Vinnick, a tough G.I. with no regard for danger, clashes with Burke, a soldier
who covers his own cowardice with big talk. Vinnick risks his life to save
Kirby, earning him a Bronze Star recommendation from Hanley and hatred from Burke.
Burke's anger erupts into blows and gunfire. Hanley arrests Vinnick when he
receives word that Vinnick is wanted for murder. He escapes and the squad is
ordered to bring him back, dead or alive.
Sal Mineo plays street kid Private Vinnick opposite Tom Skerritt as Burke. The
two put in crisp performances. The script by Richard Wendley explores the
nature of killing: the difference between taking life on the battlefield and taking
life on the street. For one, Vinnick was to receive a medal, for the other,
the electric chair.
Jack Hogan is excellent playing a Kirby who sees himself in this troubled
tough guy — and is frightened by what he sees. If life had dealt him a different
hand, Kirby might have wound up like Vinnick. Hogan and Mineo's scenes work far
better than Skerritt's, due more to a script that gives the Burke character
little depth. Dick Peabody has a striking scene as a Littlejohn troubled to be
hunting down someone wearing the same uniform as he.
ABOUT FILMING COMBAT!:
Jack Hogan remembers working with director Georg Fenady and the pranks they
would play on set. "They used to bring the tour busses by on the back lot and
people would get off the bus. Georg was so funny, but he'd treat us like absolute
dogs. And he'd come storming over to the trailer yelling 'Come on you guys,
come out of there! I told you!' And we'd come out throwing helmets, throwing belts
down, saying we'll never work on this damn show again, and stalk off and the
tour people would just look around in amazement."
Notes, Oddities, and Bloopers
Mineo and Skerritt fight in a dark room that is suddenly bright after
commercial break. A lit candle appears in the background later in the scene.
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders [does not appear]
Sal Mineo as Vinnick
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Tom Skerritt as Burke
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the US by Paramount Pictures. It is not our intention to infringe on the
copyrights of the creators of Combat! This web page is meant for
the free enjoyment of Combat! fans everywhere. Unless otherwise noted, materials Copyright Jo
Davidsmeyer. All rights reserved. Photographs from the TV series