Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer *
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
Guest Star Fernando Lamas
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 14-Dec-65
Episode 14 of Season 4
Facing a German advance, Saunders and squad are ordered to destroy a valley
full of construction equipment, to keep it out of the hands of the Germans. Fernando Lamas
stars as the Frenchman enraged over the destruction of his property. Lamas' sniper shots
at Saunders' men fail to inflict injuries, but attract a German patrol that traps the
squad in the quarry. To escape, Saunders assembles an armored vehicle out of the broken
equipment on the construction site.
Reminiscent of the film Flight of the Phoenix, which premiered the
same year, "Breakout" has Saunders assembling a makeshift tank out of a
bulldozer, with the Germans watching. Pretty silly stuff, made watchable by Saunders'
scenes stating his philosophy of war. Fernando Lamas makes his first guest appearance in
"Breakout." Both he and his wife, Esther Williams, loved Combat!
Rick Jason was delighted to meet Fernando Lamas, since he owes his career to Lamas. His
first year in Hollywood, under contract to Columbia, Rick Jason made no films. His first
film break came because MGM needed someone to replace the hastily departed Fernando Lamas
in the film Sombrero. That film launched Jason's Hollywood career.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
- Opening sequence is a direct lift from " Odyssey, " including Rick Jason's
- Lamas fires an M1 rifle at squad in long shot, but when Saunders sneaks up on him, Lamas
has a Mauser.
- Somebody in civilian clothes, wearing a vest, is in background of one shot. As Saunders
is crouched next to Kirby, who is on the bulldozer, asking him what he need to make
repairs, a man passes behind Saunders in his close-up.
- The Germans let the squad do their repairs unhampered, and they complete their work in
only part of an afternoon.
- The metal plates on the wagon shield the men's bodies, but their legs showing through
the wheels seem impervious to bullets.
ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
Jack Hogan says about Fernando Lamas: "You couldn't keep a straight
conversation for five minutes with that guy, he would turn it into something humorous.
Very funny." Pierre, when he heard that Fernando Lamas would be on the set would say,
"Oh, God, we're gonna laugh for a week."
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Fernando Lamas as Vertrain
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Conlan Carter as Doc
Peter Hellman as Sgt. Hunter
Mark Tobin as Hans
Ross Sturlin as Rankin