Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hogan's Heroes (1965 - 1971)



Critics over the years have tried to understand why Hogan's Heroes was such an influential TV series. The brilliant camera work and expert acting have long been acknowledged, but what has gone largely unmentioned was that Hogan's was the first TV series to seamlessly combine humor and drama. The horrors of the Nazi era are depicted right beside the humorous fumblings of Sgt. Schultz and Col. Klink.

A full seven years later, MASH would successfully copy this formula. MASH was widely praised, and rightfully so, but the recent release of Hogan's on DVD shows what critics have insisted over the years: Hogan's was an astonishingly innovative series whose impact is still being realized today.

Little known fact: Shakespearean actor Werner Klemperer was the son of the Jewish-German conductor Otto Klemperer and his contract specified that Colonel Klink could never be portrayed as a "good guy," and that the Nazis could never come out on top in any episode. Additionally, Robert Clary (LeBeau) had survived internment at Buchenwald.

5 comments:

laura r. said...

Did you see Auto Focus?

Alan Smithee said...

Alan Smithee sees every film.

k8 said...

arent you dead?

casey said...

Since Hogan's Heroes ran during the time in which I was both conceived and born, I think I could learn a lot about myself from watching it now. I just put it in my queue. Now I just have 88 DVDs ahead of it to watch.

Alan Smithee said...

I hope several are by Alan Smithee.

ps: still alive!