King company is quickly overrunning a French Village, and the German withdrawal is in complete chaos. Most of the German troops are killed, wounded, or captured in the action, but one ... See full summary »
King company is quickly overrunning a French Village, and the German withdrawal is in complete chaos. Most of the German troops are killed, wounded, or captured in the action, but one German officer, Hertzbrun, tries to blow a bridge before he leaves the village. Unable to blow the bridge during the attack, he takes refuge in a Catholic church where he exchanges his uniform for the vestments a priest and becomes "Father Hertzbrun." His intention is to impersonate a priest long enough for him to finish setting his charges, blow the bridge, and make his escape. Much to his dismay, as soon as the fighting is finished, he is asked by a GI to hear his confession. Unfortunately for Hertzbrun, he really has no experience in priestly matters, and his ineptitude leads to the failure of his ruse. A 44 year old James Whitmore is a pleasure to watch as he plays the German officer masquerading as a priest. Written by
Suspense, Deception, and Intrigue in a Combat Episode !
"The Cassock" is a fine story of suspense, deception, and intrigue.
Father Hertzbrun (superbly played by James Whitmore) is an English speaking German soldier bent upon survival and blowing up a key bridge. After Americans drive the Germans out of a village, Whitmore salvages what's left of the German operation and becomes Father Hertzbrun. He encounters numerous obstacles along the way. Every time he's up to no good, there's always an American to botch up his plans.
James Wixted wrote an excellent story which is very believable; and everything fits. It took a great deal of imagination to put this story together and the viewer is treated to constant suspense, deception, & intrigue at every step.
Mart Hulswit puts on a fine performance as practicing Catholic Private Ryan. His dramatic acting in a sequence with Father Hertzbrun and the squad is memorable.
I saw "The Cassock" when it first aired as a 9 year old and I can distinctly remember how much I hated Father Hertzbrun. I could not wait to see him get his just desserts. James Whitmore was always a great character actor and I can remember many television episodes in which he gave top notch performances. "The Cassock" is one of those episodes. Sit back and enjoy !
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