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Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer - Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 

Sal Mineo as soldier in Combat episode the Hard Way Back(076)
The Hard Way Back

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2 bayonets

Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by Bernard McEveety
First aired 20-Oct-64
Episode 6 of Season 3

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



Season 3 COMBAT! episodes:
[Season 3: Overview]
[Silver Service]
[The Long Walk]
[Mountain Man]
[The Duel]
[Operation Fly Trap]
[The Impostor]
[Losers Cry Deal]
[Point of View]
[Brother, Brother]
[The Hard Way Back]
[The Little Carousel]
[Fly Away Home]
[A Rare Vintage]
[The Enemy]
[A Gift of Hope]
[A Walk with an Eagle]
[Birthday Cake]
[The Cassock]
[The Town that Went Away]
[The Convict]
[The Steeple]
[More than a Soldier]
[The Long Wait]
[The Tree of Moray]
[Cry in the Ruins]
[The Hell Machine]
[Billy the Kid]
[Beneath the Ashes]


During a barrage, Saunders is trapped under a beam and the only man who can rescue him is Private Kogan. The scared Kogan abandons Saunders as the enemy moves into town. Kogan tells the platoon that Saunders is dead, but when they are ordered to recapture the village, Kogan returns to face Saunders and try to save him.

REVIEW bayonetbayonetbayonethalf bayonet:

In "The Hard Way Back," teen idol Sal Mineo plays a terror-stricken young private who is transformed into a reluctant hero. This episode features fine performances by Vic Morrow and Sal Mineo.

Though their scenes are short, the squad's moments are memorable. Hanley and the regulars' reactions upon hearing of Saunders' death are well and subtly played — especially Pierre Jalbert, whose silent, stunned reactions speak volumes. They all are badly shaken by Saunders' death. When Hanley says, "All right. Settle down," to Kogan, he is really saying it to himself and the rest of the squad.

Sal Mineo and Vic Morrow in The Hard Way Back The script by Edward J. Lakso is finely crafted. Sal Mineo's dialogue as he tells the squad of Saunders' death is particularly well formed. As he stumbles through his words, making things up as he goes, Kogan conveys what he means to say as clearly as what he actually says. Desperately wanting to make sense of their loss, the squad inadvertently feeds Kogan the details he needs to make his lies plausible.

Fans refer to this as a "beamer" episode: a plot device where you trap a character under a beam for dramatic effect. Combat! used this device in five episodes.

See Sal Mineo merchandise: tapes, DVDs, posters, audio CDs


Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley

Guest Star
Sal Mineo as Larry Kogan
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Conlan Carter as Doc
Pierre Jalbert as Caje

Erik Holland as 1st German Soldier
Grant Lockwood as 2nd German Soldier
Ed Gilbert as German Captain
Martin Brandt as Old Frenchman
Robert Howard as German Lieutenant
Eric Forst as German Officer

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File last updated June 28, 2012

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