is an episode of Combat! starring
Vic Morrow, Rick Jason, and Steven Rogers.
A GI private is killed after taking over an enemy machine gun and killing dozens of Nazis, but his best friend falsely claims he did the shooting.
D'Amato and Wharton, two close friends within the platoon, become separated from the rest of the men when the platoon comes under fire from a German tank and its machine gunner. D'Amato manages to flank the armor and capture the machine gun, which he then uses against the supporting German infantry. D'Amato is wounded in the process, however, and by the time the rest of the platoon reaches the position, Wharton has taken over the machine gun -- making Lt. Hanley think that it was he, not D'Amato, who singlehandedly captured the German armor.Written by
After Saunders gets knocked into the coiled barbed wire, he thrashes around and is yelling in pain. He and Wharton, who is much more seriously wounded, help each other back to the squad. Saunders now has just a band aid on his cheek, and his clothes have no signs of damage from the wire. It's doubtful that there would have been fresh clothes for him to put on. See more »
"The Medal" imparts a fine lesson on the value of honesty, virtue, and human dignity.
Private Wharton (excellently played by Frank Gorshin) is best friends with Private Vincent D'Amato (excellently played by Joseph Campanella.) After being pinned down by a German tank, D'Amato decides to take on the tank using a sound strategy. In the process, he accomplishes a great deal but is severely wounded. After receiving a dear John letter, Private Wharton's ethics and morals go astray and he decides to take advantage of D'Amato's situation. When German Lieutenant Kohr (played by Ed Knight) is captured, the tables turn for Wharton and he must face his reality. In the end, Private Wharton pulls Saunders out of a bad jam and atones for his previous conduct.
I'm critical of the opening sequence in that the Germans would have nailed the right flank of the Americans instead of hiding in the bush. In addition, Director Stanley should have made the ambush appear much more real letting the Americans advance several more yards before allowing the Germans to open up on them. And why fire the 88 caliber cannon first giving 95 % of the Americans time to take significant cover ? In all fairness however, the opening combat sequence is still one of the most memorable in the history of the Combat TV series.
Character development throughout the episode is excellent. D'Amato has the most memorable scene; his facial expressions are priceless! Wharton intones some great verbiage in the ending sequence. Saunders has a sarcastic sequence with Wharton that reminds me of a typical Dragnet Sergeant Joe Friday aside.
Casting did a fine job in choosing Campanella and Gorshin; they both made the difference.
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