to each other? It started when I saw his email on a Jamie fansite of all places. Here is his page at Eugene Roe's family website,
http://www.tircuit.com/bandofbrothers/messages/135/849.html?1310590070

He actually sent me that pic of him with Ann Roosevelt and Mary Louise
asta77 From: asta77 Date: July 14th, 2011 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link Me)

Re: Capt Jack Foley

That's so cool! It's stories such as your that, when I see people dismiss fandom or talk of 'wasting time' online, make me very, very annoyed. And it's nice that Jamie's two minutes of screen time helped you connect. :)
Jane Lindholm From: Jane Lindholm Date: July 14th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link Me)

Re: Capt Jack Foley

No, I don't think its a waste of time.
I started a yahoogroup for Band of Brothers. Then we met in Las Vegas. My first time on a plane, lol Good times. Jane
Jane Lindholm From: Jane Lindholm Date: July 14th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link Me)

Re: Capt Jack Foley

Here are screencaps i did of Band of Brothers, including Matthew Settle as Capt Speirs. Pics of all episodes. They are out order and mixed in with other pics.
Look for Jamie from 'Shifting Sands', so cute.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/92523994@N00/1763502430/in/photostream/

I don't understand how to make the link an actual URL. It does it in preview, but not on post reply. Someone help me out? Jane
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