Monday, May 31, 2021

Combat! “Hills are for Heroes”: Director Vic Morrow’s Masterpiece, Feature-Length, Two-Part Story (Presented Without Commercial Interruption)

By Nicholas Stix

At the time, the title of this 1966 story was an obvious allusion to the classic, 1962 World War II infantry movie, Hell is for Heroes. Here, the hell is on a hill.

The point is that it’s a meaningless yet untakeable hill, defended by two fortified cement German pillboxes, and yet Lt. Gil Hanley has been ordered to take it—with no artillery support. But his men can’t take it. And yet the order comes down again and again and again—just like hell might be.

Although someone was kind enough to upload both parts as one piece, he did so as an 84-minute story. As broadcast, the story ran 96 minutes, because the last, 12-minute scene at the end of Part I is re-run at the beginning of Part II as recapitulation, but also perhaps because it is one of the most powerful scenes in the modern history of war drama. It obviously influenced Steven Spielberg, when the latter made Saving Private Ryan.

The only version that was posted just as it was shown, over 96 minutes, was done in six parts, presumably out of fear of the Kopyright Kops. Anyone wanting to skip the recapitulation need only by pass Part 2/1.

Vic Morrow, who with Rick Jason co-starred in the series, was clearly not only a gifted actor, but an extremely talented director.

Note that this story came late in the series’ fourth season, as episodes 118 and 119, yet it was not flagging in the least, and is on the short list of the series’ greatest stories.

There’s a bittersweet quality to the title, because Combat! was created in 1962 by Robert Pirosh (1910-1989), who wrote and directed Hell is for Heroes the same year.

Before The War, Bob Pirosh was a successful, Hollywood comedy writer, writing films such as the Marx Brothers’ A Day at the Races (1937).

When The War came, Pirosh enlisted, and made it to master sergeant. He survived the Battle of the Bulge, the biggest battle in the entire war, as one of the “battered bastards of Bastogne.” In Bastogne, Belgium, members of the Army’s elite 101st Airborne, who had been converted to infantry troops, but whose ammo was just about out, and whose gas for tanks was gone, were besieged by well-supplied, crack German troops who outnumbered them 10-1. We had to hold Bastogne, in order to stop the Germans from splitting the American and British forces, and cutting off our path to supplies in Antwerp.

It’s the stuff of legends, yet it’s all true.

The Gerries demanded we surrender, and expected we would. Instead, Maj. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe’s response was, “Nuts!”

And we prevailed! It's one of the greatest stands in American military history.

After The War, Robert Pirosh devoted himself to singing the praises of the infantry. He wrote an original story and screenplay about his experiences in Bastogne, which as filmed by William “Wild Bill” Wellman, became the masterpiece and box-office smash, Battleground. Pirosh won an Oscar for best writing. It was nominated for six Oscars, all told, and won a second statuette for Paul Vogel’s black-and-white cinematography.

(Just about everything I know about Robert Pirosh, I know from Jo Davidsmeyer, the greatest source of knowledge about the show that is a leading contender for the title of the greatest dramatic TV series of them all.)

Unfortunately, once the suits at ABC took on Combat!, they dumped Pirosh.

Hell is for Heroes was another saga about infantrymen on an impossible mission, which unfortunately starred the King of Cruel, Steve McQueen. Pirosh almost wrapped the film but, driven to distraction by the insufferable McQueen, quit just before the finish line. Don Siegel finished the movie, and got full credit as director. Pirosh got no credit for directing his labor of love.

Robert Pirosh continued selling scripts, mostly for TV series, until 1981.

Combat! S04E25 - Hills are for Heroes (Part 1) 1/3

Uploaded on Feb 12, 2012 by VariousVideos2012.

(Part 1) 2/3


(Part 1) 3/3


Combat! S04E26: “Hills are for Heroes” (Part 2) 1/3


(Part 2) 2/3


(Part 2) 3/3

William “Wild Bill” Wellman’s 1949 WWII Masterpiece, Battleground

The French poster

By David in TN
Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 3:42:00 P.M. EST


TCM is showing Battleground (1949) on Monday Night, February 4, at 8 p.m. ET.


Reading a Nazi propaganda flier: Van Johnson, l;,John Hodiak, r; unknown actor, c



Battleground, 1949. The first movie depiction of the Siege of Bastogne.

By the way, my Dad really approved of the Chaplain's speech ("Was This Trip Necessary?"), delivered by Leon Ames.



This scene also was a "Cold War preparedness message," according to Jay Hyams' 1984 book, War Movies.


See also:

“‘Was This Trip Necessary?’ The Sermon in Bastogne, During the Battle of the Bulge, in William ‘Wild Bill’ Wellman’s 1949 Masterpiece, Battleground; and

“‘Nuts!’: The Most Famous Phrase of The War”; and

“See the Inspiring Ending to William ‘Wild Bill’ Wellman’s Masterpiece About the True Story of ‘the Battered Bastards of Bastogne,’ Battleground (1949), Featuring the ‘Jody Cadence’ (Video).”


  Read These Great Battle Memoirs by American Fighting Men, Going Back to the Revolutionary War By Nicholas Stix


Read These Great Battle Memoirs by American Fighting Men, Going Back to the Revolutionary War

By Nicholas Stix


Memorial Day, at TCM

By David in TN

This Memorial Day weekend TCM is showing a marathon of war movies.

On Monday, May 31, TCM has three special films.

At 3 p.m. ET, Sam Fuller’s The Steel Helmet (1951) with Gene Evans (in a rare lead) as a WWII veteran NCO in the early days of the Korean War.

John Huston’s The Red Badge of Courage (1951) with Audie Murphy in possibly his finest performance, at 6:30 p.m. ET, from Stephen Crane’s famous novel.

In prime time at 8 p.m. ET, TCM features William Wellman’s Battleground (1949) with Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, and John Hodiak.

Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 7:35:00 P.M. EDT


Captain “Barney O’Goodman,” USMC (1918-1944): Lest We Forget



Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

When I was a wee lad, a couple times a year my mom would call a taxi, and send me and my big sister down to Long Beach’s West End, to visit our Aunt Rose.

The West End was close to 100% Catholic, and overwhelmingly Irish, and yet Aunt Rose had lived there seemingly forever. When we were kids, she still had the sign out front that she was a realtor, though she probably hadn’t done any work for years.

Aunt Rose always served us home-made fish cakes—the world’s worst! They tasted as if she’d breaded them with sawdust.

In the back of the first floor—the only floor I ever saw—Aunt Rose had an old-fashioned sink with two faucets, on opposite sides. The left faucet got you scalding hot water, and the right one got you ice-cold water.

By then, Aunt Rose was severely stooped, stood something like 4’8,” and shuffled around the house unsteadily.

Aside from the TV, a big, old black & white set that was surely a Zenith (Aunt Rose was a fan of the show, Millionaire), the parlor was unofficially the Howard K. Goodman Memorial Museum.

Aunt Rose had given a photograph of Howard in his dress uniform to a painter, whose portrait dominated the room.

On the mantle below the portrait, were Howard’s medals in little boxes. There were at least two, of which I recall only the Purple Heart. The other one must have been his Silver Star.

What a terrible thing, to lose one’s only child in The War.

Nana had told me about how respected Gold Star Mothers were.

Nana, Aunt Rose’s kid sister, had three children, two of whom survived military service. Aunt Ruth (1921-2016), made it to lieutenant in the WACs, and Uncle Irwin (1924-1992) made it to sergeant in the Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and then went back for seconds in the Korean War.

Aunt Ruth became an elementary school teacher in Bellmore, New York, while Uncle Irwin worked largely as a college reference librarian in Atlanta.

During Aunt Rose’s latter years, when she and Nana were the last of 14 siblings, all born in Hungary, circa 1873-1893, they would speak on the phone every morning, and every conversation would end with the sisters shouting, “Oh, Rose!,” “Oh, Fan (Fanny)!,” and simultaneously slamming down the phone.

For one of Aunt Rose’s last birthdays, one of the relatives took us all to a fancy Jewish restaurant on the (Long) Island somewhere. All I remember is us sitting at a long row of tables that the staff had pushed together, and everyone starting off with matzo ball soup, which I hated.

Aunt Rose died around 1966, in her early eighties; around the time I turned eight.

Only in 2012 did I learn that Aunt Rose had in fact had three children. She just organized her home, as if Howard had been her only child!

My cousin Howard explained things to me in 2012, when we met at our cousin Philip’s funeral. (Philip was only 55, and while he’d been a skinny kid, he had long been morbidly obese.)

We traveled together afterwards on the LIRR. It seems that Aunt Rose had two daughters, Ruth and Alma, of whom Ruth was Howard’s mother. (Howard Passel was born a few months after the Jap sniper killed Howard Goodman, and Ruth thus named her child after her brother.)

But of course! I’d met Ruth and Alma and their respective husbands many times, when they came to visit Nana, but never made the connection.

If memory serves, Ruth and Alma both became schoolteachers, a common trade for smart Jewish girls, before they discovered that they could become rich as shysters through extortionary lawsuits.

Although I recall Ruth’s husband, I can’t recall his name (Ben?). I’ll rectify that omission later. Alma married Raymond Kaplow (1909-1983), who had made it to at least captain in the Army Medical Corps, and who would become a celebrated orthopedic surgeon.

The West End has always been full of Irish saloons, which is where Howard Goodman would have learned all those Irish songs. He was admitted to the New York Bar about a month before he shipped off, so I doubt that he ever worked as a lawyer.

Howard Kenneth Goodman (1918 - 1944)
By Howard Passel

Captain Howard Kenneth “Howie” Goodman
Born 7 Mar 1918 in Trenton, NJ, USA
Son of Samuel (Gutman) Goodman and Rosa (Frank) Goodman
Brother of Ruth (Goodman) Passel and Alma (Goodman) Kaplow
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died 7 Jan 1944 in Cape Gloucester, New Britain
Goodman-3008 created 1 Jul 2015 | Last modified 22 Apr 2017
This page has been accessed 90 times.


Then there was “Barney O'Goodman.” The records list him as “Captain Howard K. Goodman, a New York lawyer, but they called him Barney O’Goodman because he could sing more Irish songs than any man in the regiment. They called him ‘Bugle Boy,’ too, because he blew his company’s calls in camp. It was the only company in the Marine Corps with a captain for a bugler. It was pretty much a company secret."++

Awarded a Silver Star for heroism on Guadalcanal. He was killed on Cape Gloucester because he exposed himself to spot the enemy rather than order one of his men to do it.++


+ My mother, Ruth Goodman Passel. ++ Asa Bordages, Technical Sergeant, U. S. Marine Corps, "From SUICIDE CREEK," Collier's magazine, June 2, 1945.


Howard at Columbia University


Memorial Day Video: Reveille

David Huddleston and James McEachin


With best Memorial Day wishes to my readers and their loved ones.

Lest we forget.

To Mssrs. Huddleston (U.S. Air Force) and McEachin (U.S. Army), now both past 80: I thank you for your service, gentlemen.

Thanks to Rudeseal and Hal Netkin at lawatchdog and, above all, to the Brothers Montierth!

Postscript, Memorial Day, 2017:

David Huddleston: September 17, 1930-August 2, 2016, RIP.

Memorial Day, 2018:

James McEachin, who just turned 88 (2022: 92!) on May 20, is still among us.

media, black supremacists Try to Cancel Memorial Day for Whites … Again

[“Armed black terrorists in Tulsa Threaten to Murder Every White in Sight.”]

By Grand Rapids Anonymous
Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 11:17:00 P.M. EDT

You know what’s really disgusting on this Memorial Weekend, is the constant dredging up of something I’d never heard of (no loss) in my life—the Tulsa Incident from 1921—about which cbs is airing a one-hour special on Monday. The constant banter on news shows all day today was, “one hundred years ago Whites committed racial atrocities against blacks,” was obviously coordinated by media big shots and passed down to local affiliates.

This mantra (“Tulsa, Tulsa”) was repeated loudly and often by PBS—in particular—who apparently decided to observe Memorial Day by looking back at supposedly how racist Whites were 100 years ago. The other networks also had reports and gentle reminders (sarcasm).

All the news copy I listened to this weekend mentioned “racist Whites killing blacks” as often as possible. As I’ve said, I never heard of this supposed mass murder of blacks by evil Whitey, in my life.

My theory: It’s being done to desecrate this holiday that White Americans have celebrated for decades—and promote more incitement, I suppose, to get blacks into the mood of killing even more Whites than they already do.

The media is always looking for crap like this to make Whites feel guilty or incite blacks to riot.

For commie, anti-American media, this isn't Memorial Day, it’s Tulsa Day.



By Jerry PDX
Monday, May 31, 2021 at 4:36:00 A.M. EDT

Evening news ran a feature on Tulsa, and how Whites attacked and burned the black section of town known as “black Wall Street,” it’s something that shows up regularly when the media wants to hand us one of their usual doses of “White guilt.” The usual narrative is that Whites were “jealous” of blacks and that’s why they did it. However, unlike most stories you see about this, the feature I saw mentioned an incident of a black man assaulting a White woman in an elevator as being part of the catalyst for what happened, but treated it like a false accusation.

It reminds me of the Emmett Till killing, but any stories we are told about that one usually either omit the fact he was sexually harassing a white woman, or downplay it as a harmless “wolf whistle.”

I’m going speculate about this a bit. I suspect that these were not lone incidents, but as blacks were feeling emboldened about society opening up, black men began to behave like...well, like black men behave. Their behavior began to reflect what we see on a daily basis: Open sexual harassment of White females, bullying of whites in general, extraordinary high rate of forcible rape and a need to assert sexual superiority over whites. When Whites became aware of this behavior, they acted, and quite frankly, I don’t blame them one bit. Unfortunately, self-hating Whites in conjunction with black racists have pretended that Whites acted purely out of their own racism and have covered up black behavior that triggered the anger and violence, and will say only that Whites were “jealous” of black success. I have noticed that no evidence has ever been presented that even suggests that was their motivation. On the other hand, black men sexually harassing White women is something we now see on a regular basis, which tells us more about what may have really happened than the PC lies we see in the media.


13 Shot, 2 Fatally Since Friday Night in Chicago

By R.C.
Sun, May 30, 2021 7:15 p.m.

13 Shot, 2 Fatally Since Friday Night in Chicago

R.C.: Trailing Miami?



Raceless Man Broke Off-Duty Fireman's Jaw in Bronx, in Order to Take His Parking Spot

-----Original Message-----
From: New York Post <>
Sun, May 30, 2021 7:30 p.m.

Off-Duty Firefighter's Jaw Broken in Bronx Brawl over Parking Spot

Off-duty firefighter's jaw broken in Bronx brawl over parking spot
Surveillance footage released by the NYPD on Sunday shows one man clock the 22-year-old smoke...
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MAY 30, 2021


Armed black terrorists in Tulsa Threaten to Murder Every White in Sight

By An Old Friend
Sun, May 30, 2021 9:53 p.m.

Black Supremacists in Tulsa

AOF: Repeating last sentence:

"Meanwhile, the FBI is busy hunting down grandmas who aimlessly wandered through the Capitol on January 6."


Great, if Not a Hoax: Discriminatory Popeye's Drive-Thru Sign Under Criminal Investigation

By "W" Sun, May 30, 2021 10:27 p.m.

"W": Great, if Not a Hoax

Let the duskies get their fill of the fried "food"....


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Drunk Driver Allegedly Hits Five NYPD Officers on Staten Island

-----Original Message-----
From: New York Post <>
Sun, May 30, 2021 2:42 p.m.

Drunk Driver Allegedly Hits Five NYPD Officers on Staten Island

N.S.: But did he just drink himself some courage, like the black supremacist female who recently murdered a White cop, after drinking her way through a podcast where she ranted and raved about her hatred of cops?

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MAY 30, 2021