Combat! reviews by Jo
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(059) The Hunter
Episode 24 of Season 2
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by Sutton Roley
In an abandoned French winery,
Saunders and Kirby become the prey of a fanatic German captain in "The Hunter."
He picks off Kirby with his specially made rifle. But Kirby, even wounded and captured,
continues putting up a fight. With the captain's aide dead, Saunders and the captain
engage in a private fight-to-the-death, until a well-timed barrage saves the day.
Guest star Alfred Ryder plays German
Capt. Heisman, a former professional hunter who keeps Saunders in his sights. Much of the
story centers around the two radios, and each side trying to prevent the other from
getting word to their troops. Jack Hogan is superb as a Kirby that will not give up.
Bleeding and in pain, he still manages to destroys the German field radio behind the back
of his captor. He has some nice, in-character moments, such as when entering the winery,
he immediately checks the wine supply.
By the fourth act, the battle has become personal. Saunders is unarmed, having
abandoned his jammed Thompson, but he has successfully warned the Americans by radio.
Morrow and Kirby are excellent in their scenes together and the revelations about Kirby's
home life help round-out the character. By reading Kirby's letter from home, the Captain
Heisman find out that Kirby's family calls him Bill, that he has a brother George and a
mother that lives in Chicago.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
- Kirby with M1 and B.A.R.
- Filmed href="../missionvineyard.htm">at Mission Vineyard a winery still in use today.
- Normandy has no mountains, so the magnificent views of snow-covered Mt. San Antonio rising majestically above the winery
- Paul Busch is the voice on the German's field radio.
- Stuntman Earl Parker doubles both Ryder and Morrow.
- If Saunders had been wearing his
.45 in this episode, this episode would have gone differently.
- This episode has the smallest
cast: four on-camera actors, two radio voices, and one stunt double.
Vic Morrow as Sgt Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley (does not appear)
Alfred Ryder as Heismann
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Ed Tierney as Brunner