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Hogan's Heroes - The Complete First Season

( 7 )

Overview

There's a lot of pop-culture history, as well as bad references to World War II history, in Hogan's Heroes, as as one can see when watching the five-disc Paramount set Hogan's Heroes: The Complete First Season. The 32-episode package (six on three of the platters, seven on two of them) includes the opening episode, the pilot show "The Informer, but no extras of any kind. For openers, although the pilot is in black-and-white (and has a somewhat grimmer mood than the subsequent series, and one character, a Russian ...
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Overview

There's a lot of pop-culture history, as well as bad references to World War II history, in Hogan's Heroes, as as one can see when watching the five-disc Paramount set Hogan's Heroes: The Complete First Season. The 32-episode package (six on three of the platters, seven on two of them) includes the opening episode, the pilot show "The Informer, but no extras of any kind. For openers, although the pilot is in black-and-white (and has a somewhat grimmer mood than the subsequent series, and one character, a Russian played by Leonid Kinskey, who was immediately written out, plus another, played by Larry Hovis, who was reconstituted and rewritten as a regular for the series), the subsequent series was in color. As a result, each episode starts with the original CBS network opening announcement (using three tones that almost parody the NBC signature tones) declaring that it is in color, which evokes another era, when a series going out in color was something special and different. The series itself came at the tail-end of a cycle of World War II television programs that started with shows like The Gallant Men and ended with sitcoms like this and McHale's Navy -- and you can always tell when a cycle has run its course when the comedic treatments start to displace the serious shows in the public consciousness. The programs themselves, with the exception of episode eight, "Movies Are Your Best Escape, generally look sensational, full-frame (1.33:1) and sharp, with bright color and clear sound; star Bob Crane's aviator jacket is in almost 3-D relief in one close-up. Beyond that, however, watching this series in 2005 in this package proved highly problematic, if not downright disturbing. This reviewer finally understood, watching this set, why my father -- who was a prisoner-of-war in Germany in 1945 -- so despised Hogan's Heroes, which tried to make comedy out of such a setting. The whole tone of the series now makes this reviewer's skin crawl, despite the presence of highly gifted comedic performers such as John Banner, Werner Klemperer, Robert Clary, Hovis, and Richard Dawson (who was also a highly skilled dramatic actor at the time), plus future director Ivan Dixon in the cast, and top comedy directors, including Gene Reynolds and Howard Morris. Even at those moments where a piece of truth gets through -- like when a character remarks that the prisoners at some stalags eat better than the guards -- it's told as a joke. The discs are well produced, with six chapters (corresponding to the commercial breaks) for each episode and simple menus that open automatically on start-up. The only question is whether any of this seems funny now to many people and, if it does, what that says about the way we understand history.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; The original pilot episode
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
All these years later, the mind still reels at the notion that Hollywood TV producers believed they could build a successful sitcom around Allied prisoners in a Luftwaffe-run POW camp during World War II. But they were right: Hogan's Heroes lasted six years and 168 episodes. Inspired by the 1953 feature film Stalag 17, it focused on the adventures of Col. Robert Hogan played by Bob Crane and his fellow prisoners in Stalag 13, a camp run rather inefficiently by Col. Wilhelm Klink Werner Klemperer and the bumbling Sgt. Hans Schultz John Banner. Together with his intrepid cohorts -- LeBeau Robert Clary, Newkirk Richard Dawson, Kinchloe Ivan Dixon, and Carter Larry Hovis -- Hogan worked to further the Allied cause by undermining the Nazi campaign with sabotage and psychological warfare, often pitting rival Luftwaffe officers against each other with casually dropped bits of misinformation. The 32 episodes of Season 1 maintained a tricky balance, milking comedic situations while portraying the prisoners as ingenious, resourceful combatants whose ostensible confinement camouflaged their successful efforts to defeat the enemy. The first aired episode, "The Informer," has Carter being welcomed into Stalag 13 as Hogan tries to ferret out a spy. "Happy Birthday, Adolf" finds the prisoners attempting to destroy a nearby gun emplacement on Hitler's birthday. "Hello, Zolle" features future Love Boat star Gavin MacLeod as a German officer being detained at the camp to allow the Allies to complete a troop deployment. And "Cupid Comes to Stalag 13" introduces character actor Hans Conried as a pacifistic Italian officer who'd rather make pizza than fight the war. It's nothing short of remarkable that Hogan's Heroes so consistently made a prison camp seem less like hell and more like a prep school filled with heroic, if mischievous, boys.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/15/2005
  • UPC: 097368752245
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 13:42:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 8,589

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bob Crane Col. Robert E. Hogan
Werner Klemperer Col. Wilhelm Klink
John Banner Sgt. Hans Georg Schultz
Robert Clary Cpl. Louis LeBeau
Richard Dawson Cpl. Peter Newkirk
Ivan Dixon Sgt. James 'Kinch' Kinchloe
Larry Hovis Sgt. Andrew Carter
Leon Askin General der Infantrie Albert Burkhalter
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Menu

Side #1 -- Hogan's Heroes: Disc 1
   Play All
   The Informer
   Hold That Tiger
   Kommandant of the Year
   The Late Inspector General
   The Flight of the Valkyrie
   The Prisoner's Prisoner
   German Bridge Is Falling Down
Side #2 -- Hogan's Heroes: Disc 2
   Play All
   Movies Are Your Best Escape
   Go Light on the Heavy Water
   Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sights
   Happiness Is a Warm Sergeant
   The Scientist
   Hogan's Hofbrau
   Oil for the Lamps of Hogan
Side #3 -- Hogan's Heroes: Disc 3
   Play All
   Reservations Are Required
   Anchors Aweigh, Men of Stalag 13
   Happy Birthday, Adolf
   The Gold Rush
   Helo, Zolle
   It Takes a Thief...Sometimes
Side #4 -- Hogan's Heroes: Disc 4
   Play All
   The Great Impersonation
   The Pizza Parlor
   The 43rd, A Moving Story
   How to Cook a German Goose With Radar
   Psychic Kommandant
   The Prince From the Phone Company
Side #5 -- Hogan's Heroes: Disc 5
   Play All
   The Safecracker Suite
   I Look Better in Basic Black
   The Assassin
   Cupid Comes to Stalag 13
   The Flame Grows Higher
   Request Permission to Escape
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Stalag 13, the one and only...

    Finally got the first season on DVD -- and I'm already in love with it. Includes the original "pilot" episode, "The Informer" (the only one on the set that's in B&W, the subsequent episodes are full color), which is hilarious. All of the episodes are restored and much better than when they used to be shown on reruns in syndication. And that theme music is always memorable from start to finish...definitely will get the other DVD sets in the near future so that I have all the episodes in my collection and I can them over and over again at my leisure (and even now, the theme music is playing in my head as I'm writing this review...)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hogan's Heroes Fan

    I was unsure when my parents brought home a TV show that I haven't even heard about. Then I learned that the first episode was in black and white, and I doubted if I would like it. By the end of the episode, I was laughing my head off. It's good to see a TV show that didn't have sex or violence. It's good clean fun, and written even better. I love it when Hogan and the gang get the better of the Germans. I reommend it to anyone who is in need of a laugh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    First Season of a Classic

    Hogan's Heroes is one of those classics that even mentioning it will make you laugh. It's a great show, and one that shows you that you need funny people and funny humor more than you do elaborate sets and expensive effects.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Show

    Hogan's Heroes is a show I could watch for days and days. Not many better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hogan Heroes DVD

    The Hogan's Heroes DVD Set is a "must" for fans of classic TV. And for a price of under $25.00, you can't ask for more. The picture quality is superb. And with the expection of the very first (pilot) episode, it also features the CBS Color Intro at the beginning of each episode; since this was one of the first color shows to air on CBS in prime time in 1965. Needless to say, the stars and guest stars of this program were of top quality. And this was one of the first network programs to feature an African-American co-star. But the best thing to enjoy about this set is the fact that they can be enjoyed "un-edited". I would recommend this collection to anyone. And I'm hoping that season two and other subsequent seasons will be released in the near future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of my favorite shows

    I really love hogan's heroes, i grew up watching it. And when it went off the air in my area i started looking for the DVDs on sale and could never find them. I am definetly going to get this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews