Combat! reviews by Jo
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by Ted Post
First aired 31-Mar-1964
Episode 29 of Season 2
A shell-shocked Hanley is captured by
a German, who then is shot by another "German." This soldier claims to be an
American who just escaped from the Germans, leaving behind his badly wounded Colonel. Both
return to the German-held farm to rescue the Colonel. When they are safely away, the
Colonel begins pumping Hanley for troop information and the lieutenant suspects that he
has been had.
"Rescue" is a strong Hanley
episode with some surprising twists. Ted Post, in his last directing assignment for Combat!,
provides tight direction and a fast pace for this clever script by Edward J. Lakso. The
direction and pace are so good, viewers may hardly notice that the story is too thin to
fill an hour. A pity that the concept of "B" plots was not yet in vogue. It
would have been nice to see what Saunders and the squad were doing. They did manage to
misplace their Lieutenant an awful lot.
This episode was originally titled "The Trap," which probably gave away the
plot twist too quickly. "Rescue" features some exceptional hand-to-hand fight
sequences. (I believe the stunt double was Walt Davis.)
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
- Hanley passes out at the top of the episode and then
staggers through act one. But as soon as he learns of a Colonel to rescue, he is fine.
- Opening action footage is
re-used from "A Distant Drum" and "The Pillbox."
- How cliche to name the German
infiltrator "Jerry." But why does the German officer continue to refer to him by
his American cover name even after they've been found out?
- Good make-up job throughout.
Hanley gets cold-cocked with a rifle butt about three-quarters through the show. In
following scenes, the swelling gets progressively larger
- Why did they fake having a
dead German in the house? Aren't there enough real dead bodies around that they could have
used? Seems like a real easy way for their plot to be revealed Hanley should be
able to recognize a dead body by this point in the war.
- Military details: Commanding
Officer of the 361st is Colonel Dale, his exec is Major Barns.
ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
Rick Jason says, "I did almost
all the stunts on my first series ["The Case of the Dangerous Robin"], except
stair stunts." When he got to Combat!, he insisted on a stuntman. He thought
he was getting too old for it, and he thought he was taking a job from someone else.
"I wouldn't even jump over a brook without a stuntman."
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders (does not appear)
Edward Binns as Col. Johnson
Guy Stockwell as Jerry Bacon
Paul Busch as German Lieutenant
Ed Deemer as German Sergeant
Tom Pace as Rear Sentry
Dean Heyde as Front Sentry
Edmund Gilbert as German Private
Stephen Lander as First Soldier
David Brandon as German Soldier