Combat! (1962–1967)
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Hills Are for Heroes: Part 1 

This two part Combat! episode is the quintessential story of the futility of war as viewed through the eyes of surviving infantrymen. An American division of troops is making an assault all... See full summary »


Vic Morrow


Gene L. Coon

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Episode cast overview:
Rick Jason ... Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow ... Sgt. Saunders
Jack Hogan Jack Hogan ... Kirby
Pierre Jalbert ... Caje
Dick Peabody Dick Peabody ... Littlejohn
Conlan Carter Conlan Carter ... Doc
Paul Carr ... Kleinschmidt
Joseph Walsh ... Einstein
Anthony D. Call Anthony D. Call ... Morgan (as Anthony Call)
Michael Forest ... Company Commander


This two part Combat! episode is the quintessential story of the futility of war as viewed through the eyes of surviving infantrymen. An American division of troops is making an assault all along their lines. At the platoon level, Lt. Hanley is ordered to take a strategic hill that overlooks a needed road, and the hill is protected by two concrete bunkers with German machine guns and infantry in each bunker. Saunders gets hit in his thigh in the first assault on the bunkers while several other GIs are killed. Hanley asks for artillery support, but his company commander tells Hanley he will have to take the hill without artillery support. Hanley tries several different strategies to take the hill, but each time the men go up the hill, the overwhelming fire from the bunkers stop them, and each time they leave a few more dead GIs on the hill. (see "Hills Are For Heroes - Part 2 for continuation of storyline) Written by David Wile

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Action | Drama | War





Release Date:

1 March 1966 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The machine gunner, Chester is played by Earl Parker who is Vic Morrow's double. See more »


After the mortars have been firing at the Germans, the GIs try another assault on the German bunker. They are forced back and are running toward the camera. Tire tracks from the camera vehicle are seen as it goes down the hill ahead of the GIs. See more »

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User Reviews

Terrific Vic Morrow Directing in Combat
1 November 2014 | by jmarcheseSee all my reviews

"Hills Are For Heroes" is a story about realities of the military and how incompetence at the top can prove fatal to many below. King 2 must knock out two firmly entrenched pillboxes containing brutal German Maschinengewehr 42 machine guns while running uphill with virtually no cover. And King 6 has no back up for them with respect to needed artillery or tanks to get the job done. As Alanis Morisette said in her hit "Isn't It Ironic," "It's like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife." The "old man" referred to by Company Commander could be any of many high ranking big shots who've been promoted to their level of incompetence.

Gene Coon wrote an outstanding screenplay in which dialog is phenomenal across the board. Lieutenant Gil Hanley is at his very best playing the boss. He has outstanding comebacks for all of King 2's ails & concerns and even a wise remark for the "old man." Character development amongst the squad is excellent and Littlejohn's exchange with The Sarge is priceless. Kirby is vintage Kirby when dealing with Hanley. And for a 41 year old, Caje can really pick em' up and lay em' down.

Vic Morrow directed this hugely successful episode and it must have been fun watching him busting the studio's chops going way over budget. Extremely graphic machine gun scenes, close-ups of the soldiers' terrorized faces, and coordination of mortar fire and its effects on the pillboxes give the viewing audience a sense of being there. Vic had a fine collusion with A. D. Flowers on this one. It's a wonder no one was injured making this episode.

"Hills Are For Heroes Part 1" is extremely entertaining and gives one a sense of empathy for anyone mixed up in a war, especially when the top commanding officer is incompetent. German Maschinengewehr 42 machine guns were capable of firing between 900 & 1500 rounds per minute depending on the bolt used. Just listening to two of these fine weapons going at it get's one's undivided attention.

Sit back and enjoy!

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