Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(141) The Outsider
Jason Evers guest stars as Pvt. Jim Cully
RATING: 2 bayonets
Written by Shirl Hendryx
Directed by Richard Benedict
First aired 22-Nov-1966
Episode 10 of Season 5
Private Cully is a moody misanthrope who joins the squad. The farm boy meets
with hostility because of his anti-social attitudes. At Littlejohn's urgings,
Kirby and squad take pains to make sure Cully feels wanted.
In "The Outsider," Jason Evers has the thankless task of portraying an
unlikable cur who the squad takes to heart. Cully cares about no one but himself, has
no manners, looks down on his squad members, will not help Caje when he is
pinned down, and will not even say thank you when Caje saves his neck. After all
this, Littlejohn wants to give him a tractor.
The direction by Richard Benedict does not help Evers with the role; the
camera could have been used to either soften his attitude, reflect on his thought
processes, or let viewers see something redeeming about Cully. But the camera
work is less than revelatory, just a notch below ordinary.
"The Outsider" features a warm and fuzzy Kirby. The first season Kirby would
not have put up with any of Cully's nonsense. A nice job by new Combat! regular William Bryant as McCall. He plays McCall like the old Kirby. The
poker scene between Kirby and him is delightful.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
At Cully's first entrance, he is standing just outside the door; then in the
next cut he is inside the house without having moved.
Inside the church, Cully is holding tractor the picture as Hanley enters.
Later, the paper is out of his hands but he never laid it down.
Same scene, Caje is seated behind Kirby and McCall smoking a cigarette. After
the commercial break (when no time has passed in the scene), Caje is now
standing by the door, not smoking.
The radio operator, Steve Marlo, was also Hanley's radio operator in "Hills
Are for Heroes" and "The Leader" and McCall's second on the bazooka in "The
McCall slaughters a German, shooting him ten times with an eight-shot M1.
ABOUT FILMING THE EPISODE:
Dick Peabody says of Richard Benedict, "He was the only director that I hated
his guts. Most directors on established shows know that they are more
expendable than the regular cast. Not this dude. He came on like Otto Preminger from the
moment he walked on the stage." On the first day of shooting, Peabody and
Benedict disagreed over a scene in the church where Peabody had entered and removed
his helmet. "Littlejohn always takes his helmet off in a church. He's from a
farm in the Bible Belt. That's how he was raised." Peabody would not leave his
helmet on and Benedict called the producer to enforce his authority. They did
not back him up and the film was shot with Peabody removing his helmet. Vic
Morrow then arranged with producer Gene Levitt for this episode to be Benedict's
last. He was originally signed to do more episodes, but they bought out his
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders [does not appear]
Jason Evers as Pvt. Jim Culley
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Steven Marlo as Blake
Biff Elliott as Doctor
Richard Miller as Young Soldier
Stasa Damascus as French Girl
Paul Busch as German Sgt.
David "Buddy" Pantsari as German Patrol Leader
William Bryant as McCall
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Davidsmeyer. All rights reserved. Photographs from the TV series