Combat! reviews by Jo
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(027) Battle of the Roses
First aired 02-Apr-1963 (Episode 26 of Season 1)
Saunders finds a beautiful walled garden untouched and in its center, a childlike woman
(Jeanine) lost in a private island of beauty and peace surrounded by the horrors of war.
Saunders fails to convince Jeanine that they must flee before the German bombardment. She
wont leave the confines of the garden, thinking that it has the power to protect
her. Eventually, he and the girls governess force her to leave, but she escapes back
to the magic of her garden walls, that continue to shield her.
Jack Hogan, Rick Jason, and Vic Morrow provide some nice moments in "Battle of the Roses," discovering an island of
serenity in their violent defense of a French village. I enjoy the looks of complete
incredulity and awe as Kirby and Saunders find the garden. Hanley finds his little corner
of peace in a quiet discussion in the night with Saunders. Guests Antoinette Bower is
perfect as the woman whos mind has been shattered by the war she refuses to
ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
This is the first of fifteen episodes directed by Sutton Roley. The camera is very
mobile when Roley is behind it, prefering fluid dolly shots to hand-held camera work. He
brings much motion to the visuals even within very cramped stories, such as "Glow Against The Sky" and "A Rare Vintage." He crowded the frame in moments of
intensity, putting a four-shot into a frame than can only comfortably hold a single
head-and-shoulders shot, or filming a tight closeup on a portion of the face that fills
the entire screen. Peabody recalls that "Sutton Roley was a good lens guy. He had
very inventive ideas about where to put the camera and how to move it and how to block a
scene. As good as anybody in the business."
He eschews the hand-held camera in favor of the fluidity of movement offered by the
dolly. The final images in "Battle of the Roses," where the camera shows us
Saunders through the idyllized vision of Jeanine, are quite lovely. In those shots, Roley
brings viewers just briefly into Jeanines world of beauty, closing off all the
destruction, and focusing only on the man and the rose and the kiss. For that flash, all
the ugliness of the world and of the war are gone.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
Kirby with M1, Caje with turtleneck.
Saunders has no need of his Thompson, he is just as lethal with garden implements.
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Guest star Antoinette Bower (front credit
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre jalbert as Caje
Steven Rogers as Doc
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Tom Lowell as Billy Nelson
Fletcher Fist as Brockmeyer
Bill Harlow as Dorsey
Penny Santon as Celeste Fourant