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Combat! Season 1
Combat! Season 2
Combat! Season 3
Combat! Season 4
Combat! Season 5


Season 4
COMBAT! episodes:

[A Day in June]
[Any Second Now]
[Just for the Record]
[The Squad]
[Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd]
[Forgotten Front]
[Missing In Action]
[Rear Echelon Commandos]
[The Chateau]
[The Prisoner]
[Escape to Nowhere]
[The Celebrity]
[Far from the Brave]
[The Quiet Warrior]
[Cat and Mouse]
[I Swear by Apollo]
[The Walking Wounded]
[The Medal]
[The Volunteer]
[No Time for Pity]
[Next in Command]
[Night Patrol]
[Off Limits]
[No Hallelujahs for Glory]
[Battle of the Roses]
[Hill 256]
[The Sniper]
[One More for the Road]
[High Named Today]
[No Trumpets, No Drums]

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reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer * Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 

anysecondnow.jpg (14214 bytes)(002) Any Second Now

Rating: 3.5 bayonets

Written by Gene Levitt
Directed by Robert Altman
Produced by Robert Blees

Aired Oct-23-1962
Season 1, Episode 4


In "Any Second Now," Hanley's life is in the hands of a bomb- disposal officer who has lost his nerve. But the British officer is forced to confront his fears and "fall from grace" in the guise of a German time-bomb ticking away in the rubble of a church. Also in the church — a wounded Hanley, trapped beneath a fallen beam.

Robert Altman directed this strong script by Gene Levitt. In "Any Second Now" Altman deals with his favorite subject and setting — church and Catholicism. He revels in the stark, moody visuals of a Gothic church in ruins. By flickering candlelight he explores the themes of fall from grace and eventual redemption. Though his direction is firm and stirring, his symbolism gets rather heavy-handed; especially his choice to end the show not with a reconciliation between Hanley and his rescuer, or with a reunion between Saunders and Hanley, but concludes with the final image of the priest returning the host to the altar. Though fascinating in its style, clever interplay of characters, and its brooding look into the soul of a broken man, "Any Second Now" reveals the same problems that run rampant throughout Altman's other Combat! outings — uneven technical work. The continuity is faulty and the lighting inconsistent and ill-thought throughout. I tire of seeing flashlights used in well-lit scenes and wonder at the mysterious flashlight on Hanley's chest that appears and disappears at random.

Rick Jason is in top form under Altman's direction. Though he spends the bulk of the episode flat on his back, he manages to command the respect of the bomb-disposal officer, command his scenes, and command the attention of the camera in a remarkable performance. His reactions and banter-under-stress as he fights against the pain and fear are a pleasure to watch. I particularly like the cocky smirk as he smashes the morphine ampule and the impatient look when he's told that he's trapped underneath a time bomb. At the top of "Any Second Now," Jason reprises that charming lady-killer we saw in "A Day In June", an aspect of the Hanley character we see so rarely in Combat! He puts his 200-watt smile, innocent green eyes, and a bagful of practiced pick-up lines to good use charming a British nurse (Ellen Willard). But she's in the story only to salve the wounds and the heart of David, the bomb-disposal officer (Alex Davion). Donald May, who soap fans may remember from the "Edge of Night" appears as a Major.

Notes, Oddities, and Bloopers

  • I had to giggle when the American soldier in the bar complains to the tart when she replays the record. "You gonna play the same thing over and over again?" Get used to it, soldier, we're going to hear that stupid song for five seasons (it's the same record played by the girls in both "Battle of the Roses" and "Weep No More").
  • Littlejohn appears, but not as a member of the squad. He's a stranger to Saunders and Hanley.
  • It's nice to see a Major who personally crawls around bombed buildings checking for damage.
  • Morrow has military haircut. It's the shortest we see it in the series.
  • Odd how the church gets pretty much trashed with everything blown over, but many of the candles stayed lit.
  • This was the first episode filmed. Production started June 2, 1962.

Cast Credits

Rick Jason
as Lt. Hanley

Vic Morrow
as Sgt. Saunders

Guest Stars
Alex Davion as David Woodman
Ellen Willard as Anne Farell

And Special Guest Star
Donald May as Major Thompson

Shecky Green as Braddock
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Steven Rogers as Doc

Emile Genest ..... Emile
Jacques Roux ..... French Priest
Felix Reinsch ..... Briefing Officer
Dick Peabody ..... Littlejohn
James de Winter ..... Corporal
Ned Wynn ..... M.P.

Dialog Excerpts

Anne: David, why are you so peevish about the Americans

David: They talk big, for one thing.

Anne: And they die big.

Hanley: A rough one, huh?

David: I said keep quiet.

Hanley: I would if I thought it would help.

David: I don't need any help.

Hanley: I was talking about me. I'm scared stiff. You know, sometimes it helps to keep gabbing.

David: Sometimes. You know anything about German bombs? How they work?

Hanley: No. But this seems like a good time to learn.

David: You think I'm a coward, don't you?

Hanley: No. I think you think people will call you a coward if you walk out of here.

David: You're right.

Hanley: Why? I don't call an infantryman a coward because stops charging when his gun is shot out of his hands.

David: It's different.

Hanley: No. He needs a gun for his kind of war, you need steady nerves for yours.

David: What are you trying to do, talk me into walking out of here?

Hanley: Makes sense, doesn't it? I mean, you've got to make up your mind either to go that way out the door, or that way. You'll admit it beats just standing around. You've got to make up your mind. One way or the other.

Hanley's advice (100 k)

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