Combat!: Season 3, Episode 11

A Gift of Hope (1 Dec. 1964)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | War
8.1
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Kirby claims a civilian he assaulted is a deserter, but Saunders maintains the MIA Sergeant was killed. With his dying words, Kirby's pal gasped that his Sgt. dropped his carbine and ... See full summary »

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Title: A Gift of Hope (01 Dec 1964)

A Gift of Hope (01 Dec 1964) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
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Jack Hogan ...
Conlan Carter ...
Doc
Dick Peabody ...
Malcolm Brodrick ...
Jimmy
Joe Allen Price ...
Larkin
Robert Yuro ...
Vitelli
Anthony Eisley ...
Lt. Gates
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Storyline

Kirby claims a civilian he assaulted is a deserter, but Saunders maintains the MIA Sergeant was killed. With his dying words, Kirby's pal gasped that his Sgt. dropped his carbine and abandoned his men, but Saunders can't imagine the RA tough infantry vet would panic. Then Sgt. Avery shows up in civilian clothes, with a strange tale, but instead of Saunders reporting Avery to the CO, he accompanies him to find a corroborating witness. Written by David Stevens

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Action | Drama | War

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1 December 1964 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Humans Versus Bullets & Shells - How Tough Are We Really?
21 August 2014 | by (Mesa, AZ USA) – See all my reviews

"A Gift of Hope" is a story about human frailty. Sergeant Avery (excellently played by Rip Torn) is a tough by the book driver of men on the battlefield. But do people like Avery always maintain their individuality? Is it possible for them to crack?

Private Kirby thinks he sees Sergeant Avery dressed as a French civilian and confronts him as a deserter. In the tussle the suspect gets away. The Sarge rejects this idea as preposterous indicating Avery was killed in action. When Lieutenant Gates (played by Anthony Eisley) from another platoon witnesses the confrontation, he interviews Saunders and Kirby in a fact finding mission so he can give a full report of the incident to Lieutenant Hanley. This interview actually tells part of the story in flashback mode as Kirby's and Saunders' versions are relived in film on the battlefield.

Screen writing and directing are excellent and the viewer must make their own judgment of Sergeant Avery - sort of like the Luigi Pirandello story "It Is So If You Think So." Rip Torn plays his role to the hilt right down to the natural frown. From an objective standpoint with all of the evidence considered, it's not so clear cut one way or the other. What is clear is that humans are very frail regardless of size or strength. And because of this it's clearly evident humans were not meant to be fighting each other in wars. Really tragic.

"A Gift Of Hope" sends a powerful message about human nature. Excellent episode.


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