Combat! reviews by Jo
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
Written by Edward J. Lakso
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 24-Dec-1963 (Episode 15 of Season 2)
Produced by Gene Levitt
Enjoying a pause in the
American advance, Caje, Kirby, and Nelson try to advance themselves with a trio of French
beauties. They clean themselves up to no avail -- the ladies have planned a special party
with three grim Sergeants. Though outranked, Caje, Kirby and Nelson are not outmaneuvered.
The would-be Lotharios scheme to separate the sergeants from the ladies.
The 1963 Christmas Eve episode, "The Party," is a delightful
romp. As a change-of-pace, the squad are engaged in the war between the sexes. In the end,
the ladies are victorious.
Hogan, Jalbert, and Lowell show their flair for comedy as they plot against the
sergeants who would steal the objects of their desire. Hogan and Hanley play a charming
comedy scene where Kirby unsuccessfully tries to con the lieutenant.
Andrea Darvi, last seen as the sorrowful orphan Micheline in "No Trumpets, No
Drums," now plays it for laughs as a larcenous orphan who uses her smile to get into
Billy's heart (and wallet). The three older orphans also use their smiles to good
advantage, conning the sergeants and Saunders ' men into providing a feast for their
orphanage. Veteran character actors Biff Elliott, Nick Georgiade, and Terry Becker play
the sergeants who dig themselves into a hole. George Davis, a semi-regular on the show
playing French villagers, has a charming mime routine.
A highlight of the "The Party" is the guys' attempts to make themselves
presentable. Their frolics in the river are joyous and rowdy. This is a rare episode in
that the actors are clean for most of it. Much time was usually spent in makeup to get
that proper grimy look. This week, the three soldiers look great in their $200 haircuts
and clean, pressed, undamaged uniforms (where they got either on the frontlines is not
Director John Peyser keeps the pace of this episode fast, never letting viewers pause
to examine the plot or remember that somewhere a war is going on.
ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
"The Party" was Tom Lowell's first on-screen
kiss. "I had forgotten to tell my wife at that time about it. When she saw the
episode on Christmas Eve, she was so mad. She would not speak to me for two days."
Lowell is the only actor who got to kiss one of the female guests in this episode. Pierre
Jalbert had to settle for stealing a kiss from the goose, which is in the background of
one of the shots in the jeep.
Andrea Darvi became a writer as an adult and is author of the book Pretty
Babies: An Insider's Look at the World of the Hollywood Child Star. She talks
about child stars in general in the book and briefly about working on Combat!
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt Saunders (does not appear)
Guest Star Danielle DeMetz as Angelique
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Tom Lowell as Nelson
Biff Elliott as Rafferty
Terry Becker as Claybourne
Nick Georgiade as Londos
Monique Lemaire as Roxanne
Daniele Aubrey as Renee
Charles Kuenstle as Driver
Robert Sorrells as Reeves
George Davis as Old Man
Andrea Darvi as Jeannine