Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(105) The Farmer
Guest star: Dennis Weaver
Written by Andy White
Directed by John Peyser
First aired 10-12-65
Episode 5 of Season 4
(ABOVE: publicity picture taken during
filming of the episode)
Waiting for battle, Noah plants the crops of an evacuated French farmer.
Noah's love for the land and farming overshadow his obligations as a soldier. Absorbed in
a way of life he understands, the farmer-soldier endangers the squad when he disobeys
orders to care for a new-born calf.
Dennis Weaver stars as "The Farmer" who cannot comprehend that he
is now a soldier. The embattled farmer may have stood at Lexington and Concord and fired
the shot heard round the world, but if they had been represented there by farmers the like
of Dennis Weaver, they would have been too busy chasing cows and planting crops to have
been bothered with starting the fight for American independence. From the first scene,
this character is bayonet-bait.
The scenes of Weaver dragging Doc, Littlejohn, and Caje into his silliness are charming
and Morrow is engaging as a Saunders fighting against the emotions engendered by this
farmer's love of the land. Weaver jumps in with both feet and plays the role with utter
conviction, but he fights a losing battle with the silly plot. Dennis Weaver did not join
in any of the cast antics, avoiding any overtures to come play.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
- While resting at the farmhouse, during the conversation between Caje and Saunders, the
camo helmet alternates between hanging in the background and perching on Morrow's head.
- Hanley's driver is Walt Davis, who he addresses as "Davis."
- Filmed at Thousand Oaks.
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Dennis Weaver as Noah
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Conlan Carter as Doc
Felix Locher as Old French Farmer
Belle Mitchell as Old French Woman
Dina Harmsen as French Girl
Anthony Aiello as G.I.