John Dehner and Vic Morrow have the title roles, but they play two characters from two wars nearly thirty years apart. Upon liberation of a small French village by King Company, French ...
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John Dehner and Vic Morrow have the title roles, but they play two characters from two wars nearly thirty years apart. Upon liberation of a small French village by King Company, French General Armand Bouchard, a veteran of WWI, arrives in the street and wants to take command of Saunders' squad. While Bouchard apparently suffers from some form of dementia and is the object of ridicule by some of the villagers, he obviously has personal pride and character. General Bouchard is ordered by Hanley to stay behind while Saunders' squad goes on a mission to set up an Observation Post. The squad is trapped inside a destroyed French castle when a German convoy stops outside. Luckily for the GIs, the General shows up and distracts the Germans by pretending to be a senile old man singing and begging for money, and the Germans eventually leave without discovering Saunders' squad inside. General Bouchard then tells Saunders there is an empty château nearby that will serve well as the OP. Again the ... Written by
The General and the Sergeant is vintage John Dehner, who is superb as Lieutenant General Bouchard of WW 1 times. At the time this episode was made, Dehner was only 48 years old and yet brilliantly plays an 80 + year old man suffering from dementia.
Thankfully, Bernard McEveety directed this and he's top notch, guaranteed to get the most out of each episode.
Saunders and the Squad were more along for the ride on this one. It's beautiful the way they play along with General Bouchard at the request of Jacqueline Bouchard, the general's granddaughter (played by the beautiful Denise Alexander.)
The squad has orders to find a high point suitable for a lookout post. And who knows the area better than Bouchard? Lieutenant Hanley has given Bouchard orders to return to town, but the general is far from through. We learn the value of experience in the field even if the bearer is old and somewhat senile.
All in all this is a delightful episode in that it successfully goes against convention.
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