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Season 3 COMBAT! episodes:
[Season 3: Overview]
[Silver Service]
[The Long Walk]
[Mountain Man]
[The Duel]
[Vendetta]
[Operation Fly Trap]
[The Impostor]
[Losers Cry Deal]
[Point of View]
[Dateline]
[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]
[Heritage]
[The Hell Machine]
[Billy the Kid]
[Beneath the Ashes]
[Odyssey]
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Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer * Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets 

(092) Heritage

RATING:
bayonetbayonet
2 bayonets

Written by Barry Trivers
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 04-13-65
Episode 30 of Season 3

Guest star Charles Bronson 


SYNOPSIS:

video_heritage.jpg (11819 bytes)An artistic stone mason, Corporal Velasquez, is assigned to Hanley's outfit with orders to destroy a German observation post. Velasquez was a sculptor of monuments as a civilian who longed for the skills to be a great sculptor. When he discovers world-class art treasures sequestered in the vault that he must destroy, he cannot bring himself to deprive the world of such beauty — even at the cost of American lives.

REVIEW:

Charles Bronson guest stars as a specialist who must choose between saving American lives and preserving a priceless heritage for future generations. It's a great opportunity for some real conflict and moral dilemmas: the present vs. the future; the temporal vs. the eternal; the physical vs. the ephemeral. Since the episode wastes the first three acts getting to the central conflict, little of this is examined. But Bronson delivers the goods as an earthy, everyman-type who longs to be something more.

Action fans will be disappointed by this episode. It is almost completely devoid of fighting, with even the standard action opening foregone. The episode opens after a battle, with the squad injured and exhausted.

In Combat!, Saunders seems to get the obnoxious specialists and Hanley the ethereal ones. Velasquez's biggest problem in the field is keeping his mind on soldiering and away from rock formations, sculpture, and classical art. Jason is fine as Hanley, in what little he has to do in this episode. Hogan, as Kirby, is just along for the ride. But this great actor makes the ride a fun trip, even though the script hampers him with the stupid questions that progress the plot. This episode is all Bronson's, and he is fun to watch making the big sacrifice: giving up more than his life in the name of the greater good.

NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:

  • Charles Bronson's publicity information used to state that he flew as a bomber gunner in WWII. Actually, he drove a delivery truck in Kingman, Arizona, for the 760th Mess Squadron.

  • For once, the commanding officer, Jampel, journeys to the front to check on his troops.

  • Beautiful lighting on the sound stage, simulating a glow in the fog.

  • Sculptor Jacob Epstein, that Bronson's character refers to, was a controversial American-born sculptor who worked directly in hard stone.

ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:

Rick Jason says, "Jack Hogan, I think, is the finest actor of all the bunch of us. Absolutely superb. Better than Vic, better than me, better than anybody who ever visited the show. Very underrated."

And about working with Charles Bronson, Rick said:
There was the time Charles Bronson guested on the show. I used to smoke cigars on the set, but since I never got a chance to finish one, I settled for cheapies that I didn’t mind stamping out if they were a third or halfway smoked when I was called into a shot — Grenadiers at three for a dollar. Matter of fact, they’re what George Burns smoked because he said they’re a cheap cigar, but unlike expensive ones, they stay lit.

Anyway, Charlie and I were sitting off to the side on Stage Twenty-four, which was our 'outdoor set,' used for special constructions, snow scenes, etc. I was smoking a Grenadier, and there was some leak light behind me. Charlie isn’t what one might term a great conversationalist, so we just sat. And waited.

Presently he said, "That is not a good cigar."

“Oh, I don’t know," I said, taking it out of my mouth and looking it over.

“It is not a good cigar," he insisted.

“I like ’em."

“Well, it’s not a good cigar!"

“Uh . . . what’s wrong with it, Charlie?"

“The smoke."

“The smoke? What’s wrong with the smoke?”

“It’s brown. If it was a good cigar, the smoke would be blue.”

I looked carefully at my stogie. “Uh huh,” I said. “Well, thanks.” I got up and stepped into my dressing room, where I smoked the Grenadier until we were called into the set.

CAST:

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

Guest Star
Charles Bronson as Velasquez

Jack Hogan as Kirby
Conlan Carter as Doc
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn

Robert Fortier as Captain Jampel
Kort Falkenberg as German Sergeant
Michael Stroka as Scope Man
Gunther Weishoff as 1st German Soldier
Alf George as 2nd German Soldier

 

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More about Lost Art from WWII

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War
by Lynn H. Nicholas
Every few months you'll read a newspaper story of the discovery of some long-lost art treasure hidden away in a German basement or a Russian attic: a Cranach, a Holbein, even, not long ago, a daVinci. Such treasures ended up far from the museums and churches in which they once hung, taken as war loot by Allied and Axis soldiers alike. Thousands of important pieces have never been recovered. Lynn Nicholas offers an astonishingly good account of the wholesale ravaging of European art during World War II, of how teams of international experts have worked to recover lost masterpieces in the war's aftermath and of how governments "are still negotiating the restitution of objects held by their respective nations."
Check price at Buy book at Amazon.comAmazon.com Buy book at Amazon.Ca in CanadaAmazon.ca,

The Train This movie is set in Paris during those anxious days of mid-1944. The Wehrmacht are quickly withdrawing from the city but a German general played by that fine actor Paul Scofield is ordered to confiscate much of France's art treasures and have it shipped by rail back to Germany. However, word is quickly spread among the French Resistance to prevent this from happening. They try to get the Chief French rail inspector played by Burt Lancaster to help. He reluctantly turns them down but after a co-worker is shot he agrees to help. Soon a cat-and-mouse game ensues as they try to outwit each other.
...read more fan comments about this film
Available in both VHS and DVD from Amazon.com  

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File last updated June 28, 2012

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