Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
The Old Men
Rating: 2 bayonets
First aired 11-16-65 Episode 10 of Season 4
Written by Esther and Bob Mitchell Directed by Georg J. Fenady Produced by Gene Levitt
The squad is saddled with three over-aged replacement: an injured vet of
the Italian campaign who refuses to accept that he is incapable of fighting as he did in
his youth, a homesick family man, and a politician with senatorial ambitions.
"The Old Men" is the flip side of the episode
First Day," showing old recruits, not young ones. It seems no matter what their
age, new recruits always cause problems for Saunders and his men.
It's good to see Arnold Merritt again (he appeared as Crown in "Rear Echelon
Commandos," "I Swear By Apollo," and "Off Limits" and died as a
different character in "The Long Way Home").
Interesting to see how attitudes have changed over time -- the Arnold Merritt character
is so impressed that an actual politician is fighting next to him. Nowadays, a soldier
would be represented as more inclined to shoot a politican in the field, rather than hero
Another Paul Busch appearance (and death) as our first-ever German prisoner who doesn't
speak English. (Isn't it amazing how often the squad manages to capture bi-lingual
Nice direction by George J. Fenady in his
second turn behind the Combat camera and an entertaining script by Esther and Bob
Mitchell. Nothing spectacular here, but a fun watch.
Kirby likens the three old soldiers to a
Veteran's Day parade. But during WWII the remembrance on November 11 was called Armistice
Day -- to commemorate the end of World War I, which ended on the "11th hour of the
11th day of the 11th month."
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Davidsmeyer. All rights reserved. Photographs from the TV series