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


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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 Wounded Don't Cry
(042)

Rating:
* *
2 bayonets

Written by
James Landis

Directed by
James Komack

Produced by
Gene Levitt

first aired Oct-22-1963: Episode 6 of Season 2


SYNOPSIS:
A German field hospital, filled with wounded men and cut off by the American advance, becomes the squad's observation post. An embittered Saunders turns even colder when an S.S. patient critically wounds one of his squad. Bauer, a German orderly in the field hospital, pleads with Saunders to allow him to take a truck to recover the plasma desperately needed by both the wounded American and the German casualties.

REVIEW:
The war has taken its toll on Sgt. Saunders. In "The Wounded Don't Cry," Saunders has become an embittered soldier, untrusting and unwilling to treat the enemy as a human being. This is a marked contrast to the Saunders of just two episodes ago in "Masquerade," where he argues for compassion for a wounded German. No longer one of Kanger's "American suckers," Saunders' compassion has been replaced by mistrust and hate.

This emotional state, though, does not survive past the closing credits. When Saunders must travel with a German prisoner on a mission of mercy, it becomes a journey to recover not just plasma, but Saunders' humanity. The instrument of change is Bauer -- an introspective ex-school teacher who is charming, harmless, hates the SS, and is nice to birds.

The plot is thoroughly predictable. Though the premise should allow opportunity for soul-searching and analysis of the human condition, writer James Komack does not let such matters interfere with his simplistic tale. Instead of writing Germans as human beings, he separates them into "good: Germans and "bad" Germans: Wehrmacht good, SS bad.

Makes life so simple. And how does the script reveal this dichotomy? By showing SS soldiers killing an innocent school teacher and a Wehrmacht soldier returning a cute bird to its nests. Later, this nice Wehrmacht soldier guns down the evil SS, his fellow countryman, without any remorse or hesitation. "The Wounded Don't Cry" is mindless, action/adventure masquerading as drama.

Morrow's acting is more multi-facetted than the script. Morrow plays a Saunders at odds with own beliefs. His hard, unromanticized description of watching his soldiers die because they trusted a flag of truce is so revelatory in its simplicity. It shows how Saunders changed from the wise-cracking scamp of "A Day In June" to this war-weary creature who sees plots in a simple act of mercy.

Saunders is distrustful of all Germans -- even the saintly Bauer. Unfortunately, there is little chemistry between Morrow and German-born actor Karl Boehm (playing Bauer). Boehm struggles valiantly with the role, but perfect characters are hard to relate to; and the script allows nothing of human nature to intrude into this German paradigm of virtue.

Under Komack's direction, the action never flags long enough for the audience to think too deeply. Forget about the unexplored possibilities in this episode, just enjoy it for escapism. As a piece of adventure fluff, "The Wounded Don't Cry" is an enjoyable, light romp through the countryside with our favorite Sergeant. Watching Morrow emote for an hour is rarely a waste of time. This episode is a solid, middle-of-the-road, two-bayonetter.

NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:

  • The two-story field hospital set is also used in "The General and the Sergeant."
  • First time the squad encounters the German 241st Infantry, who they will chase across France for the next two seasons. Fighting takes place around LeMans.
  • The bird in the nest looks terrified. It flaps its wings and tries to get out of the nest, but its leg looks tied down.
  • Saunders and Caje have a close encounter as the Sarge rolls over him, avoiding the grenade blast.
  • When Bauer shoots one of the Germans, his weapon has no magazine.

ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
Dick Peabody recalls working with Leonard Nimoy, a close friend of Vic Morrow's, who recommended Peabody for Nimoy's acting workshop. "I was with Leonard about six months, every Saturday for about three hours. And he was a wonderful teacher. I learned a lot from him. [...] Leonard Nimoy is one of the most socially conscious guys I have ever known. Genuinely nice. Total integrity. He was a good acting teacher."

CAST:

Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders

Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
(does not appear)

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

Guest starring Karl Boehm
as Carl Bauer

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File last updated June 28, 2012

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