A detailed analysis of the teleplay will display the infallible logic of its construction. An American soldier’s French father is a collaborator, yet dies saving his son. The equation signifies that dying at the Germans’ hands or serving them amounts to the same thing, merely, and that bears witness to the truth about the war, in any event.
The Americans take a town and lose it, prepare to try again. In the opening scene, the platoon storms a machine-gun nest in a shop window. Inside are dead civilians with “a bullet each, right in the back of the head.”
A local Resistance leader, Henri Fouquet (his Café Fouquet is seen), overhears the private’s request to look for his father, he’s en route to Battalion S-2 for a debriefing on what he’s heard behind the bar from the Germans, who love to talk.
Will Kuluva and Chris Robinson are equally matched as father and son, Kuluva in reserve for the breakdown, Robinson driving steadily onward.
The mother is dead six months since, the aunt lives there, who lost her husband and son in the first month of “this foolish war”, as the doctor describes it. He treats wounded Saunders reluctantly, and gives regular medicine to the ailing German commander, as well as a mild diet, for his stomach, and the names of any Resistance people he finds out on his daily rounds.
“He would have killed me,” says the doctor to his son, “I only wanted to stay alive.” The sister admits, “I shut my eyes, that was when I died.” A child is born dead in the town due to its mother’s malnourishment, the doctor is unconcerned, he feeds well on German ration books.
Fouquet arrests the doctor, is himself arrested by the Germans and shot. “Meurtriers!”, his widow shouts at the Americans. The private is not impetuous, yet when every house is searched but the doctor’s, he begins to suspect and says, “I almost wish the Germans had searched this house.” The commander arrives for medicine and information, an ammo dump has been sabotaged. “I wish I’d been killed before I found you,” the private tells the doctor. Leaving, he and Saunders are met by two sentries outside. The doctor in his dressing gown opens fire from the doorway. “Tu es mon fils,” he says, mortally wounded.
“She’s quite a gal,” Saunders says of the aunt after she drives them near the “checking point” and returns to face the music, mother and aunt at once.
Stanley’s direction is completely in accord with the script. He pulls back from a German soldier lying dead in the street, the motorcycle he rode in on is seen, a GI falls across it and lies cheek by jowl with the German, the platoon is spinning along the walls house-to-house toward the machine gun, they pour fire into the window as Saunders moves beside it, a grenade shatters the shop into the street, they enter.
A close-up of wine glasses clinking as the private and the doctor enjoy dinner together cuts to a German flare in the sky at night as bombardment starts, the camera ends on Caje’s hand patting his rifle, cut to a close-up of a gun belt put on as the private makes ready to depart. Enter Fouquet and another man for the arrest, with charges denied by the doctor and his sister, enter Saunders, forbidden by regulations to interfere.
He and the private behind enemy lines return on foot to the platoon.
Stanley shows the absolute command of the idiom that forms the basis of his whole body of work, you can watch the opening scene and wonder who the great director is, absorb the perfect clarity and profound reaches of his setups and transitions throughout, marvel at the acting and receive the enigma finally that is offered by Richard Maibaum as a direct question, “What makes a hero?”
Saunders’ position is tacitly expressed before the credits, the platoon advances in a skirmish line toward an unseen tank and infantry support, they all deserve a medal.
Hanley with a command directive for “prompt and equitable” commendations has a Silver Star in line for the soldier who saves the day by knocking out the tank on his own initiative and using its machine gun to mow down the enemy before he’s killed by an officer’s pistol.
The dilemma is another soldier caught up in the event and given credit. A German prisoner was there, Saunders discovers the truth, the impostor turns back while fleeing to rescue the sergeant at great cost, provoking the question.
The daily job, the force of circumstances, the strength of conscience. Stanley has the best performances in Joseph Campanella as the hero, a married, sensible man with a clear opportunity, and Frank Gorshin as an unsettled dogface put on the spot.
No Hallelujahs for Glory
Quite a monstrous war drama with a lady war correspondent in the battlefield for the first time. Everything is picturesque to her, the soldiers seen as freeze-frames, a German killed before her very eyes, ultimately a tragic contretemps at the village of Trois Anges, precipitated by her boldness.
It’s a contested town, her arrival is welcomed as Liberation, speeches are made, dancing breaks out, heroes are honored. Lt. Hanley brings her back to Allied lines not yet extended so far.
The Germans return, torture the heroes and hang the leaders. It’s all a magazine spread for Sgt. Saunders, with a note that speaks of wisdom gained, he has leave to doubt it.
A doomsday scenario with an arithmetical key. An “ultimate weapon” known as Project Twelve is in the minds of three American scientists, two of whom and their wives are kidnapped by enemy agents and held captive in the basement of a restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown, the Crimson Kimono.
A semblance of seismic activity is engineered with sound waves, ultimately driving the agents up through a manhole, in an image derived from The Third Man.
The Darers Go First Raid
The Rat Patrol
Hauptmann Dietrich all but laughs to see his column repulse a raid on his desert fortress, he bows his head to suppress it.
“Hopeless,” says Moffitt. They go and get a tank, isolated amid the ruins of a village. A dog follows them in, running to catch a dud grenade Troy throws back at the Germans.
A tank shell pins the dog under a wrecked jeep. Hitchcock is wounded trying to save it, Troy succeeds, then brings him back with the grenade.
“A bonehead play,” Hitchcock admits. “You should have seen your face when he went right by you to get the dog,” says Pettigrew.
“The dog was an afterthought,” says Troy, “this is what I wanted,” the grenade. He drops it in the tank, two men emerge, it’s immobilized to bake in the sun.
Moffitt “once learned how to operate a tank,” they join Dietrich’s returning column, enter the fortress, blast the motor pool, headquarters and supply depot, then drive away. The dog has followed behind and watches all this, as Dietrich does, with interest. Afterward it goes to him playfully.
“Looks like our dog found a home.”
Moffitt knows that Troy wasn’t able to see the grenade dropped by the dog, therefore the dog’s rescue was indeed his objective.
“Idiots,” says Moffitt.
The Money Machine
An African counterfeiter is made to believe that the laborious art of engraving can be obviated with a high-speed computer copier, using the authentic paper he has stolen.
Cinnamon provides the bait, a margin buy on half a million in copper-mine stock against impending word of a rich strike by her husband, a specialist working for the mine.
The broker has found an opening for his pet project, destroying his nation’s economy with counterfeit money. But how to print eight million for himself to trade with, in so little time?
Phelps and Rollin have a computer that can do it (there is a little man inside the computer, Barney in short, cp. E.A. Poe, “Maelzel’s Chess-Player”). You feed it actual currency paper and it delivers bills that turn into ink blots when Cinnamon clicks her cigarette lighter.
The stolen paper is returned, absolutely unused, to the government of Ghalea.
The boss of all bosses (Paul Stevens) is funneling all his accounts to Switzerland. The Impossible Missions Force is called upon to cut him off.
Stanley has stunning images, a man (Nicholas Colasanto) buried alive on the hideout’s grounds and dug up by the IMF... a mask of Stevens so lifelike the camera can’t believe its eye...
Colasanto is a skimmer put out of his chicanery and made to describe for Rollin’s benefit the mannerisms of his former boss, who shares power with the initial council of the title, comprising two capos with voting rights (Paul Lambert and Vincent Gardenia).
The essential transformation of Rollin into the boss is prepared early on by Martin Landau’s study of Stevens, who returns the compliment later. Landau plays the boss with Hand’s face, and also Hand as the boss with Hand’s face, a double (triple) role, thanks to Cinnamon as a mob beautician on the one Hand, and a plastic surgeon on the other.
The game is to have the mob boss violate organization rules by ordering a hit on Senate Investigator Phelps without first holding a “council”, which is to say a meeting and vote by top members of the organization, including the very senior Jack Rycher (Eduardo Ciannelli).
Stanley’s commanding direction increases in brilliance to the end.
An extremely amusing teleplay by Barney Slater serves as a sort of blueprint or abstract of Brian G. Hutton’s X Y & Zee, and the whole humor of it is the very pure abstraction with which it is executed, apart from the punchline.
The assignment given to Phelps on a roof lays it all out. NATO’s missile defense system is mapped on two overlays, one is in the hands of Felicia, top agent of a hostile “spy apparat”. She means to get the other with help from a corrupt East European police captain.
Rollin hypnotizes Phelps (Hand has the hypnotic eye), who photographs the overlay and shoots it to Rollin, who hands it to Cinnamon, who laboriously fabricates a second overlay to give to Felicia. Phelps remembers nothing, until the visible bullet in a revolver for the captain’s Russian roulette comes round to bring it all back, as post-hypnotically suggested.
Rollin as a rival spymaster arranges the deal with Felicia, who dies a romantic death with the captain.
All professional and amateur sports are on the verge of being rigged by a promoter and a mob boss. They have the fight game already, it’s a cash cow where new talent is a spectator draw and even the eliminations are fixed. A boxer who refuses to go along is dropped from the system down an elevator shaft.
Richy Lemoine came back from military service with hands burned heroically rescuing a pilot. Barney takes his place in the ring with mere surface makeup and a mustache provided by Rollin. Robert Conrad trains him, Barney was Sixth Fleet champ but has a long way to go for professional bouts.
The promoter is moving to dominate world sports with the initial purchase of a soccer team. The mobster goes along, in view of the profit potential.
Phelps takes the assignment in a small motorboat on the lake in MacArthur Park, afterward dropping the tape in the water to destroy it. He engineers himself a job at the betting window, and sidles up to the boss.
Barney is up against a brawler with killer instinct, Ernie Staczek.
Lemoine insists that registered fights in his name must be legit, but in a sparring match to win the promoter’s attention, Barney’s opponent is gassed by way of his spit funnel. Staczek, also watching, isn’t impressed and knocks Barney down saying, “He’s nothing!”
Cinnamon takes up with the promoter in her burgundy Corvette. Phelps compiles a list of bookies. In the Staczek-Lemoine fight, Barney having risen up the card by degrees, Cinnamon is made to appear as laying off “Vegas money” on the wrong man, Barney, whose dive is scheduled for the third round. The implication is that the promoter has double-crossed the mobster, who isn’t slow to realize this.
It’s up to Barney to beat Staczek, whose superiority in weight and menace is carefully shown, and there is a cheat in the works. Nevertheless, the scientific training and skill Barney has is just enough to overcome his opponent, as seen.
Ron Randell plays the promoter with a crinkling smile, John Dehner the very serious financier, and Sugar Ray Robinson himself the promoter’s right-hand man, equally handy with an elevator button, an unlit gas stove or a tie pin.
Robert Phillips is Ernie Staczek. Jimmy Lennon does the announcing honors.
The Night of the Spanish
The Wild Wild West
The great god Cortez is impersonated by William Landon (Thayer David) to cultivate a peón workforce. He avails himself of a dead volcano and an impressive apparatus to secure the epiphany as needed.
Boom at the Top
Homage to The Pink Panther’s source in To Catch a Thief, a Washington burglar has purloined an agent’s wallet containing a microdot.
Mundy hosts an exclusive haute couture showing at which the burglar is expected. There are two.
A third guest wears a Department of Defense attaché case with an explosive lock. He’s in to a foreign embassy for money lost on the stock market, they try to collect the case, inadvertently arming it on a sixty-minute timer. The courier turns to Mundy.
Barry Sullivan, Will Kuluva as his foreign adversary, Roddy McDowall and Carol Lynley as thieves.
A Bullet for McGarrett
Wo Fat has set up a spy ring on the islands, a liability must be eliminated, this is done with typical brazenness and bloodiness, a girl shoots a boy at the university swimming pool in broad daylight.
She is under the influence of a brainwashing technique developed by Wo Fat himself and taught to a university professor who spent three years in a North Korean prisoner of war camp. In the West it’s only a theoretical possibility, hypnotic regression and post-hypnotic suggestion reinforcing a childhood neurosis to the point of murder, but it works.
Wo Fat fights tooth and nail even after this poolside blunder. McGarrett quickly assesses the case and even puts an undercover policewoman in the professor’s psychology class, she is practiced upon to “transform her into a bullet for McGarrett”.
The teleplay is derived from The Manchurian Candidate and The Ipcress File to clarify the particular sort of neurosis called into play.
The Bomber and Mrs. Moroney
The bomber at Five-O headquarters in Iolani Palace holds four hostages, Jenny, Chin Ho, Mrs. Moroney, and a patrolman. The object is to assassinate Danny, who several years previously (“...And They Painted Daisies on His Coffin”) was falsely implicated in the death of a fleeing suspect, the bomber’s brother.
Mrs. Moroney is at an age when she is of no mind to be ordered about. McGarrett is in Chicago. Kono superintends the sharpshooter team. The bomber has a mental vision of Danny riddled with bullets in slow-motion.
The Burning Ice
Sapinsley’s masterpiece is so intricately detailed that it paradoxically liberates Stanley’s direction or calls for all its resources, a more perfect combination is scarcely to be imagined.
A well-to-do doctor is in love with his nurse, his wife won’t divorce him without “handing him his head financially,” he pays a terminally ill patient to kill her in a robbery, the man is a conscientious objector from the Korean War and needs the money to keep his young son in a school for retarded children. The robbery is accomplished, the money paid, the doctor kills her himself and bores out the pistol 1/1000th of an inch to foul the ballistics report (he works on classic cars in his garage workshop). The patient dies in police custody of a brain hemorrhage.
Stanley has Jean Rouch’s handheld camera on a freeway overpass for the robber’s daylight meeting with a discount fence. He glides along an outrigger tracking McGarrett from car to pier where divers are searching for a nonexistent gun.
Much of the speed on location comes with a script so terse the acting speaks volumes, as often in this series, and even the casting (the wife is English, the nurse Hawaiian). Lou Antonio conveys most of his character in shambling flight through Sea Life Park and in the previous scene mentioned, distractedly selling the wife’s jewelry for a meremost pittance.
The detailed, abstract portrayal of a controlling influence, never prosecuted for hustling girls out of a modeling agency, now a mysterious diviner of “your secret dream”, which he is ready to fulfill.
The venue is a diamond merchant, the Duchess Jewelry Company. Garbage trucks transport hot rocks, the board of directors is transformed, a former model is among the new faces.
Lt. Kojak is offered a job as head of security to a Marseille drug supplier.
The nominal owner slips into the firm at night with a miniature camera to photograph fences at work on new settings, he’s murdered and left on the street.
The Flip Side Is Death
A failing record company producer conceives a plan to rob the Oahu National Bank by pilfering matériel from a National Guard armory and staging a VX nerve gas accident with smoke grenades. The loot is stuffed into empty cassettes to be shipped away.
The plan breaks down when his ex-con partner starts silencing potential stoolies. The roadblocks and dragnet around the North Shore focus on a hotel and old sugar mill, giving a picture of the place and a bit of poetic justice when the sugar and pineapple workers’ payroll is recovered.
The Cop on the Cover
Newsworld sends a reporter to Five-O, a caustic feminist who winds up bound and gagged by spies making off with plans for a breeder reactor.
The scheme is an ingenious one. Two children are kidnapped, ransom is paid. This is planted on an innocent party as a gambit, the father transmits the reactor plans on microfilm in exchange for his children.
The accused bus driver nearly kills himself for the press, but McGarrett bravely assures him unarmed that a full investigation will reveal the truth. This doesn’t impress the reporter, who sees it merely as added luster to “the McGarrett mystique.”
She criticizes every aspect of Five-O’s handling, and enjoys the exasperation it causes. Danny tries unavailingly to defend his boss.
A secretary is one of the two conspirators, who are caught preparing to depart for Hong Kong and a sale to “the highest bidder”. McGarrett and the reporter finally meet in his office at night, after her rescue, over “champagne and a chicken” wheeled in by her on a table covered in red. “I couldn’t find any crow,” she says.