Combat! (1962–1967)
7.9/10
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An embittered French woman resists Saunders' efforts to commandeer her truck, needed to transport the wounded Kirby.

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, (as Paul David Moessinger)
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Sgt. Saunders
...
Lt. Hanley (credit only)
...
Madame Carmaux
Jack Hogan ...
Kirby
...
PFC Paul 'Caje' LeMay
Raymond Cavaleri ...
Michel
Hank Brandt ...
German NCO (as Henry Brandt)
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Storyline

Kirby has a badly wounded leg, and Saunders and Caje are trying to get him back to their lines for medical care. A French woman and her son drive by in a truck, and Saunders tries to get her to help by giving them a ride to their lines. The woman has a casket in the truck which she is taking to their home to bury her other son who was apparently killed accidentally by American artillery fire. She refuses to help Kirby get to medical attention, so Saunders commandeers her truck. Along the way back to their lines, they manage to temporarily lose the casket when it falls out of the truck and slides down a hill into a river, they run out of gas, and the woman and her son steal their truck back leaving Saunders and Caje to carry an ever worsening Kirby. Before long, however, they find the truck stuck in the mud and abandoned. Saunders and Caje free the truck from the mud and before long find the woman and her son dragging their casket along the road. They pick up the woman, her son, and ... Written by David Wile

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Genres:

Action | Drama | War

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Details

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Release Date:

30 November 1965 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Goofs

After the truck got stuck in the mud, the woman and her son are seen dragging what appears to be a heavy casket with a lid on it. Earlier, there was no lid, and the casket was light enough to slide around in the back of the truck. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Synergy in a Combat Episode !
18 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

"The Casket" is a story about White Rook borrowing a truck from Madame Carmaux (excellently played by Nina Foch) against her will and using it to transport a severely injured Private Kirby back to an American checkpoint. Madame Carmaux needs to bury her son, a victim of American circumstance. In the back of her truck is his casket.

Writers' Ed Waters & David Moessinger did a fine job with this most unusual story. Character development is excellent with all 5 players getting into the story. Saunders has a job to do; Madame Carmaux has a son to bury; Kirby's hanging on to life; Caje is handyman & interpreter; and Michel (played by Raymond Cavaleri) is the empathetic new man of the family, a bridge to White Rook.

Nina Foch is a real heavy and shows her outstanding acting talent portraying great emotion on screen. Jack Hogan does a great job portraying a fast fading wounded soldier. And as usual Vic Morrow is the glue making it all work.

I'm critical of the gasoline heist; it's just not believable. The Germans would've easily spotted the Sarge under the truck. I love the casket's journey throughout and it's a major credit to Screen Writers' Waters & Moessinger in bringing it to life and making it the center of the story.

The ending is a little sad; there's no smile, no empathy recognizing a happy outcome. All players made this episode a success; great synergy at work!


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