Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(088) More Than a Soldier
Written by Shirl Hendryx
Directed by Bernard McEveety
First aired 26-Jan-1965
Episode 19 of Season 3
Saunders and a young soldier, Private Carey, are in a fight for their lives the
Germans. But Carey has never killed anything or anybody, and will not defend himself.
Saunders and he become trapped in a mine with a wounded German who pinned beneath the
rubble. When the Americans escape and Saunders is wounded, Carey considers abandoning the
German to a ghastly death in the darkness.
This story deals with the integral Combat! theme: the
search for how to remain true to your own moral integrity while still being a soldier. In
"More than A Soldier," Tommy Sands first learns the high price to be paid for
failing as a soldier, and then questions the difference between being a murderer and being
a soldier. This episode employs the oft-used device of trapping a soldier under a beam (a
plot used five times in Combat!)
Director Bernard McEveety provides great action scenes: beautifully choreographed and
emotionally riveting. His camera lingers tenderly on the weapons of war and on the men
handling them. But he also brings a light touch to the intimate scenes in the cave as
Saunders and Carey deal with life, death, and morality.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
· As Saunders is digging, he scrapes his knuckles and seems
to whisper "damn." His knuckles in later scenes are scraped.
· This episode has the shortest
credit list in the series, though the cast is fairly large (the opening battle sequence
uses many extras and stuntmen).
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley [does not appear]
Guest Star Tommy Sands as Carey
Ron Soble as German Sergeant