Combat!: Missing in Action

The main action occurs in September, 1944. A mission briefing of the 465th Bomber Wing is dated July 7th, and lays out a daily repeated milk run against rail yards. The CO’s plane is shot down over Rouen, the crew bail out, he is wounded and rescued by the Maquis, who hide him at a farmhouse.

Lt. Hanley is assigned to get him. He takes three men, a maquisard smuggles them cross-country. There is a traitor in the organization.

The farmer and his wife have a niece, she has betrayed Maquis operations all around to keep the flier safe. She’s left behind to be dealt with later.

A secondary theme compresses the drama. One of the crewmen is shot and killed in civvies at night by Pvt. Fergus of the platoon, who is himself mortally wounded at a German checkpoint and dies in the farmhouse.


Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.

He is a Navy pilot who bails out in the Pacific and makes his home on an island while waiting for rescue. Wednesday is a beautiful native girl, her father Tanamashu operates the stone effigy of a god that maintains discipline and prevents such a marriage.

This is signed as the only film of television director Paul (Ben Casey, My Favorite Martian), but it might just as well be regarded as an exemplar of Disney’s cinema, the fruits of long study and patient accomplishment. It is balanced, if that is the word, or better pitched amidst surrealism, poetry and a modesty that would belie its devotion and brilliance if it weren’t the stuff they were made on.