Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Combat - Season 1 Campaign 1|
Actors: Rick Jason, Vic Morrow, Steven Rogers, Pierre Jalbert, Dick Peabody
Directors: Bernard McEveety, Boris Sagal, Burt Kennedy, Byron Paul, Herman Hoffman
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Military & War
One of the television's most popular series, the groundbreaking Combat!! offers a gritty, unflinching look at American soldiers battling in Europe during World War II, confronting imposing odds and demonstrating remarkable... more »
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It's Been a Long Time Coming, But Worth the Wait!
Gregory Canellis | Tuckerton, NJ USA | 09/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you were a kid growing up in the 1960s (as I was), and you didn't watch the TV series Combat! (1962-1967), you were living under a rock. I cannot imagine my neighborhood friends amassing our arsenal of toy guns, plastic helmets, and other uniquely devised accoutrements of war to play Army, without first arguing over who was going to play Sergeant Saunders, "Cage," or the BAR toting, wise-cracking Kirby. After years of sporadic syndication, the release of the entire first season of Combat! on DVD is long overdue.The first season is broken down into two, four-disc packages of 16 episodes each titled: Combat! Season I, Campaign I, and Combat! Season I, Campaign II respectively. The episodes are arranged in the order they aired in syndication, not as originally televised. There are 4 episodes per disc, plus Special Features including photo galleries, and interviews with past cast members. The sound quality is good, and the scenes not overly dark like some black and white transfers to DVD. Absent, however, is a booklet that would have been a nice touch. Instead, a mere list of episodes with scene selections is included. Consequently, I highly recommend the book "Combat!: A Viewer's Companion to the WWII TV Series (revised)" by Jo Davidsmeyer as an indispensable guide to the entire five-year run of the series.Campaign I opens with the pilot "A Day in June," which finds the squad of the 2nd platoon of (K)ing Company in England preparing for the D-Day invasion. Interestingly, Hanley (Rick Jason) is a First Sergeant, having not yet received his battlefield commission to lieutenant. Pierre Jalbert, a film editor, not an actor by trade, who will later mold the character of "Cage," is casted here as "Caddy." Other regular character-roles such as Lil' John (Dick Peabody) and "Doc" (Conland Carter- debuting in season-two) will be introduced in subsequent episodes, but not before Peabody and Carter are cast in different minor roles for an episode each. The comedian Shecky Green was also cast as a regular, but, due to other obligations, would not last the first season. A host of guest stars including: Dean Stockwell, Robert Culp, Frank Gorshin, and Tab Hunter get the first season off to a good start. Davidsmeyer's book not only lists the episodes as they are in syndication, but also notes what order they were aired. This allows one to watch them in their original order and marvel at the development of the characters of Saunders (Vic Morrow), Hanley and the rest of the squad. Morrow and Jason, both met tragic ends. Morrow was killed on the set of the 1982 film Twilight Zone: The Movie, and Jason sadly took his own life recently. Watching these first-season episodes today, some of the lessor attention to realism and detail become apparent. For example: the German soldiers are paper-doll cut-outs of each other. From kettle-helmet to jack boots (the latter was all but gone by 1944 anyway), they all wear the exact same uniform and arrange their battle kits the exact same way. At least once during a fire fight, the German will predictably leave cover, foolishly run out into the open, only to be shot by a member of the cast. Following episodes has the standard American M-5 Half-track switching roles between belligerents with the help of a noticeable vehicular make-up change. For other picky viewers, like myself, there is also more chronological attention paid to actual historic events and places during the Normandy Campaign in season one. This historic detail gets lost in subsequent seasons. But it is the fine acting, script-writing, directorial and production talents that made Combat! a classic TV series. The series portrays best the inner conflicts that affects men trying to survive the horrors of war. For the true Combat! fan, this two-part first season is a must have. For those who like the war film genre, or vintage television series with great acting and production, this DVD package will not disappoint. It was a long-time coming, but the wait was worth it."
Now, THIS is TV!
BTDT | Pasadena, MD USA | 06/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW! On a lark over the last couple of years I've been searching for Combat! It became a habit and I just kept doing it not ever expecting to see it come up...but, last night when I saw it I was thrilled to death!For those who haven't seen the show before, I highly suggest getting this series. I recall the acting was excellent and the themes of each of the shows was outstanding. The show centers around SGT Saunders (Vic Morrow) and his squad of men patrolling against the Germans. You'll see ambushes, movements to contact, and practically the entire array of actions small units experienced in WWII. Great stuff!I'll be viewing this over and over. I just hope I don't over analyze the episodes based on my 20 year career in the Army many years after the show aired. Either way...it will be a blast to see the characters again!"
As Good As I Hoped It Would Be!
toserveman | Cincinnati, OH USA | 07/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Without going into nauseating detail, let me just say that this is a great release. The picture quality of the few episodes I've seen thus far is excellent. The speed of the episodes seems just a tad fast, which means they probably worked from prints that are time compressed for TV broadcast. As such, some of the voices sound just a shade high at times. But it's not worth getting excited about. The episodes are complete so all is well. The extras are superb, and this is a show in which extras certainly are warranted. The packaging of the DVDs is excellent as well, with the cases resembling, what else(?), a foot locker. And then there's the greatness of the show itself. Put simply, this is as good a dramatic show as I've ever seen on TV. Almost all the actors on this show were superb, but Vic Morrow's work continues to amaze. Man, could TV use a talent like his today.
And you'll want the remaining 4 seasons when they come out. The show got even better as it progressed. There were five seasons in total, the last one being in color. Though when it switched to color in season 5, in my opinion, some of the gritiness of the show was lost. But even that season is still top notch.
Long Awaited, Long Overdue
Kevin R. Austra | Delaware Valley, USA | 07/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"COMBAT! is from the era of great television. How else could you explain the popularity of the show over its five year run? Much like M*A*S*H, which stretched the Korean War to more than a decade, COMBAT! sustained 1944 for several years. After its run on ABC, COMBAT! went immediately into syndication and has run continuously, on one station or another, since 1967. The challenge for many fans however, has been to find a consistent source for the program. For viewers, such as me, it was always a case where COMBAT! premiered on a cable or satellite network other than those available in my area.
In the mid 1980s, Goodtimes Video released five episodes of COMBAT! Whether Goodtimes was testing the market or just issuing random releases, the videos -- recorded in Long Play mode -- soon found their way into bargain bins. Though there was talk for years of releasing whole box sets of the series it never happened.
Pardon me for saying so, but COMBAT! was produced at a time when television actors actually had to work for a living. The cast was underpaid, held to incredible production deadlines, worked all hours at a variety of locations under a meager budget. Remember too that television series of that decade ran much longer without reruns than do the skimpy shows today. In the case of COMBAT!'s first season (Campaigns 1 & 2), that totals 32 episodes.
Akin to the cast of BAND OF BROTHERS, the recurring actors on COMBAT! endured a stint of accelerated Army basic training at Fort Ord, California. In fact, the Department of the Army provided considerable assistance in the series' production.
You can easily find fault with the series. Not unlike westerns of the day, sets are recognizably used again and again. Occasionally a palm tree sneaks into what should otherwise be Northern France. The German soldiers are often dressed more like the German Army in 1935 than camouflaged Wehrmacht of 1944. Fair enough. COMBAT! is not quite history. If you are looking for reality, rewatch SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
COMBAT! is a quality television series that was able to produce 50-minute shows complete with superb storylines, directing, and acting. The DVD transfer is outstanding. Do not overlook Leonard Rosenman's great soundtrack. Yes, the same Leonard Rosenman who composed the music for HELL IS FOR HEROES, BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, STAR TREK IV, and other classics.
Do yourself a favor and order Campaigns 1 & 2 at the same time. I can hardly wait for Season 2."