Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Combat - Season 3 Operation 2|
Actors: Rick Jason, Vic Morrow, Anjanette Comer, Jack Hogan, Pierre Jalbert
Directors: Vic Morrow, Alan Crosland Jr., Bernard McEveety, James Komack, John Peyser
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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COMBAT Continues to Excel!
J P Falcon | Fords, New Jersey United States | 02/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We have now reached the midpoint of the COMBAT series and the show is now only becoming better. While I may find a few more "clunckers" in the third season, that were not present in season 2, this is outweighed by the fact there were far more excellent episodes in total. The actors who comprised the core of the Squad have fully developed their individual personalities and Vic Morrow was now becoming the true centerpiece of the show. There was apparently no clash of egos between himself and Rick Jason, probably because Jason shrewdly had it in his contract that he got paid whether he appeared or not.
Of course, one of the drawbacks in a series such as COMBAT is the main participants of the squad survive every episode, while those poor forlorn "red shirts", or in this case "green shirts" take one for the team. And it is admittedly humorous to find Saunders, Hanley, or Caje, become ground up chop meat, only to never receive the "million dollar" wound that they so hungered for. Despite these obvious restrictions, in deference to a 1960's television show, you can still maintain a sense of realism and excitement while viewing COMBAT.
Some of the Highlights:
1. Odyssey...in another top notch episode, Saunders attempts to get back to his own lines by pretending to be a shell shocked German soldier...in this one, Saunders is able to see life from the other side, and Bert Freed is excellent as an understanding German Sargent who protects Saunders....another tragic story in the making....
2. The Hard Way Back....Sal Mineo guest stars as a cowardly soldier who abandons a trapped Saunders and tells everyone the Sarge is dead....Sal Mineo obviously excels....
3. The Cassock.....James Whitmore plays a German officer who disguises himself as a priest and hides in a church....There is some clever, and at times even tender interplay between himself and G.I. Mart Hulswit (of Guiding Light fame) who, as a former alterboy, finds comfort in the church..the show leads you down a false path more than once....
4. The Hell Machine.....another appearance by Frank Gorshin as he and Saunders attempt to navigate through enemy held territory using a captured German tank......nice claustrophobic feel on how it would be inside a tank....
5.The Enemy....usually whenever a battle of wits was written into the story, it was left up to Hanley to be one of the wits...this one, starring Robert Duvall as a German demolition officer has Hanley trying to outthink his captor....
6. The Duel.....Saunders, on foot, single handedly attempts to distract a German tank, while the supply truck he is protecting can be repaired before the tank comes upon it...fun stuff here
7. The Steeple...no doubt the true exploits of JOHN STEELE come into play here as a paratrooper is caught on a church steeple...it is up to Saunders to try to get him inside despite the fact that the village is overrun by Germans.
8. Cry in the Ruins....this is one of the best episodes of the season, as Hanley and a German Lieutenant, put aside the war for a moment in order to rescue a woman's child...there is a few twists in this episode and the character study between the two opposing squads is well written.....
9. The Little Carousel...poignant tale of the squads encounter with a young student nurse who wants to help Saunders and his men....deeply moving and an emotional tour de force for Vic Morrow.....
10. The Imposter...Hanley must once again use his wits in order to determine who within his merry band of men is an Imposter....enough monkey wrenches are thrown in as to not make it too easy to figure out.....
Those are a few of the quality episodes, but there are a few duds as well:
1. Vendetta....you would think an episode staring Telly Savales, as a vengeful Greek would be great, but guess again, it's not
2. Birthday Cake....Littlejohn would have been shot had he acted this way in a real war...it is just too stupid, even for a big lug like him...
3. A Walk with an Eagle...this type of episode, where an arrogant Air officer does not respect Saunders authority, has been done before....
4. Fly Away Home....I guess it is good to give the Pigeon Corp their props, and it is a treat to see Neville Brand, but the story is simply not compelling....
5. Mountain Man....there is so little story here, that the first third of it follows the squad walking through the snow, setting markers, and the final third, features Cage skiing through it.....tedious viewing at its worst....
6. The Town that Went Away...this episode, about a bunch of conniving French Villagers, needs to go away.......
Though I may sound a bit harsh concerning some of these episodes, remember that they are far and few between the good to excellent episodes that span this two volume set...
So there you have it once again....If you have read my previous reviews, you obviously know that I am a big fan of this series and welcome them to DVD. I hope you welcome them into your home as well....my minor complaints aside, this set is enthusiastically recommended!"
Excellent TV Drama
pinxet | USA | 04/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even when I was a 10 year old watching the original Combat! series each Tuesday night, the screenplay writing and abilities of the actors to fulfill the potential of that writing outweighed any of my childhood draw towards simple action/adventure.
Watching these episodes today at age 50, I find that memory has not deluded me with nostolgic overestimation. This is among the most beautiful of dramatic TV writing, born from the tail end of an age known for great scripts. As I remember the series (Season IV has not yet been released as I post this review), this season presented the audience the series at the top of its game -- with the most memorable episodes contained on the Season III Operation II disk set.
I encourage you to not watch this series in the same way you watch contemporary TV drama -- I think of shows like Hill Street Blues or E.R. in this context -- where there's emphatic continuity and developing stories from week to week and year to year.
Viewing Combat! as a body of work through successive episodes requires some minor suspension of disbelief from modern viewers. The stories represent less of typical days in the lives of grunts slugging it out in the hedgerows, and rather more of the strange offbeat happenings possible in a war. You'll also need to ignore the fact that Sgt. Saunders earns himself a score of Purple Hearts each season.
Watch each episode in isolation without reference to previous events, and the fruits you receive will be a collection of crisp short stories -- dramatic vignettes which, even on the writer's bad days, nonetheless exhibited notable craftsmanship and skill.
Although I'm unable to confirm this with any authority of knowledge, I should mention that I'm suspicious of the physical quality of the DVD disks in the Combat! collection: I have a brand new DVD player which has been able to run each of the 300+ disks on my shelf *except* for any of the Combat! series, though they do run fine on another machine."
Combat - Season 3, Operation 2
Harry Brewer | S'port, La. | 10/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set of Combat! is the last outstanding set. Season four is good but the quality begins to drop off. Combat! had been a successful series for ABC, something they didn't have much of in the sixties. But success for Combat! was something that led to its demise. It began when the actors wanted pay increases, which they got. The costs of special effects was increasing as was everything else. In order to maintain the budget other areas had to take cuts. These cuts came from the writers, the directors & the quality of guest stars, i.e., guest stars that were fairly established in the business with name recognition.
"Birthday Cake" has some comical moments. Littlejohn (Dick Peabody) is the center of the story. He receives a birthday cake & it creates a lot of problems for the squad. "The Cassock" has James Whitmore as the guest star. He's a German officer trapped in a small French town. He ends up masquerading as a priest in order to remain free. As his movements are less restricted he attempts to set off charges he has set in order to slow the Allies advance. "The Town That Went Away" is a comedy relief episode that features Jay Novello. In this episode the French townspeople have changed the direction signs that lead to their town.; it leads to some funny moments. "The Convict" has the squad encountering an escaped French convict. "The Steeple" will remind you of an incident from the film The Longest Day. An American paratrooper is hanging from a church steeple in a German occupied town. "Cry in the Ruins" is an excellent episode. A woman's baby has been trapped beneath debris. Both the American & German squads declare an uneasy truth in order to help the woman. "Heritage" has Charles Bronson as the guest star. He's an explosive expert that the squad must escort to his destination. "The Hell Machine" has Frank Gorshin (Pvt. Gavin) as the guest star. Saunders needs Gavin to operate a German tank they have captured but Gavin is a claustrophobic. "Odyssey" was the next to last episode of Combat! for season three. This episode is all Saunders as he tries to pass himself off as a shell shocked German soldier. A German sergeant takes a liking to him & tries to help him. The ending is a sad one as sides must be chosen by each character.
There are bonus features with the set. They include a photo gallery; audio commentaries for three episodes, "The Steeple" (Pierre Jalbert), "More Than a Soldier" (Shirl Hendryx) & "A Cry in the Ruins" (George Fenady); there's also the notes, oddities & bloopers comments by Jo Davidsmeyer on most episodes. The video & audio content is excellent."
Combat series DVD's
J. David | Gettysburg, PA USA | 05/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arrived on-time and completely intact. Thes are for my elderly mother who simply loves them. watches them over and over.