Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(115) The Good Samaritan
RATING: 3 bayonets
Written by Shirl Hendryx
First aired 11-Jan-1966
Episode 18 of Season 4
Guest Star Tom Simcox
Tom Simcox plays Marsini, the sole
survivor of an ill-fated patrol. He blames Saunders for the death of his fellows. On
recon, Saunders and Marsini destroy a German observation post. When Saunders is pinned
under a heavy pipe, he orders Marsini to leave him and get the valuable information to
Hanley. But Marsini will not abandon Saunders, refusing to do to Saunders what Saunders
had done to Marsini's men.
A gut-wrenching script by Shirl
Hendryx, "The Good Samaritan" explores the moral issues of sacrificing a single
life to save many lives and the consequences of living with that decision. The
protagonists strive to do what is right, but each acts from a different moral base: for
Saunders, the mission comes first, but in Marsini's view, if he is to remain human, the
man must come before the mission.
Great performances by Simcox and Morrow, and the usual crisp, clean direction from
Bernard McEveety. The episode climaxes with a superb hillside battle sequence, where
McEveety does a credible job of making ten men look like an entire platoon. As a rarity, a
German prisoner speaks no English, but since Marsini also speaks German, communication is
This episode is a startling contrast to the other
"Saunders-trapped-under-a-beam" episode, "The Hard
Though similar, these excellent episodes tell very different stories. "The Hard Way
Back" is the story of the transformation of a scared boy into a soldier. "The
Good Samaritan" is about a veteran soldier's struggle to remain human while following
his duty as a soldier. In one, Saunders has to force Kogan to stay and help him; in the
other, he must convince Marsini to leave him behind.
About Filming the Episode:
Read this 1965
Vic Morrow Interview, written during the filming of the episode.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
· Marsini's stunt double throws himself backward into a
stranglehold in the fight on the hill.
· Filmed at Franklin Canyon.
· "Good Samaritan" is
the fifth Combat! "beamer" episode a story involving a character
pinned under a beam (or, in this case, a pipe).
Vic Morrow as Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Tom Simcox as Marsini
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Conlan Carter as Doc
Henry Brandt as German NCO
Paul Busch as German Radio Man