Combat: Season 1 - Campaign 2

Overview

The second volume of Combat's first season is an even better DVD package than the first, not only with great plots and guest cast members, but with the added bonus of audio commentaries on six different episodes by directors or key surviving cast members. Strangely enough, the most unexpected of the commentary tracks is also the shortest, a track by guest cast member Joseph Campanella (an under-valued actor for 40 years) on "The Medal, in which he ranges across his memories of the show and the cast and crew, ...
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Overview

The second volume of Combat's first season is an even better DVD package than the first, not only with great plots and guest cast members, but with the added bonus of audio commentaries on six different episodes by directors or key surviving cast members. Strangely enough, the most unexpected of the commentary tracks is also the shortest, a track by guest cast member Joseph Campanella (an under-valued actor for 40 years) on "The Medal, in which he ranges across his memories of the show and the cast and crew, especially as they related to his background in New York theater and live television. He's also remarkably insightful about the differences in directing for live television and for film. Disc two is where most film buffs will probably go first, as it contains Robert Altman's recollections about "Survival, the episode that got him fired from the show. Altman's recollections are a strange mix of the creative and the personal, as he delves into the little tricks he used to manipulate the editing of this and other episodes, and one gets a real sense of the tension he felt while making the show as good as he could; it's a wonder that he remained with it for two-thirds of a season, given what he had to do to make the series work, and ultimately it cost him his job on the show when he reached a creative impass with the producers over this script and vaulted over it. The dual commentary by Tom Lowell and Ben Cooper for "Next in Command" is the warmest of the tracks, as the two actors describe working in the series and television in general, from the ground up. Director Sutton Rolley ("The Battle of the Roses") talks of unlearning some of the approaches and techniques he'd used working in live television and such matters as the need of the director to get out of the way of the actors -- when one had a cast such as this -- in making an action show. Rolley also knew Vic Morrow longer than almost anyone involved in the show and recalled a conversation that they had the night before Morrow died on The Twilight Zone movie, in which the actor complained of the danger he felt on that shoot; his commentary is so filled with information that he rattles off, almost as an aside, a fact about director/producer William Castle that very few are aware of. Ted Post is so self-effacing in his commentary on "The Sniper" that the viewer ends up picking up on the beauty of creative decisions that he made that don't seem important to him; it was all a job that he did extremely well (and in profusion -- the list of series that he worked on and the number of programs is daunting). Finally, Richard Donner is the most straightforward in his remarks, from the final episode of the first season ("No Trumpets, No Drums"), explaining the differences between working in the early '60s and working today (it would be almost impossible to get the same kind of black-and-white look to the series today, just because of the relative unavailability of stock or the range of lenses). Like everyone else who has anything to say, he praises Vic Morrow as the heart of the show and also as an actor in general. And, in comments that may not please Mel Gibson, he dismisses his work on the Lethal Weapon movies as comic-book stuff, not to be taken seriously, compared to what we see here. The quality of the transfers is so good that you can actually see a "stone" wall shudder slightly as an actor vaults over it in one scene. Mostly, though, one just appreciates the sharpness and crispness of the prints and the action. Each episode gets six chapter breaks which are well-placed and match the breaks in the episode. There are four shows per disc, and each comes with a list of unusual points and bloopers for the episodes. The menu on each is extremely easy to use with the bonus features easy to access and deactivate as well.
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Special Features

Notes, oddities, and bloopers by Jo Davidsmeyer; Disc 1: Audio commentary by Joseph Campanella (The Medal); Disc 2: Audio commentary by Robert Altman (Survival) and audio commentary by Ben Cooper and Tom Lowell (Next in Command); Disc 3: Audio commentary by Sutton Roley (The Battle of the Roses); Disc 4: Audio commentary by Ted Post (The Sniper) and audio commentary by Richard Donner (No Trumpets, No Drums)
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
"No one's in this for the glory, unless he's a psycho." So states Sgt. Chip Saunders the great Vic Morrow during the course of King Two's march toward the liberation of Paris -- the focus of in this second set of episodes from Combat!'s first season 1962-63. See the season’s other half in Combat! Season 1, Campaign 1. These episodes include some of the series' best; and while Shecky Green is missing in action alas, there’s plenty of fine work by some now-decorated directors, actors, and writers. Robert Altman directed the harrowing "Survival," one of Morrow's finest hours, in which a severely wounded Saunders must make his way back from behind enemy lines; "I Swear by Apollo," in which the platoon takes refuge in a convent; and "Off Limits," which features former child star Peggy Ann Garner A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as an unfaithful married nurse. Superman director Richard Donner is behind the camera for the episode "No Trumpets, No Drums" and behind the mike as well in a lively DVD commentary; and there’s also a terrific episode from Hang 'Em High director Ted Post "The Sniper". The familiar character actors just keep on coming, including an excellent turn by Frank Gorshin as a guilt-ridden soldier who takes credit for his dead friend's heroism in "The Medal" written by James Bond veteran Richard Maibaum. Ted Knight shows up in "The Volunteer," Robert Culp in "Hill 256," and Dean Stockwell in "High Named Today." Combat! was anything but gung-ho. The battle action hits home with a documentary-like intensity, and the best episodes offered compelling character studies. In "One for the Road," an undermanned Saunders and company pay dearly with their decision to rescue an abandoned infant rather than going "by the book." Perhaps those involved with Combat! weren't in it for the glory, but they certainly achieved it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/20/2004
  • UPC: 014381242720
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 12:29:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 56,678

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Vic Morrow Sgt. Chip Saunders
Rick Jason Lt. Gil Hanley
Pierre Jalbert Caje
Jack Hogan Pvt. William G. Kirby
Dick Peabody Cpl. Littlejohn
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Episodes 17-20
1. Nuns at Work [3:10]
2. Taking Shelter [11:33]
3. Urgent Care [17:52]
4. Life and Death Situation [10:46]
5. A Man and His Job [2:38]
6. End Credits [:49]
1. Man Down [2:24]
2. Road to Recovery [9:51]
3. One Sore Sergeant [7:05]
4. A Trio of Broken Souls [16:01]
5. Hope for the Wounded [9:53]
6. End Credits [:57]
1. Death Trap [4:01]
2. Selfless Act of Bravery [13:13]
3. A Silver Star [11:41]
4. True Witness [8:51]
5. What Makes Heroes [8:15]
6. End Credits [:58]
1. Liberation [3:09]
2. Persistent Young Soldier [15:43]
3. The New Adjutant [6:24]
4. Gilbert's Mission [13:26]
5. Change of Heart [7:20]
6. End Credits [:58]
Side #2 -- Episodes 21-24
1. The Last Resort [4:36]
2. Prisoners of War [9:21]
3. Desperate Moments [15:55]
4. Staying Afloat [14:28]
5. Burnt-Out [1:41]
6. End Credits [:58]
1. Up in Smoke [4:30]
2. Ace in the Hole [9:14]
3. One-Man Job [8:46]
4. A Wing and a Prayer [12:47]
5. Weak Spot [10:45]
6. End Credits [:58]
1. Just in Time [3:42]
2. One Cross Corporal [12:57]
3. Close Call [7:42]
4. A Cry for Help [16:34]
5. The Way it Goes [5:08]
6. End Credits [:48]
1. Lone Wolf [4:03]
2. The Mission [9:10]
3. Lieutenant's Home [9:26]
4. Inside Billy Joe [12:24]
5. Still Fighting [10:55]
6. End Credits [:57]
Side #3 -- Episodes 25-28
1. A Real Hospital [2:55]
2. Lt. Mrs. March [10:33]
3. Casanova Kirby [10:56]
4. Guilty Parties [16:57]
5. Moment of Truth [4:40]
6. End Credits [:59]
1. Say Cheese! [5:19]
2. Looking for Action [10:37]
3. Liberation? [15:09]
4. No Traitors in Trois Anges [8:03]
5. Now I Know [6:53]
6. End Credits [:59]
1. Untouched by War [3:25]
2. Saving Civilians [14:13]
3. Winning Her Trust [16:20]
4. Back to Serenity [4:34]
5. Finding Peace [7:26]
6. End Credits [:59]
1. Court-Martial [2:44]
2. Sergeant Metcalf [9:43]
3. Elimination of Cowards [8:12]
4. Secret Mission [13:04]
5. Kirby Takes the Stand [12:16]
6. End Credits [:50]
Side #4 -- Episodes 29-32
1. Rest and Recreation [3:15]
2. Chasing a Ghost [11:41]
3. Partner in Crime [8:35]
4. A Helpful Tip [14:21]
5. Redemption [8:13]
6. End Credits [:57]
1. A Fortunate Miss [4:13]
2. By the Book [10:07]
3. Cute Squad Addition [7:58]
4. Sarge's Soft Spot [7:58]
5. Crossing the Bridge [15:43]
6. End Credits [:56]
1. Heavy Engagement [2:15]
2. Lawson's Reputation [7:20]
3. One-Man Army [8:13]
4. On Borrowed Time [16:49]
5. A New Soldier [10:35]
6. End Credits [:57]
1. Unfortunate Accident [2:59]
2. A Broken Man [9:11]
3. Micheline [13:09]
4. Caje's Duty [11:40]
5. The Bigger Battle [8:58]
6. End Credits [:48]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Episodes 17-20
   I Swear by Apollo
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   The Walking Wounded
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   The Medal
      Audio Commentary by Joseph Campanella On
      Audio Commentary by Joseph Campanella Off
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   The Volunteer
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   Play All Episodes
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary by Joseph Campanella On
      Audio Commentary by Joseph Campanella Off
Side #2 -- Episodes 21-24
   Survival
      Audio Commentary by Robert Altman On
      Audio Commentary by Robert Altman Off
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   No Time for Pity
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   Next in Command
      Audio Commentary by Ben Cooper & Tom Lowell On
      Audio Commentary by Ben Cooper & Tom Lowell Off
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   Night Patrol
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   Play All Episodes
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary on "Survival" by Robert Altman On
      Audio Commentary on "Survival" by Robert Altman Off
      Audio Commentary on "Next in Command" by Ben Cooper & Tom Lowell On
      Audio Commentary on "Next in Command" by Ben Cooper & Tom Lowell Off
Side #3 -- Episodes 25-28
   Off Limits
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   No Hallelujahs for Glory
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   The Battle of the Roses
      Audio Commentary by Sutton Roley On
      Audio Commentary by Sutton Roley Off
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   Hill 256
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   Play All Episodes
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary on "The Battle of the Roses" by Sutton Roley On
      Audio Commentary on "The Battle of the Roses" by Sutton Roley Off
Side #4 -- Episodes 29-32
   The Sniper
      Audio Commentary by Ted Post On
      Audio Commentary by Ted Post Off
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   One More for the Road
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   High Named Today
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   No Trumpets, No Drums
      Audio Commentary by Richard Donner On
      Audio Commentary by Richard Donner Off
      Notes, Oddities and Bloopers
   Play All Episodes
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary on "The Sniper" by Ted Post On
      Audio Commentary on "The Sniper" by Ted Post Off
      Audio Commentary on "No Trumpets, No Drums" by Richard Donner On
      Audio Commentary on "No Trumpets, No Drums" by Richard Donner Off
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