Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(137) Ollie Joe
|(Pictured: Robert Walker,
Jr. as Ollie Joe)
Written by Frank Moss
Directed by Bernard McEveety
First aired 27-Sep-1966
Episode 3 of Season
The squad picks up two survivors from Charlie company: the company's
number one goldbrick, Charlie Pelton, and the eagerest of beavers, Ollie Joe
Brown, boy army. Ollie is an orphan who has found a home in the Army and
thinks of himself as G.I. to the core. His over-eagerness brings anxious
moments and danger to the squad. His demeanor switches from born killer one
minute to gentle-as-a-lamb the next, until his friend Pelton is killed and
Saunders learns that Ollie killed his lieutenant.
Is he a G.I. perfect soldier? Is he a lost child? Is he dangerous? Yes,
to all of the above. Robert Walker, Jr. as Ollie Joe creates a multi-layered
mosaic of a character in this 3-bayonet thriller. In less-skilled hands,
this character would have been unbelievable and annoying. Walker makes Ollie
Joe a real person, haunted by personal demons. Only slowly does he let the
audience realize that his demons have taken possession of him.
clever script by Frank Moss first shows Ollie as a jolly fool who has risen
past personal tragedy. Step by step, it marches the audience to the
realization that Ollie has not been made stronger by these tragedies, but
destroyed by them.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
· No one is wearing backpacks or carrying extra equipment. When they
break for chow, ration-boxes and eating utensils appear from nowhere.
· Very long and undramatic opening battle sequence.
· Stuntman Earl Parker is the G.I. in foxhole who gets killed in the
Filmed at Hop Kiln Winery.
· A bloodbath at the river (the Russian River) where the squad slaughters
17 Germans without taking a single hit.
ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
According to Jo-anne Strobl, Manager of Hop Kiln Winery, "An episode of
Combat! was filmed at Hop Kiln Winery back in 1967. Most of the filming was
done inside the old brick kilns. Scenes using dud grenades were also
filmed." "Ollie Joe" was filmed prior to the restoration of the brick kilns.
Originally built for drying hops, the structure was restored as a winery and
tasting room. It is located in Healdsburg, California.
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Robert Walker (Jr.)
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Conlan Carter as Doc
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
William Bryant as McCall
Warren Vanders as Lt. Earnshaw
Tom Pace as Otto
Claude Akins as Pelton