Combat!, a one-hour WWII drama series on television, followed a frontline American infantry squad as they battled their way across Europe. With mud-splattered realism, the show offered ... See full summary »
Combat!, a one-hour WWII drama series on television, followed a frontline American infantry squad as they battled their way across Europe. With mud-splattered realism, the show offered character studies of men striving to maintain their own humanity in the midst of a world torn by war. Written by
Jo Davidsmeyer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The distinctive helmet that Vic Morrow's Sgt. Saunders character wore in the series was covered with a piece of nylon cut from a U.S. paratrooper's camouflaged T-5 main parachute canopy, not a cloth Marine Corps cover as assumed by many viewers. See more »
Sgt. Chip Saunders:
[a typical "pep talk" to his squad]
... All right, just knock it off. YOU KNOCK IT OFF! You people make me sick. Go on, look at yourselves. You call yourselves a squad? You're a bunch of GOOF-UPS! Littlejohn, you cause nothing but trouble! You mind everybody's business except your own. From now on, you mind your OWN business and you FOLLOW ORDERS! Kirby - KIRBY! You're a hot-headed show-off who thinks of himself first and everybody else second. You fly off the handle every time you turn around! ...
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Cineastes, just listen to Robert Altman's commentary on "Survival," one of the several early episodes of 'Combat!' that he directed. "If this is not one of the best things I've ever done, I don't know what is," he says (I'm paraphrasing). And he's right. This sixties WW II series is remarkable for its consistently good writing, direction, and acting -- especially acting. Vic Morrow is, in my book, one of the great, underrated, Method-trained actors of his generation. If his career had been on the large screen, he'd be celebrated in the company of Brando, Dean, Clift. With one look Morrow was able to convey exhaustion, disgust, concern, love for his men, and the burdens of duty. There's no one on television today with his subtlety and range. Somebody get that man his star on the Walk of Fame! Or how about a posthumous Emmy award (do they exist?).
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