"The Gallant Men" was an American television series that debuted on ABC in the fall of 1962. It followed a company of US soldiers from the Sept 1943 invasion at Salerno, and their battles up the toe of Italy. The series ran for a total of 26 episodes during 1962-63. Leading the cast is Robert McQueeney, who also narrates the story. McQueeney is a newspaper reporter who follows the company on their exploits. (Sort of an Ernie Pyle clone) The rest of the regulars are played by, William Reynolds, Robert Ridgely, Francis X Slattery, Eddie Fontaine, Roland La Starza, Roger Davis and Robert Gothie. There are the standard types sprinkled throughout, the joker, the card sharp, the loner etc. This is the 12th episode.
The company is heading towards a small Italian village to check if it is occupied by the Germans. William Reynolds and a platoon come up on a small farmhouse. Littering the yard in front of the house, is 7-8 dead German soldiers. Coming from inside the house, the men hear music. They approach with caution not knowing who is inside.
The front door opens and out steps Michael Parks. Parks is the sole survivor of a squad of paratroopers dropped the week before. Parks smiles, then, invites Reynolds and the squad inside. He points at the dead Germans and says, "They were uninvited guests!" The squad, with Parks in tow, rejoin the rest of the company and head again for the village. It seems Parks is out to kill as many Germans as he can. He lost two brothers during the invasion of Sicily. He wants payback. A bit further down the road, they run into a German patrol.
The Americans are a bit faster off the draw and wipe out the Germans. The only casualty on the US side is paratrooper Parks, who is badly wounded. Now the Germans start to hammer away with a heavy artillery barrage.
Reynolds, writer, McQueeny, Parks and several others are cut off from the rest of the company. They pick up the wounded man and head for a nearby monastery for shelter. The nuns do what they can for the badly wounded Parks. The nuns, Victoria Vetri and Argentina Brunetti, tell Captain Reynolds that Parks cannot be moved any further without it killing him.
Reynolds manages to get hold of headquarters on the radio. He is told that the Germans are moving an entire division into the area. He needs to get out because several hundred B-17's will be bombing the village in a few hours.
Needless to say they can't move Parks. Parks tells Reynolds to leave as he is as good as dead anyways. Young nun Verti volunteers to stay with Parks. Captain Reynolds rounds up the rest of the nuns and his men and head for the hills. They tell Parks they will return after the air raid. The episode fades out as the viewer sees the bombs about to hit the monastery.
Not bad at all imo. Parks really pulls out all the stops as the wounded, slightly mad paratrooper. Miss Verti would go on to become Miss September 1967 in PLAYBOY magazine.
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