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Combat! Season 1
Combat! Season 2
Combat! Season 3
Combat! Season 4
Combat! Season 5



Season 4
COMBAT! episodes:

[A Day in June]
[Any Second Now]
[Just for the Record]
[The Squad]
[Lost Sheep, Lost Shepherd]
[Forgotten Front]
[Missing In Action]
[Rear Echelon Commandos]
[The Chateau]
[The Prisoner]
[Escape to Nowhere]
[The Celebrity]
[Far from the Brave]
[The Quiet Warrior]
[Cat and Mouse]
[I Swear by Apollo]
[The Walking Wounded]
[The Medal]
[The Volunteer]
[No Time for Pity]
[Next in Command]
[Night Patrol]
[Off Limits]
[No Hallelujahs for Glory]
[Battle of the Roses]
[Hill 256]
[The Sniper]
[One More for the Road]
[High Named Today]
[No Trumpets, No Drums]


Military Magazines

Military Posters

Patriotic Jigsaw Puzzles

WWII Video Games

WWII toys

American Flag Jewelry


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reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
  * Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets

Keenan Wynn and Shecky Greene The Prisoner

* * *
3 bayonets

Teleplay by Robert Kaufman and James S. Henerson
Story by Robert Kaufman
Directed by Robert Altman
Produced by Robert Blees
First aired 25-Dec-1962
(Episode 12 of Season 1)

Guest Star Keenan Wynn


Braddock, the squad goldbrick, finagles a soft job as temporary driver for a Colonel. But Braddock gets more than he bargained for when during their tour of the frontline positions, the jeep is overturned and Braddock is captured by the Germans. Finding him in the Colonel’s coat and with a Colonel’s helmet, they disregard his claim that he’s a mere private. And when Braddock starts enjoying the luxuries a captured Colonel can enjoy, he starts throwing his weight around.


"The Prisoner" highlights the talents of Shecky Greene. Here, director Robert Altman succeeds in letting Greene shine. He's delightful throughout, especially in his moments with Keenan Wynn, starring as the blustery Colonel Froggy Clyde.

This is one of Robert Blees’ favorite episodes.

As to be expected from such an experienced standup comedian, Greene’s comic timing is flawless. But to anyone who would question if this king of the Vegas script could act, this episode proved that not only could the comic act, he could act very well. He is so easy and natural in this episode that he makes it look effortless. The simplicity hides a complex craft. He carries the show easily on his shoulders, moving from light humor, warmth, slapstick, and to blustering audacity with remarkable skill.

I enjoy the episode as a departure from Combat! This episode originally aired on Christmas night. The censors, always leery of the violence on Combat!, were especially hesitant to allow any gore to be broadcast on a religious holiday.

"The Prisoner" is such a different episode for this television series. The tight, self-contained story could stand on its own and shine as a single segment in an anthology series. But, as part of the Combat! world, it is an oddity. I am rather glad that scheduling conflicts prevented Greene from continuing his Braddock charactor into future seasons. Greene did a lovely job creating a believable conniver and scrounger. That would have worked quite well on most other war shows of the period, such as "McHale’s Navy" and "Hogan’s Heroes." Such series eschewed realism in favor for entertainment that showed how fun WWII was. Combat! was one of the few to show the opposite.


  • Why does Braddock showers without his dog tags? No one else does.

  • Captain Harper is in charge of K Company, not Captain Jampel.

  • Altman enjoyed working on this episode with his friend Shecky Greene. Shecky kept both him and the crew laughing. Several of his ad libs wound up in the final cut, including his line about capturing the German cook.


    Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
    Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders

    Shecky Green as Braddock
    Pierre Jalbert as Caje

    Sasha Hardin as Capt. Gemmerman
    Adam Williams as Lt. Col. Nash
    Richard Bakalynn as Sgt. Wolfson
    John Alonzo as Bialos
    Dick Peabody as Littlejohn

    Special Guest Star
    Keenan Wynn as Colonel Clyde

    Tom Skerritt (uncreditted)
    Walter Koenig (uncreditted)

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Related Reading:
Thrice Caught: An American Army POW's 900 Days Under Axis Guns
by Odell Myers
For POWs of any war, talking about what happened to them is difficult. But even more painful is talking about what happened inside them. The physical, mental, and emotional effects never quite heal. This gripping memoir tells the story of 2nd Lt. Odell Myers, a pilot in the 438th Squadron, 319th Medium Bombardment Group, 12th USAAF, who was captured by the Germans on three different occasions and imprisoned for almost three years.
Paperback, 174 pages.
Check price at Buy book at Buy book at Amazon.Ca in,