(DA!)--What an opener! A horde of handsome guys schlumping along in the forest. They're dirty. They're scruffy. They're tired. And they're all wearing those cute little hats! When my brother and I were kids, we called them "Kirby Hats" because Kirby does tend to wear his in a lot more eps than anyone else. And he also wears his backwards. Dear little Kirby. And then there's Doc... who's got his cap bent in the middle and pulled waaaaaaaaay down over his eyes, which somehow makes him look like a Confederate soldier. Go, Doc! And then there's Saunders. Mmm. He wears his way back on his head so all that lovely hair can peek out. Sigh.
Saunders has great hearing! He hears the warning music that signals the presence of Krauts and has his Thompson at the ready before they even rustle a branch.
And what a Joss Whedon-like ending for the teaser! A Kraut points his gun and we cut to the credits. Yikes! Guess that's why they call it a "teaser," huh?
You've gotta love Saunders. Someone tells him to surrender, and he sends them a spray of bullets in reply. Kind of a "here's what I think of your whole 'surrender' idea, buster!"
Honestly, that Mason guy doesn't look dead, he just looks sleepy. When he gets shot and falls down, he falls with his arm up to cushion his head and ends up looking like he's just taking a nap.
Billy is being very brave in this ep. He hops right up out of his little foxhole/crater and scoots over to talk to Saunders, never minding all those bullets whizzing around.
Um, Saunders knows that at least one of these Krauts can speak a little English. Yet he calls for an ammo count? Won't that Kraut understand what we're saying and know exactly how little ammo we have? This seems kind of silly.
And it's Brave Billy again, pulling out that bayonet like he's willing to use it. Scared and reluctant, but willing.
When Saunders stands up to surrender, he holds his hands and arms just exactly the way he did all through "Survival." This always intrigues me, because it seems like it had to be a conscious choice on Vic's part to hold his arms like that and not farther up with palms outward like 'usual' surrenders. Or is this some sort of unconscious Vic Morrow thing -- has anyone seen him do this exact gesture in non-C! roles?
Caje hides his watch in his beret. This seems like a very sensible idea, since who wants Krauts stealing your spendy Rolex? BUT there's a Kraut standing right beside/behind the camera, obviously, since he steps into frame just as Caje puts his beret back on his head (and what a lovely head it is!). This Kraut had to have seen Caje do this -- so what's the point?
(DA!)--And they're roughing up our guys. Not that I like to see anyone manhandling them (I'd rather do it myself!), but it does mean we get ripped-open shirts to aid our drooling efforts for pretty much the rest of this episode. Nummy!
Now begins the long march. Even Littlejohn looks wiped out. Only Saunders remains alert and jaunty. Okay, Caje is pretty bright-eyed too.
(DA!)-- When Cole gets shot, Saunders shoots his guard the coolest sideways look. He just looks unrepentantly angry for a second. Very sexy. Although now I'm wondering if there's not something wrong with me, if I find deep anger attractive. Hmm.
Note for Thompson Girl and all other Dana Andrews fans: doesn't Richard Basehart kind of vaguely resemble an older Dana Andrews? Okay, don't Richard Basehart's chin and bottom lip look kind of like Dana's? He even almost has that little line under his lip. Hmm. Then again, maybe I've been watching "Laura" too often and everyone is starting to look like Dana Andrews...
Get a load of those little looks between Steiner and Saunders! They're like two alpha wolves circling each other, trying to sniff out a weakness. And then you throw in Kirby's "Make my day" glaring... love it!
Hey, when Steiner mentions interrogation, Caje looks kind of fidgety and jumpy and nervous. Is this a foreshadowing of things to come? Does he know he should fear that riding crop?
(DA!)--Saunders does the best stuff with his eyes in this episode. When Gates drinks the water from Steiner's canteen, Saunders gets all glowery. Toooo yummy.
(DA!)--Also, I hope the guys never button their shirts again! They're delicious!
Steiner can wiggle his ears. How disturbing! Watch when he puts a cigarette in his mouth as our guys arrive in camp -- the camera is looking over his left shoulder, and his ear totally moves all over the place.
I always suspect Sgt. Akers of being a plant. Maybe other people did too, and that's why the episode "Ask Me No Questions" came about later on?
One of my favorite lines in this episode comes from one of Sgt. Akers's unnamed men: "Well, personally, I'm so happy, I collapsed!" I use that now and then.
Whenever Billy is nervous or uncertain, he runs his tongue along his lips. He does that a lot in the barn scenes here.
You know, we need more POW camp leaders like Steiner. This whole shower thing is a swell idea!
Okay, how come Saunders chooses Billy to go? Why not Caje or Kirby? I love Billy, he's a total sweetie, but he's not the obvious choice here. Unless it's because Kirby and Caje are too distinctive and the guards might miss them, whereas Billy is kind of generic-looking. I mean that in a good way.
I've seen this a zillion times (it's my second-favorite episode), but I still holler out loud at Billy to get his head back down when he's hiding in the loft and the Kraut's searching the barn.
How sneaky Sgt. Saunders is, not writing down his first name on the roster. This led to much frustration on my part the first time I saw this. I wanted desperately to know his first name, and he won't give it! In fact, until I was 18 or so, I didn't know his actual first name. So I called him 'Steve'.
(DA!)--No wonder this is such a universally-beloved episode! A mass shower scene! And isn't that Kirby the cutest, getting his hat all wet and throwing droplets at the guard, then hollering at him. It's like Kirby is a hoodlum and the Kraut is a city cop walking his beat. Love it!
Silly Billy. There's no time to stop and watch a soccer game -- you're supposed to be getting us some help!
(DA!)--Dang it, they're all clean now. No more attractive dirt. At least they didn't have to shave.
What an attitude Saunders has. His every movement, when they get back to the camp, says "You can't make me! I'll only do things if I want to!"
(DA!)--The back of Saunders's neck is very attractive today. I'm not sure why. It just is. I don't remember it always being this alluring. Did he recently get a haircut? I mean, it's right up there with the back of Steve McQueen's neck in "The Great Escape" in terms of attractiveness.
And can Vic Morrow ever exude hatred! The look he gives Richard Basehart when Gates screams -- it's pure venom!
(DA!)--Yeah, my bedroom lights would go on in a mighty big hurry too, if I had Saunders outside hollering that he wanted to talk to me. But I suspect they'd go on for different reasons than Steiner's...
Man, when Saunders plays nice, he plays it to the hilt! He walks demurely into Steiner's office, accepts a cigarette, says "thank you" -- he's all polite and mellow. Like this is a business meeting. He's persuasive, he's calm, he wants to be helpful.
(DA!)--And dogged if the back of his neck isn't just looking unbelievably sexy again!
My absolute favorite line in this whole episode comes from Steiner: "Drink up, Sergeant, the cognac is excellent." I love that line! Also, there was this one time when I was in college and separated from my C! tapes... I got this line stuck in my head, but couldn't figure out what it was from. It bugged me for days, and I finally called my brother up and asked him. He said, "Duh! That's Steinerkopf in 'The Long Way Home'." Boy, did I feel dumb. Anyway, it's a great line.
(DA!)--Let's have a show of hands -- who wants to help pick Saunders up off the ground where the mean Krauts dump him? Yeah, thought so.
What a great line to end the first part with: "Now it begins all over again." Shivery!
And it's on to PART TWO! No "previously on C!" stuff for us -- we just jump right into the new ep.
Why is Billy hurt? This is never explained. Grr. Also, why is Hanley dirty? And why didn't Rick Jason record books on tape? He has such a lovely voice.
Another great line from Steiner: "Sgt. Saunders chose not to be enlightened." Understatement of the year!
Love the look Caje does when Steiner condemns him to death. It's sort of a mixture between "Nooo!" and "Oh well." Saunders goes with his usual "Oh, yeah? Make me!" that he's been wearing all episode.
I'm trying to remember the first time I watched this -- was I really scared when they march Caje out of the compound? I think I was -- I think I really believed they were marching him off to shoot him.
(DA!)--Ohmygiddyaunt! Caje is tied up, he's sweaty, he's defiant -- can he get any sexier? Just look at that hair falling over his forehead... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
Okay, Steiner is just dis-tur-bing. He casually mentions that his cousin "produced babies for the Reich." Ew!
Probably my favorite Saunders line in this whole two-parter: "If we're gonna die, let's die trying." Go, Sarge!
Doc looks so scared as Steiner questions him. And yet so calm. Watch him jump when Steiner whaps him on the arm with that evil riding crop. But he's gutsy enough to tell his little Halloween story -- and it's a great story. I think it kinda shakes Steiner up -- he can't come up with a snappy retort. He just says, "I'll think about it... while you think about it." Lame!
(DA!)--That's right, Saunders, lie on your back and watch the light bulb all day... so I can watch you.
Littlejohn is full of practical knowledge. He knows all about electricity and all sorts of nifty stuff.
Okay, I love Kirby. I do. I out-and-out adore his whole interrogation scene, from being dragged out of the compound screeching "I can't stand pain!" to mouthing off "My name is jackass..." to the priceless fruitcake routine. I love Kirby. Jack Hogan, wherever you are, if you ever get to read this, I want you to know that I think you put in a brilliant performance in this ep! This is honestly one of my top ten favorite scenes from the entire series. Thank you. You make me laugh and cry at the same time. (Also, I hope you're enjoying the nice NC winter -- my parents keep writing me to brag about their weather down there).
(DA!)--Ooohlala, Caje in a muscle shirt! But is he trying to get a tan so he'll look good at his funeral? All the other guys are still fully-shirted, more or less (silly them).
Steiner really is a rock-head. Clean clothes won't mean they're not working on a tunnel. They could dig nekkid. Or in skivvies.
Okay, Caje is actually scared here, when Steiner is staring him down. I mean, actually, really scared. Caje. Scared. Listen to his voice quaver when he says, "Think so." Wow. I love him so much more for this.
(DA!)--And we're 3/4 nekkid and wet and I just have to watch this scene at least three times. Caje and Kirby are the yummiest, although get a load of Doc in the background! Silly Saunders is too modest though -- he won't even get totally shirtless! Oh well, bare arms can be nice too. Sigh. Drool. Why can't Brockmeyer be here so I can watch his muscles ripple?
It takes them a VERY long time to think of dumping the water from the washtubs to make their puddle. My sister-in-law saw this for the first time this summer, and she thought of it right away. She was bouncing up and down on the couch shouting, "Water! Water! Dump the water, you idiots! Water!"
And hey, what's that rectangular white thing that comes out of the first tub of water when they dump it? Is it soap?
I bet Saunders was a mean older brother. Watch him tease that Kraut with the cigarette! I get kinda frustrated with him, and I don't even smoke! (Okay, no, I take it back; I think he was a great older brother -- just with teasy tendencies)
Also, great momentary look of triumph on Saunders's face when the gate works. A sort of "I'm a genius!" thing flashes there for a second.
By the way, anyone wanna discuss the possible symbolism in Gates's name?
(DA!)--Go, Sarge! He hoists himself right up into Steiner's window. Sexee! Then he skulks around, flashing that knife... and when he jumps Steiner, he just launches himself into him like a missile! And what a horrible howl of pain Saunders lets loose when Steiner gouges his eye. It makes ME hurt!
Hooray for Gates, the not-so-scared-after-all grocery clerk. A hero!
(DA!)--Doc really runs rather nicely. And then there's Caje, his shirt awry, his sleeves rolled up... tasty!
I love Vic Morrow, he's a great actor. But when he pulls back the bolt on the door to let Caje into Steiner's place, it always looks a tad overdone.
But hey, Saunders is a brilliant shot! He takes out two Krauts with a pistol, while on the move, and he's only got one good eye!
Kirby crashing through the checkpoint gate always makes me cheer.
And we're free, we're happy, we're boozin' it up. Yippee!
Hello, Hanley. My, what nice clean hair you have. You always manage to show up just in time for the party, don't you?