The Rat Patrol, created by Tom Gries, originally ran for two seasons on the ABC network. The half-hour series starred Christopher George as Sgt. Sam Troy, the commander of a special unit consisting of two armored jeeps, usually operating behind enemy lines in the North African desert. The four-man cast, including Gary Raymond, Lawrence Casey, and Justin Tarr, was augmented by the frequent reappearance of Hans Gudegast (aka Eric Braeden) playing their most frequent nemesis, Captain Dietrich. Seen today, the action is fast and furious throughout, augmented by Dominic Frontiere's music, which was an extension of a lot of the scoring that he wrote for The Outer Limits (made by the same studio, United Artists). The whole series was a production of the Mirisch Brothers, who were responsible for such war and action features as The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape, and it offers a level of action and quality that is closer to motion pictures in many ways than to the standard of what we now see as television-scale drama. The casting is frequently excellent, with guests such as Albert Paulsen and Claudine Longet; Skip Homeier also seems to have been the narrator in one multi-part show; and the direction includes a realistic level of violence (the incidental cutting of one German soldier's throat with a razor during a fight between two other characters is still pretty amazing to see on a TV show). The film-to-video transfer on this set of 32 episodes is excellent. The series made it to syndication very early and was reshown in major markets well into the 1970s and '80s, but in edited form, and it's great to see it intact again. The cinematography has a real luster here, the full-frame (1.33:1) image filled with color and contrasts, and the sound is good and loud and detailed as well. The Mirisches knew how to spend their money, and it's all to our benefit -- these shows all play like good, tough old-style war movies, with Frontiere's music frequently adding an extra level of class and seriousness. Each 30-minute episode gets three chapters, in matching the main divisions of the action; each of the four discs opens on an easy-to-use main menu; and there's a bonus "dossier" in print giving details of the players' careers and their characters.
|Source:||Mgm (Video & Dvd)|
|Sound:||[Dolby Digital Stereo]|
Closed Caption; Includes collectible dossier
I saw the DVD at the store and I almost pastout. I was glue to the TV in 1977. The best love the storys. Know I need the greenhornet on DVD and I will be set. please do someting about it BN...