Combat! reviews by Jo
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(025) Off Limits
George F. Slavin
Produced by Robert Altman
First aired 19-Feb-1963 (Episode 20 of Season 1)
Jeremy Slate and Peggy Ann Garner guest star as Cpl. Andy March and his wife, Army
nurse Lt. Amelia March. In "Off Limits," March meets his wife while returning
from a mission. Hanley promises to arrange a short leave to spend with his wife. But when
Kirbys temper lands him in the stockade, March takes his place on a dangerous
In his farewell directorial assignment for Combat!, Robert Altman assembled a
fine cast of actors for a story of infidelity, betrayal, and loyalty. William Windom is
properly attractive and fatherly as the doctor that tempts the married nurse. Though the
character seems untroubled by his own relationship with a married woman, he finds her
moral behavior inappropriate when he meets the husband. Oh, well, its the sixties,
after all, so it should be the womans fault, and Windom pulls it off with such
confidence that it barely detracts from the story. Peggy Ann Garner, who first came to
prominence as a child actress playing the young Jane in the 1944 Jane Eyre and the
leading role of Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, plays the very adult,
Continuing with his concept of a core cast of regular squad members, Altman brought
Arnold Merritt back as Crown. He first introduced the character in "Rear Echelon
Commandos" and again in "I Swear by Apollo." Unfortunately, the character
seems to have left with Altman, since this is Crowns last appearance, though the
actor reappears in a later episode under a different character name.
The highlights of this episode are Saunders two speeches: one to Kirby, who,
though his own actions lead to Marchs wounding, still has the gall to look down on
Marshs wife, and the second to the wife. Saunders words are reminiscent of
Bogarts classic speech at the airway to Ingrid Bergman. Hanley also shines in all
officer glory as he dresses down Private Crown for being AWOL.
"Off Limits" is a fine episode, with strong acting, and an interesting look
at people exploring the limits of loyalty in their relationships. Crown, Kirby, and Lt.
Marsh must all redefine for themselves what will be off limits for them in the future.
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
- Kirby has a bandaid on his right hand, on the pinky, during the scene where he's leaning
over the side of the truck talking to Marsh.
- Marshs wife is with the 325th evac hospital.
- This episode gives Jack Hogan another solo credit.
- No closing credits for either Jeremy Slate or Peggy Ann Garner.
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley
Jack Hogan as Kirby
Pierre Jalbert as Caje
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Tom Lowell as Billy Nelson
Arnold Merritt as Crown
Mark Ryan as Hanson
Andre Phillippe as Andre
Marie Gomez as Claire
Maxine Arnold as 2nd Nurse
Betty Tesman1st as Nurse
William Windom as Captain Lew Anders