Combat! (1962–1967)
8.7/10
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3 user

The Short Day of Private Putnam 

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A new squad member is aggressive and naive - because he's really only 15. Orville Putnam's actual age is discovered by a knowing French bartender he puts his unsubtle moves on, to impress ... See full summary »

Director:

Bernard McEveety
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Rick Jason ... Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow ... Sgt. Saunders
Beau Bridges ... Orville Putnam
Jack Hogan Jack Hogan ... Kirby
Conlan Carter Conlan Carter ... Doc
Pierre Jalbert ... Caje
Dick Peabody Dick Peabody ... Littlejohn
Tom Lowell ... Billy Nelson
Robert Sampson ... Harvey
Lilyan Chauvin ... Fauvette
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Storyline

A new squad member is aggressive and naive - because he's really only 15. Orville Putnam's actual age is discovered by a knowing French bartender he puts his unsubtle moves on, to impress his fellow infantrymen. Orville swears Fauvette to secrecy, but then the squad is ordered to recon a treacherous hill whose treetops are stuffed with German snipers. Sgt. Saunders understands that Orville is covering up for his lack of combat experience, but doesn't know the whole truth about the orphaned teen. Written by David Stevens

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Genres:

Action | Drama | War

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Beau Bridges (Putnam) played a similar role on "12 O'clock High" in a 1965 episode. See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best so far.
1 February 2016 | by abbluesky64See all my reviews

I bought the box set of 'Combat' a while back and have been working my way through each episode in chronological order, and I have to say that so far this has been one of the very best episodes I've seen - not least for the wonderful performance of Beau Bridges as a raw 15 year old recruit, suddenly realising that war is not like the comic books.

Men die and the enemy are out to kill you. I believe Bridges was 22 or so when he made this, yet he really does look 15 or 16 years old, and turns in a touching performance of an innocent youth suddenly caught up in a madness he's totally unprepared for. His spats with Saunders and the rest of the troop are totally believable and it's a story that never becomes bogged down, with a nice mix of action and humour.

As another reviewer has said, the one criticism could be the usual poor shooting of the Germans in comparison to the sharp-shooting of the Americans (as snipers you would expect them to be crack shots after all!). 'Combat' was not quite as bad as some series of the time in painting the Germans as poor shots, but they do still almost always die to a man, whereas only the odd American is killed. If only the war had been that easy eh?!

That aside, this is a really fine story, well acted and beautifully filmed. It's a 9/10 from me.


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