Combat! [TV Series] (1962)

Genres - Action, War  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The most successful of network television's many WWII dramatic series of the '60s, Combat!, ran for five seasons on ABC -- or roughly one year longer than the war lasted! Set in the months following D-Day, the weekly, hour-long series focused on King Company, a platoon of American GIs battling their way through Southern Europe, encountering action, adventure, humor, heartbreak and dozens of guest stars along the way. Throughout the series' run, King Company was headed by gritty, taciturn Sgt. Chip Saunders (Vic Morrow) and his superior officer, cool and courageous Lt. Gil Hanley (Rick Jason). Though several soldiers were attached to the platoon from one season to the next, the most enduring of the supporting players were Pierre Jalbert as Paul "Caje" Lemay, Jack Hogan as "Wild Man" Kirby, and Dick Peabody as PFC Littlejohn. Some of the better episodes were directed by such Hollywood heavyweights as Robert Altman and Burt Kennedy. Filmed in glorious black-and-white during its first four seasons -- the better to accommodate newsreel footage of actual wartime battles -- Combat! switched to color for its fifth and final season on the air.