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Combat! Season 2
Combat! Season 3
Combat! Season 4
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Season 4
COMBAT! episodes:

[Season 2 (1963 - 1964)]
[Ambush]
[Bridge at Chalons]
[Doughboy]
[The Long Way Home]
[A Distant Drum]
[Bridgehead]
[Masquerade]
[Infant of Prague]
[The Wounded Don't Cry]
[The Little Jewel]
[Glow Against the Sky]
[The Party]
[Anatomy of a Patrol]
[What Are the Bugles...]
[Barrage]
[Thunder from the Hill]
[The Pillbox]
[Gideon's Army]
[General and the Sergeant]
[The Hostages]
[A Silent Cry]
[Eyes of the Hunter]
[Counter-Punch]
[Mail Call]
[The Hunter]
[Weep No More]
[The Short Day of Pvt Putnam]
[Rescue]
[Command]
[The Glory Among Men]

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Combat!
reviews by Jo DavidsmeyerEpisodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets

The Little Jewel
(043)

little_jewel.jpg (31223 bytes)
Rating:
* * *
3 bayonets

Written by Shirl Hendryx
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 12-Nov-1963 (Episode 9 of Season 2)
Produced by Gene Levitt


SYNOPSIS:

When the squad feeds a starving orphan, they acquire a permanent shadow. But is the adorable waif tagging along only out of gratitude and for a quick hand-out? Suspicions run high when the kid's information leads the squad into an ambush and gets Caje captured. Redeeming himself, Bijou gets the Germans hidden in a bunker to reveal their location, and leads the squad in a raid to destroy an oil refinery and rescue Caje.


REVIEW:

* * * Bijou (English translation: "The Little Jewel"), as played by Michel Petit, is charming, precocious, and calculating. He will look you in the eye and smile while stealing your wallet. He plays equally well on the sympathies of Americans and Germans. All who view this appealing child are enchanted, except for Kirby. Not only is he immune to Bijou's charms, but when he has had enough, he picks up the kid, holds him upside down, and shakes him.

Saunders displays his soft spot for children. When Kirby tries to convince him that the kid has sold them out to the Germans, Saunders dismisses Kirby's concerns. He trusts the kid. Usually cautious in giving his affections and trust to adults, Saunders is defenseless against children. Morrow is chilling in the moment when he believes that Bijou betrayed him and the squad. The hurt and rage are barely suppressed, as he nearly strikes the boy.

This first Combat! script by Shirl Hendryx is well-crafted, without any extraneous filler, except for the teaser. "The Little Jewel" has one of the longest teasers, lasting over six-and-a-half minutes, that mostly consists of the squad walking uneventfully through a rain-soaked village. It is an excruciatingly slow opening for an otherwise well-paced episode. Fine performances by Jalbert, Hogan, and Lowell. I can even forgive the forced happy ending as Kirby gets squishy and sentimental, walking into the sunset hand-in-hand with Bijou.


NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS

  • Lowell carries Saunders' .45 through most of the episode, after losing the B.A.R. in the river.
     
  • The squad wears insta-dry uniforms that aren't even damp after the squad takes refuge in the river.

ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE

"Peyser was one of our more practical-joke-inclined directors," remembers Tom Lowell. "Once, we were out on one of the berms. There was a shot of Vic coming over the hill, and he was supposed to go by camera, and then two Germans are supposed to come over the hill soon after."The Travels of Jamie McPheeters" was shooting on the next hill behind us, which was a western, and Royal Dano was the guest star. Peyser asked Royal to do something, so in the shot, you see Vic coming up over the hill and he goes by camera. And then two seconds later, instead of the Germans, it's this Indian who pops up."

CAST

Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders

Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley

Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Tom Lowell as Billy Nelson
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Conlan Carter as Doc

Michel Petit as Bijou
Mindas Masuilis as German Machine Gunner #1
Dieter Jacoby as German Machine Gunner #2
Heinz Sadler as German Machine Gunner #3
Ed Tierney as Scarface Sgt.
Paul Busch as German Sergeant

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File last updated June 28, 2012

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