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Colonel Klink

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Colonel Klink

For other uses, see Hogan's Heroes (disambiguation).
Hogan's Heroes
File:Hogan's Heroes Title Card.png
Format Military sitcom
Created by Bernard Fein
Albert S. Ruddy
Starring Bob Crane
Werner Klemperer
John Banner
Robert Clary
Richard Dawson
Larry Hovis
Ivan Dixon
Kenneth Washington
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 168 (Pilot episode-B/W; 167-color) (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 25 minutes
Production companies Alfran Productions
Bob Crane Enterprises (1970-1971)
Bing Crosby Productions
CBS Productions
Distributor CBS Films (before 1971)
Viacom Enterprises (1971-95)
Paramount Domestic Television (1995-2006)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006-07)
CBS Television Distribution (2007-present)
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format 4:3 SDTV
16:9 HDTV
Original run September 17, 1965 (1965-09-17) – March 28, 1971 (1971-03-28)

Hogan's Heroes is an American television sitcom that ran for 168 episodes from September 17, 1965, to July 4, 1971, on the CBS network. The show was set in a German prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War II. Bob Crane starred as Colonel Robert E. Hogan, coordinating an international crew of Allied prisoners running a Special Operations group from the camp. Werner Klemperer played Colonel Wilhelm Klink, the commandant of the camp, and John Banner was the inept sergeant-of-the-guard, Hans Schultz.

The series was popular during its six-season run. In 2013, creators Bernard Fein through his estate and Albert S. Ruddy acquired the sequel and other separate rights to Hogan's Heroes from Mark Cuban through arbitration and a movie based on the show has been planned.[1]

Premise

The setting was a fictional version of Luftwaffe Stalag 13 (Camp 13 in early episodes), a POW camp for captured Allied airmen located north of the town of Hammelburg in the Bad Kissingen woods. It was on the Hammelburg Road (now known as E45), on the way to Hofburgstraße and eventually Düsseldorf. One episode places the camp 106 kilometres (66 mi) from Heidelberg in flying miles; it was 199 km (124 mi) by car. The camp had 103 prisoners during the first season, but was larger by the end of the show.

Stalag 13 bore no resemblance to its real-life counterparts, Oflag XIII-B and Stalag XIII-C, which were prison camps for Allied ground troops. It had rather more similarities to the real-life Stalag Luft III, which was the scene of a famous mass prisoner escape involving an elaborate tunnel system. The premise was that the POWs were actually using the camp as a base of operations for Allied espionage and sabotage against Germany. The prisoners could leave and return almost at will via a secret network of tunnels and had radio contact with Allied command, which was based in London and code named "Papa Bear". Hogan's code name was "Goldilocks", although in later seasons Stalag 13 utilized different code names. Hogan and his band were aided by the incompetence of the camp commandant, Colonel Klink, and the complex motivations of Sergeant of the Guard Schultz.

Colonel Hogan would routinely manipulate Klink and get Schultz to look the other way while the Allied men conducted secret operations. Klink and Schultz were constantly at risk of transfer to the Russian Front, and Hogan helped keep the duo in place. Schultz was aware the prisoners were carrying out mischief, but deliberately ignored it to maintain the status quo, often stating "I know nothing", "I hear nothing" or "I see nothing", sometimes all three at once.

Klink had a perfect record of no escapes while he commanded the camp, not including two guards who may have deserted. Hogan actually assisted in maintaining this record, and made sure any prisoners who needed to be spirited away had been transferred to someone else's authority before their escape was enacted or replacements were provided to maintain the illusion that no one had escaped.

The main five Allied prisoners (three Americans, one British, one French) bunked in "Barracks 2" (a goof here was that whenever the door was open, another building labeled "Barracks 3" could be seen, even though the barracks were supposed to be directly in front of the "Kommandantur", which was, unlike actual prison camps, situated inside the wire). The prisoners have tunnels to nearly every barracks and building in the camp, so much so that Hogan, in a third-season episode, has difficulty finding a spot in the camp without a tunnel under it.

Cast

Allies

Colonel Hogan

United States Army Air Forces Colonel Robert E. Hogan (Bob Crane), senior ranking POW officer, was the leader of the group. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, but considers Cleveland, Ohio, his home, though it was mentioned in episode 33 "Hogan Throws a Birthday Party" that Hogan was from Indianapolis. He commanded the 504th Bomb Group, which was (after Hogan was shot down) transferred back to the states to work with the Manhattan Project. He was shot down while on a raid on Hamburg in an operation masterminded by Luftwaffe Colonel Biedenbender, who was promoted to general for this achievement (though Hogan gets even by framing Biedenbender for bombing a German refinery, thereby ruining his military career in the episode "Hogan Throws a Birthday Party"). In contrast to Colonel Klink, Hogan graduated third in his military class. The character was named by series creator Bernard Fein after his friend, the American soap opera and character actor Robert J. Hogan, who appeared in two episodes of Hogan's Heroes.

It is stated by a U.S. Navy officer in a first-season episode that "If you weren't one of their prisoners, you'd be one of ours", due to his less-than-legal methods of accomplishing his goals. General Biedenbender stated that Hogan has a flair for the overcomplex, which is often shown in the series. Many of the covert operations shown are highly complex, but due to Hogan's care in planning and the skill of the other characters, they are usually successful.

The presence of Colonel Hogan in a Stalag is likely historically inaccurate, since Stalags were only for enlisted personnel. Officer POWs were held separately in Oflag camps. When impersonating German officers, Hogan will often refer to himself as "Hoganmuller", "Hoganmeister", "Hoganheimer", "Hoganburg" or similar always using his surname for part of the German name.

Staff Sergeant Kinchloe

United States Army Air Corps Staff Sergeant James (a.k.a. Ivan) "Kinch" Kinchloe (Ivan Dixon) was primarily responsible for radio, telegraph, and other forms of electronic communications. In the series pilot, Kinchloe was introduced as Hogan's chief of staff, and, in addition to his communications expertise, was observed speaking fluent French to Corporal LeBeau. This was a large step for a 1960s television show, to have a black actor identified in such a manner. In the fifth episode of the first season, when it looks like Colonel Crittendon (Bernard Fox) was going to be the new senior Prisoner of War officer, Hogan introduces his men, with Kinchloe cited as Chief of Operations. A talented mimic, Kinchloe easily imitates German officers speaking over the radio or telephone. When Hogan needed a strictly audio impression of Adolf Hitler, the men generally agreed that Kinchloe was the better choice for the job over Technical Sergeant Carter.[2]

Kinch was from Detroit and had worked for the telephone company. In one episode, he mentions that before the war he fought in the Golden Gloves. In an episode that had General Burkhalter (Leon Askin) making reference to the Jesse Owens victories during the 1936 Olympics and Adolf Hitler not being happy that a Black American won events over German athletes, Kinchloe knocks out the heavyweight champ of Stalag 13 (Battling Bruno) while Burkhalter was in the camp. Kinchloe winds up fighting Bruno again, drawing out the fight in a delaying action while Hogan and the others accomplish their usual sabotage. Upon completion of the mission, Hogan yells to Kinch to end the fight, and Kinch lays the German out with one punch whereupon Hogan throws in the towel and surrenders the fight to prevent the obvious disaster of a Black POW defeating the "master race's finest boxer." At the end of the episode, Kinch says to Klink that he'd like to tell Bruno he was still the champion of Stalag 13 "as soon as he wakes up."

As a black man in the middle of wartime Germany, Kinchloe's ability to participate in some undercover activities outside of the camp was limited. In one operation that took the protagonists outside of Germany, Kinchloe plays the role of a doorman at a nightclub in Paris in order to get close to the owner, who had been a high school classmate of his, a character evidently modeled upon Josephine Baker. In another episode, he also impersonated an African prince (also played by Ivan Dixon) where he has to shave off his trademark mustache. In this episode, he had a romantic involvement with the prince's wife, a black woman from Cleveland, presumably an OSS agent who had found the easiest way to keep tabs on the prince was to play the role of his lover.

Sergeant Baker

Following Dixon's departure from the show after season five, the producers replaced his character in the sixth season with another black actor, United States Army Air Corps Sergeant Richard Baker (Kenneth Washington). The tasks assigned to Sergeant Baker were almost identical to those of Staff Sergeant Kinchloe, including limited impersonation of some German voices. However, Newkirk was elevated to the Chief of Operations/Chief of Staff role (despite being subordinate to both Sgt. Baker and TSgt. Carter by rank) during the sixth season. The details of Kinch's departure were never explained on the show. As with Kinchloe, Baker's race prevented him from having a lot of sabotage duties outside of Stalag 13, but he was able to contribute vital support to the missions that were assigned to him by Col. Hogan.

Washington is one of three surviving cast members of Hogan's Heroes (the others being Robert Clary and Cynthia Lynn).

Technical Sergeant Carter

United States Army Air Corps Technical Sergeant Andrew J. Carter [Lieutenant in the pilot episode] (Larry Hovis) is in charge of ordnance and bomb-making. He also shows talent in chemistry and can produce formulas and chemical devices as needed. In the first-season episode "The Scientist", he claims to know very little chemistry. [This inconsistency was probably meant to heighten the tension in the plot] Carter is called upon to impersonate German officers and, most convincingly, Adolf Hitler. Carter, as Hitler, responds to a group of German officers saying "Heil Hitler" with "Heil Me." In several episodes, Carter's Hitler fooled Sgt. Schultz, Col. Klink, and even Gen. Burkhalter.

While bright and enthusiastic at his specialties, Carter often shows a lack of common sense otherwise. In one episode, after the blowing up of a train, Carter could not remember the way back to Stalag 13. It is revealed in another episode that Carter was left by his hometown sweetheart. Near the end of the episode, with the mission completed, he explained to his comrades before leaving the camp for a date: "Women are like a war; there's always another one coming along."

TSgt. Carter formerly worked at a drug store in Muncie, Indiana and hoped to become a pharmacist after the war; in one episode, he bragged that he had won a snowman-building contest in Bullfrog, North Dakota. His awards include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Carter is an American Indian; his Sioux name is Little Deer Who Goes Swift and Sure Through Forest. Hovis was married, and refused to remove his wedding ring while filming the show as the bachelor Sergeant Carter. Thus, Carter is usually shown wearing gloves, and his left hand is rarely shown in the show.

As a Technical Sergeant, Carter is the senior non-commissioned officer and, after Colonel Hogan, the senior prisoner, regularly depicted on the program. Despite this, he is never shown to exercise any real authority over the other prisoners, as Staff Sergeant Kinchloe is Hogan's Chief of Staff. Furthermore, Corporals Newkirk and LeBeau routinely 'rib' him about his naïveté. However, Hogan's men admire and respect TSgt. Carter and are very loyal to him.

Corporal LeBeau

Free French Air Force Corporal Louis "Louie" LeBeau (Robert Clary) was a Master chef and notoriously patriotic Frenchman, often referring to Nazis and Germans generally as "pigs", and specifically as "Boche" or "dirty Boche", which was traditionally meant to be considered an insult to World War I and World War II German soldiers. Schultz and Klink refer to LeBeau as "Cockroach." LeBeau was also a master of covert operations and has taken the precaution of befriending the camp's guard dogs. As a result, he was able to enter their compound through a secret entrance under a doghouse without the dogs raising the alarm. The opening credits show him opening the secret entrance under the doghouse - with a dog in it. Though he was highly claustrobic, he could also could hide in small spaces, such as the safe in Colonel Klink's office and crates. LeBeau was also a talented singer, a feat which he used to help the "Heroes" in several episodes.

In many episodes, LeBeau uses his cooking skills to get Klink out of various jams with his superiors. He also bribes Schultz with food, especially his famous apple strudel. In the first two seasons (excluding the pilot), LeBeau made the uniforms and suits, although this job increasingly went to Newkirk. In fact, by the fifth season episode "Gowns by Yvette," it is suggested that LeBeau cannot even sew a stitch, though he claims creative responsibility for the dress Newkirk eventually sews; but later, he once again began to sew and mend the clothing alongside Newkirk. In the show, LeBeau suffered from hemophobia, possibly from claustrophobia, and is seldom seen without his scarf. He also may have been the first POW at Stalag 13. In one episode, it was shown that he couldn't remember his serial number, although it might have been an act. The farthest he got was "H12497".

Robert Clary is a French Jew who was in several Nazi concentration camps and still had his serial number tattooed on his arm. After the death of Richard Dawson in 2012, Clary is the only member of the original cast who is still living.

Corporal Newkirk

Royal Air Force Corporal Peter Newkirk (British-American actor Richard Dawson) is the group's conman, magician, pick-pocket, card sharp, forger, bookie, tailor, lock picker, safe cracker and impersonator of German officers (and on one occasion, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during the war); on numerous occasions Newkirk also impersonates women to fool the Germans and help the underground movement. He also is in charge of making uniforms and assisting in distracting the Germans to perform other sabotage. In the series' pilot episode, Newkirk's rank was lieutenant, which would've effectively made him second in command. Newkirk's rank was changed to corporal for the regular run of the series.

This series marked Dawson's second appearance on American television (he had earlier appeared on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1963). Dawson auditioned for the role of Hogan, but was told he did not sound American enough. In the version translated for broadcast in Germany, Newkirk's pronounced British accent was replaced by a simulation of stuttering. Newkirk is also a skilled tailor, often called upon to make or alter uniforms and other disguises. Newkirk was also teamed with Carter and his irritation at Carter's bumbling antics and lack of common sense was often used for comedic effect. Newkirk is called "the Englander" by Schultz and sometimes even Klink in some of the episodes. It can be argued that he was the first POW at Stalag 13. Richard Dawson has stated in an interview that he had initially used a Liverpool accent for the Newkirk character, but had been told by Mike Dann (the then-president of CBS) to switch it to a Cockney accent, as Dann felt that the Liverpool accent was not accessible to the American television audience. Dawson expressed his vindication upon seeing a marquee for the first Beatles movie "A Hard Days Night" in 1964. [3]

Germans

Colonel Klink

Kommandant Oberst (Colonel) Wilhelm Klink (Werner Klemperer) is an old-line Luftwaffe officer of aristocratic (Junker) Prussian descent and a social climber. He was born in Leipzig in the early 1890s, though he refers to Düsseldorf, where he attended the Gymnasium (high school) (graduating 43rd in his class), as his home town.[4] After failing the entrance exams to study law or medicine,[4] he received an appointment from Kaiser Wilhelm II to a military academy, through the influence of his uncle, the Bürgermeister's barber, and graduated 95th in his class – the only one who has not risen to the rank of general. However, when questioned by Colonel Hogan, Colonel Klink admits that many of his higher-ranking classmates have been killed in action or shot by Hitler. The nearest he ever comes to General is when Hogan tricks the German General Staff into thinking Klink will be the General to repel the D Day invasion. When faced with a decision whether to move the German reserves to Normandy or not Klink can only order more champagne.

He has fencing armor in his dining room and wears a monocle. In one episode it shows him sleeping with the monocle in, but in another, he wakes up and puts it on. [This monocle often reflects an image of the round studio lights.] One episode has a brief shot of his office showing that Klink has a pompous coat of arms on his wall. In another episode when he thinks he is going to be rich, he claims his 500-year-old name will finally have some money as well. A veteran aviator of the First World War, Klink happily lives out the end of his military career in the relative comfort and safety of a prison camp commandant's billet, although in one episode he wished he was piloting a Heinkel bomber again and also wants his old bomb group back. (Even as a pilot his skills are suspect: during World War I he panicked and crashed which resulted in his passenger ace "The Blue Baron" {a parody of The Red Baron} with a permanent limp).(This is at odds with a photograph on his office wall, which shows him under the nose of a Ju-52 transport.) He has been stuck at the rank of colonel for 20 years with an efficiency rating a few points above "miserable". In a few episodes Klink is seen wearing the Pour le Mérite (or The Blue Max); Iron Cross and the Parachutist Badge.

In one episode, Klink tried to flatter Schultz, a businessman in civilian life, hoping to be hired as a bookkeeper with Schultz's toy company after the end of the war. Klink is portrayed as a vain, bumbling, self-serving bureaucrat, rather than as an evil Nazi. With his innate skills as a hustler, Hogan is able to manipulate Klink (which Klink doesn't even notice, though occasionally he wonders who is really in command of Stalag 13) through a combination of appealing to his vanity through a lot of flattery, and playing with Klink's fears of being sent to the frigid and bloody Eastern Front war with the Soviet Union, or of being hauled off by the Gestapo.

In one episode,[5] Klink is told by General Burkhalter that to climb higher socially, he would need to marry into an important family. Burkhalter next tells him that his niece and widowed sister will be arriving at Stalag 13 soon. Klink initially thinks that Burkhalter's lovely niece is the one to whom Burkhalter is referring, but Klink finds out that it is actually Burkhalter's homely and gruff sister, Frau Linkmeyer, whom Burkhalter is trying to marry off--and this becomes Klink's worst nightmare. Klink narrowly escapes from this fate with the help of Colonel Hogan. In a later episode, it is revealed that the two other Stalag commandants under Burkhalter's command also narrowly escaped marriage to Frau Linkmeyer. In the episode "The Missing Klink", Klink is nearly shot by both the Underground {because he isn't high enough in rank to trade for an Underground leader prisoner} and the Gestapo (because they think he is allied super-spy "Nimrod" (né Stefan Rosenberg, alias Stephen Rigby, alias Stéphane Dubillier).

Colonel Klink had received the Citation of Merit-Second Class (fictitious) from General Stauffen during World War II. The general had visited Stalag 13 to get a briefcase from Hogan filled with explosives and a 30-minute timer in a plot to murder Adolf Hitler, all under the unsuspecting eyes of Klink. This is typical of the scenarios in which Hogan would entangle Colonel Klink, where Klink's ego is used against him. A running gag in Hogan's Heroes is that Klink gets doused in the face with water at times for comedic effect. Another running gag is that Klink is an inept violinist, too, and is only able to play the U.S. Army Air Forces Song (in real life, Werner Klemperer was a skilled violinist, son of the famous orchestra conductor Otto Klemperer, and a skilled orchestra conductor in his own right). The World War I Pickelhaube of an Uhlan lancer regiment that sits on his desk is frequently played with by Hogan and his fellow prisoners, to the constant annoyance of Colonel Klink. A third running gag is that Klink often forgets to give the Hitler Salute at the end of a phone call, usually asking "what's that?" and then saying "Yes, of course, Heil Hitler." He also does not do the full salute, merely raising his right hand to shoulder level with palm out, and not extending the arm. However, this is not strictly speaking a gag. It was an acceptable practice in Nazi Germany for saluting in close quarters or when seated. There are numerous film clips of Hitler and other senior German officials and officers saluting in this way extant.

Sergeant Schultz

Hauptfeldwebel (Senior Master Sergeant) Hans Georg Schultz, serial number 23781 (John Banner) is Klink's bumbling, highly unmilitary 300-pound Sergeant of the Guard. Schultz is a basically good-hearted man who, when confronted by evidence of the prisoners' covert activities, will simply look the other way, repeating "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!" (or, more commonly as the series went on, simply "I see nothing–NOTHING!") to avoid being blamed for allowing things to have gotten as far as they already had—which might see him given a one-way trip to the Eastern Front, if not executed as a traitor for his apparent complicity. This eventually became one of the main catchphrases of the series and probably the most widely used by fans of the show. Though generally shown as being borderline incompetent, he has (on occasions) proven his mettle, as can be seen in episodes such as "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London", where he catches Hogan assisting another man attempting to escape; he even goes so far as to stand up to Hogan, moving him along at gunpoint.

Schultz, in the sixth season, receives a temporary promotion to Kommandant of Stalag 13. In the episode "Kommandant Schultz", Burkhalter brings an order from Berlin to all Luft Stalags to begin officer training for their most senior non-commissioned officers. Schultz does so well in the job that Hogan and Klink have to join forces to discredit Schultz and get him reduced back to sergeant-of-the-guard.

In another episode "Hogan Goes Hollywood" — a satire on the movie/television industry — an ego-driven movie star with the U.S. Army Air Forces (his contract says that if captured, he must be exchanged for three Generals) is sent to Stalag XIII where he makes a propaganda movie, with Schultz as the Kommandant and Klink as a Sergeant. The movie star ordered this change, insisting that Schultz had a more commanding presence and greater charisma when pretending to be the Kommandant than Klink did at his own job.

Like Colonel Klink, he is a veteran of World War I. His hometown is Heidelberg, and in civilian life he is the owner of Germany's biggest and most successful toy manufacturing company, The Schatzi Toy Company.[6] With the onset of war, Schultz was involuntarily recalled to military duty and lost control of his toy factory as it was converted to military use. He has a wife, Gretchen (played by Barbara Morrison in Season 2, Episode 24) and five children whom he sees only on infrequent leave. However, many times he is unfaithful to his wife, for instance in the Season 3 Episode 2 episode, "Sergeant Schultz Meets Mata Hari," in which he dates a woman who is a secret Gestapo agent.[7] LeBeau once refers to Schultz as a Social Democrat, a party which the Nazis banned in 1933, and Schultz on several occasions is shown to be very disgusted by Hitler in particular and the Nazis in general. In one episode he mentions how much he preferred having a kaiser rule Germany. Schultz is also a bad gambler, frequently playing cards with the prisoners, and usually losing - although some of this might be caused by Newkirk fixing the games. He is also a heavy drinker.

Schultz carries a Krag-Jørgensen rifle, which he never keeps loaded and tends to misplace or even hand to the POWs when he needs to use both hands ("Give me back my gun, or I'll SHOOT!"). He never wears the chin-strap on his helmet. He wears a fictitious version of the Iron Cross (4th Grade) awarded by General Kammler, a friend from World War I, who addresses Schultz by first name, and whom Schultz addresses as Lieutenant Kammler.[8] Schultz needs glasses to read[9] and is described by Klink as being "in his forties."[10] In reality, Banner was in his late fifties.

Recurring characters

  • Fräulein Helga (Cynthia Lynn, 1965 to 1966) and Fräulein Hilda (Sigrid Valdis, 1966 to 1971) served as the secretaries of Colonel Klink. Both Fräulein Helga and Fräulein Hilda were portrayed as having ongoing flirting and kissing relationships with Colonel Hogan. Both also assisted Hogan and his men in various ways, including providing either tidbits of information, or access to official papers or equipment, or service as manicurists in the underground barber shop. Sigrid Valdis and Bob Crane were married in 1970 on the show's set in Culver City, Calif., where all of the interior and some of the exterior scenes of Hogan's Heroes were filmed. Nearly all of the crewmen and women, and all the cast members of the TV series were present, and Richard Dawson served as the best man to the groom.
  • General der Infanterie Albert Hans "Hansi" Burkhalter (Leon Askin) is Klink's superior officer who frequently tires of Klink's babbling and incompetence, often telling him to "shut up" and threatening to send him to the Russian Front. Burkhalter was mystified by Stalag 13's perfect record, unable to make sense of it in combination with its Kommandant's frequently-evidenced incompetence. Klink's outstanding record at Stalag 13 was the primary reason for General Burkhalter never actually making good on any of his threats towards Klink. General Burkhalter's confusion over Klink's skill as a Kommandant when he appears to be an idiot in all other regards was a running gag in "Hogan's Heroes". Burkhalter affected to live a Spartan existence like a good German officer, but in reality, he loved the good life, even in war. He was scared to death of Mrs. Burkhalter (calling her "the highest authority in Germany"), testifying to this several times during the series and after Hogan managed to get a few photos of the general with very attractive women. As the series progressed, he suspected Hogan's greater role at Stalag 13; however, in the end, Burkhalter, like the others, came to depend upon Hogan to get them out of trouble with the High Command when one scheme or the other ran off the tracks. Burkhalter is promoted from colonel to general by the High Command between the first and second episodes. His rank is equivalent to a lieutenant (three-star) general in the American forces.
  • Kriminalrat (Major) Wolfgang Hochstetter (Howard Caine) of the Gestapo. Hochstetter is an ardent Nazi who never understands why Hogan is constantly allowed to barge into Klink's office at will. Hochstetter frequently demands of Klink "Who is this man?" or "What is this man doing here?!" with increasing stridency. He is also noted for the many times he shouts "Baah!" at Klink or Hogan after his multiple failures. Klink is justifiably afraid of him, but Burkhalter, who despises Hochstetter just as Klink does, is not. In "War Takes a Holiday", Hogan tricks Hochstetter into lending his car to several underground leaders (presented by Hogan as potential captains of industry), who use it to escape just as Hochstetter's superiors arrive. Howard Caine played several other German officers in the show including Gestapo Kriminaldirektor (Colonel) Feldkamp before becoming Major Hochstetter. Throughout the series, the rank insignia on Hochstetter's collar is that of a Kriminaldirektor (or Standartenführer in the SS) which was equivalent to Oberst (colonel) in the Wehrmacht—a major in the Gestapo would be a Kriminalrat (or Sturmbannführer if he is concurrently an SS officer).
  • Group Captain (Colonel) Rodney Crittendon (Bernard Fox), DSO, CBE, MC and Bar, DFC, AFC an RAF Group Captain. Crittendon is a hopelessly incompetent British officer who crosses paths several times with Hogan and his crew. Crittendon believes that a POW's only focus should be escape. When first transferred to Stalag 13 from Stalag 18, Hogan posed a hypothetical question to Crittenden asking what he would do if he were aware the POWs were engaged in spying and sabotage. Crittendon replies that he would report them to the German authorities, thus preventing himself from being included in the official mission of the Stalag 13 POWs. In an early episode, Klink has him transferred from another camp because he is senior to Hogan (by 12 years), putting him in charge of the POWs. Klink would then pointedly not talk to Hogan, insisting that only the senior POW is allowed to talk to the commandant. Crittendon was also known for developing and attempting to execute various forms of prison camp escapes that never worked, and for coming up with the secret "Crittendon Plan", which turned out to consist of planting geraniums along the sides of runways to cheer up returning British pilots. The rank "colonel" is inaccurate since, although the pay grades are equivalent, a group captain is never addressed as "colonel"; the inaccuracy is not even consistent within the series' continuity, as Group Captain James Roberts is referred to by his proper rank in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London".
  • Marya (Nita Talbot) was a Soviet spy who works occasionally with Hogan, but whom he doesn't entirely trust. She often appeared as the trusted paramour of some high-ranking German officer or scientist. She, Hogan, and LeBeau met in Paris during the second season "A Tiger Hunt In Paris, Parts 1 and 2" where she learns of his Stalag 13 activities. Her mission was to either discredit or destroy her paramours, as she notes that "...Hitler can't be expected to kill all of his generals...." Her schemes often come into conflict with Hogan's plans, but she nevertheless always proves to be either faithful to the Allied cause or having compatible causes of her own. She is described as a "White Russian", but it is unclear whether this refers to her possible ethnicity as a Belarusian or her possible political allegiance to the Russian anti-communist White Movement, or if it was a comedic allusion to the popular White Russian cocktail thus the apolitical Marya had a means of neutralizing political issues of the Cold War. Marya is constantly flirting with Hogan, to his discomfort, and also flirts with LeBeau, who believes her to be an innocent, decent woman who won't sell out the Heroes. Her trademark line, said with an exaggerated Russian accent, is "Hogan, Dah-link".
  • Tiger (Arlene Martel), was a beautiful female French Underground contact, who has a running romance with Hogan. Hogan has noted that Tiger has saved his life at least once. Hogan describes Tiger as 'the' leader of the French Underground. He has freed her from the Gestapo twice: once on the way to Berlin via train, and once springing her from Gestapo headquarters in Paris, France.
  • Hauptmann (Captain) Fritz Gruber (Dick Wilson) is Klink's adjutant. During most of Hogan's Heroes, there is a conspicuous omission of any second-in-command to Kommandant Klink, and in fact, the omission of any junior Luftwaffe officers at all; this parallels the apparent situation among the prisoners. [There was an apparent adjutant to Klink in the pilot.] In another episode, Hogan pretends to be Klink's adjutant, a "Major Hogan Hüppel", to fool some German officers. In reality, a Stalag like this one had more than a few officers with the ranks of Leutnant, Hauptmann (captain), and Major (major) carrying out their duties under the command of the Kommandant. We can easily attribute the lack of such junior officers at Stalag 13 to money-spending restrictions on the producers of Hogan's Heroes. Without these characters, there were many fewer actors to hire and to pay. Captain Gruber appears rarely. He is seen to be in charge of the camp when Klink is not available or is away on leave. In one episode, Gruber even became the new "Kommandant" of Stalag 13, when Gen. Burkhalter put him in charge of the camp instead of Klink. To ensure Klink is reinstated as Kommandant, Hogan orders three prisoners to escape and hide from Gruber's search parties. Gruber is unable to recapture them so Burkhalter turns to Klink to recapture the prisoners, which he does with the help of Hogan. General Burkhalter sees that he had made a mistake and gives Klink his old job back, and Gruber remains deputy.
  • Obergefreiter (Corporal) Karl Langenscheidt (Jon Cedar), one of Schultz's guards. Langenscheidt often informs the distraught Colonel Klink when an important guest arrives, much to Klink's displeasure. Langenscheidt often arrives at the worst of times. In one episode, Langenscheidt gets involved in one of Hogan's schemes to forge a priceless painting which General Burkhalter intends to give to Hermann Göring. Klink sends Schultz and Langenscheidt to keep Hogan from escaping while they are in Paris.
  • Frau Gertrude Linkmeyer (née Burkhalter) (Kathleen Freeman) is General Burkhalter's sister. She is usually in a one-sided relationship with Klink (who is scared to death of her), but Hogan manages to split the two one way or another. A running gag in several episodes with her is that Klink can run away with her M.I.A. husband Otto (in one episode Hogan commented "You two can start a club"); another running gag is Klink threatening to have Hogan shot for even suggesting Klink will marry Linkmeyer. She only appears in episodes with General Burkhalter.
  • Maurice Dubay (Felice Orlandi), is a French Underground contact who appeared in several episodes. (Orlandi's real-life wife, Alice Ghostley, appeared in two episodes, one time assuming the role of Frau Linkmeyer.)

Broadcast history

  • Friday at 8:30-9:00 p.m. on CBS: September 17, 1965—April 7, 1967; September 26, 1969—March 27, 1970
  • Saturday at 9:00-9:30 p.m. on CBS: September 9, 1967—March 22, 1969
  • Sunday at 7:30-8:00 p.m. on CBS: September 20, 1970—April 4, 1971

Episodes

Further information: List of Hogan's Heroes episodes

Pilot episode

The pilot episode, "The Informer", was produced in black-and-white.[11] As with many pilot episodes, there are several differences from the series proper, such as Burkhalter being introduced as a colonel, instead of a general. There were many changes to Larry Hovis's character of Carter. In the pilot, he was credited as a guest star and is shown as a lieutenant, rather than a sergeant. "Lt. Carter" had recently escaped from another camp and at the end of the episode is en route to England.

Leonid Kinskey appears in the pilot episode as Vladimir Minsk, a Soviet POW who specializes in tailoring. Kinskey ultimately turned down a contract to become a permanent character. This is perhaps just as well, as the Nazis treated Soviet POWs very differently from those of the Western Allies. It is difficult enough to rationalize the presence of the British Newkirk and the French Lebeau in what appears to be a camp for American POWs.

In the pilot, Col. Klink's secretary is actually part of Hogan's team, and she has access to the tunnels. In the actual TV series, she is merely willing to look the other way in exchange for a warm kiss from Hogan, or some other form of affectionate gesture. Eventually, during the run of the TV series, it is implied that she and Hogan have a running romance, especially when she hints at getting a diamond engagement ring in exchange for her help. Another difference is that the word "Stalag" was avoided in the pilot; it was simply referred to as "Camp 13."

The camp also appears to be bigger, with more barracks, prisoners, and guards shown than on the series itself; Klink appears to have an adjutant. Also, the tunnels used by the prisoners are more extensive, full of activities such as counterfeiting, the production of gun-shaped cigarette lighters as souvenirs supposedly sold in Berlin, and a steam room and barbershop for the prisoners.

Stylistically, the look of the pilot is grittier, not only because it was filmed in black and white, but because low-angle shots are used at times for close-ups, especially of the Germans. The overall "feel" is closer to films such as Stalag 17 than the regular episodes, albeit much more comic.

Filming

Outdoor scenes were filmed on the famed 40 Acres Backlot in Culver City, CA. The set was destroyed in 1975 in the filming of the final scene of Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS.[12][13] Indoor scenes were filmed at Cinema General Studios, Desilu Studios and Paramount Studios.[14]

Theme music

The theme music for Hogan's Heroes was composed by Jerry Fielding. The title of the theme music is "March" or "Hogan's Heroes March". There are lyrics[15] to the title music. While they were never sung in the show, they were performed on an album titled Hogan's Heroes Sing The Best of World War II. The drums were performed by Bob Crane, who was an accomplished drummer.

Jewish actors

The actors who played the four major German roles—Werner Klemperer (Klink),[16] John Banner (Schultz), Leon Askin (Burkhalter), and Howard Caine (Hochstetter)—were Jewish. Furthermore, Klemperer, Banner, Askin, and Robert Clary (LeBeau) were Jews who had fled the Nazis during World War II. Clary says in the recorded commentary on the DVD version of episode "Art for Hogan's Sake" that he spent three years in a concentration camp, that his parents and other family members were killed there, and that he has an identity tattoo from the camp on his arm ("A-5714"). Likewise John Banner had been held in a (pre-war) concentration camp and his family was killed during the war. Leon Askin was also in a pre-war French internment camp and his parents were killed at Treblinka. Howard Caine (Hochstetter), who was also Jewish (his birth name was Cohen), was American, and Jewish actors Harold Gould and Harold J. Stone played German generals.

As a teenager, Werner Klemperer (Klink) (son of the conductor Otto Klemperer) fled Hitler's Germany with his family in 1933. During the show's production, he insisted that Hogan always win over his Nazi captors or else he would not take the part of Klink. He defended his playing a Luftwaffe Officer by claiming, "I am an actor. If I can play Richard III, I can play a Nazi." Banner attempted to sum up the paradox of his role by saying, "Who can play Nazis better than us Jews?" Ironically, although Klemperer, Banner, Caine, Gould, and Askin play stereotypical World War II Germans, all had actually served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II — Banner[17] and Askin in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Caine in the U.S. Navy, Gould with the U.S. Army, and Klemperer in a U.S. Army Entertainment Unit.

Reception

During the original run of the program, Hogan's Heroes was three times nominated for the Emmy for Best Comedy Series.[18] The television academy's faith in the show is generally confirmed by most modern viewers. As of 2008, online participants overwhelmingly deemed it a show that "never jumped the shark".[19] Likewise, about 93% of respondents at tv.com rated the show as "good" or better, as of 2008.[20]

Nielsen ratings

NOTE: The highest average rating for the series is in bold text.

Season Rank Rating
1) 1965-1966 #9 24.9
2) 1966-1967 #17 21.8 (Tied with The CBS Friday Night Movies)
3) 1967-1968 Not in the Top 30
4) 1968-1969
5) 1969-1970
6) 1970-1971

Controversies

At time of broadcast

Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski, the writers of the 1951 play Stalag 17, a World War II prisoner of war story turned into a 1953 feature film by Paramount Pictures, sued Bing Crosby Productions, the show's producer, for infringement.[21][22] However, their lawsuit was unsuccessful, as a federal judge found "striking difference in the dramatic mood of the two works."[21] In his book, My War, Andy Rooney, who was a friend of the Stalag 17 authors, changed the facts to portray their suit as successful, stating that "...someone at CBS apparently ripped off their idea and made a television series called Hogan's Heroes of it. The television program had too many similarities in character and plot to be coincidental, and when Don and Ed sued the network they won a huge award."[23]

In fact, under Writers Guild of America rules, Hogan's Heroes was determined to be an original work, and an arbitration hearing was scheduled in 2012 to determine whether Bernard Fein and Albert S. Ruddy, the creators of the show, had transferred the right to make a movie of Hogan's Heroes to Bing Crosby Productions along with the television rights or had retained the derivative movie rights.[21]

Despite some claims, overall the only similarities between the television show Hogan’s Heroes and the movie Stalag 17 is that they both had a heavy set Sergeant Schultz in a Luftwaffe prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. Otherwise the plots, characters and intrigues are very different. For example the Sergeant Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes was inept and easily bribed, quite the opposite of the Stalag 17 Sergeant Schultz who was a cunning and dedicated soldier. However, there was one episode that was similar to the movie. In the pilot episode of Hogan's Heroes the Germans planted a spy among the prisoners which was the main plot of the movie. But even with this similarity in plot the rest of the pilot episode is quite different.

Retrospective criticism

In spite of its three Emmy nominations, TV Guide in 2002 named Hogan's Heroes the fifth worst TV show of all time (p 180, Running Press, Philadelphia, 2007).[24] The listing for Hogan's Heroes in particular accuses the show of trivializing the suffering of real life POWs and the victims of the Holocaust with its comedic take on prison camps in the Third Reich. However, many of the actors in the series themselves had been affected by the Holocaust and/or interment camps.

Later broadcasts

Universal HD broadcasts Hogan's Heroes in 1080 High Definition, with the picture being mildly cropped to better fit 16:9 television screens, rather than being fully "pillarboxed" as most non-widescreen programs are when viewed on high-definition television. The picture is cropped only slightly from the top, and more from the bottom, so that the tops of characters' heads are not usually affected. The series was filmed in 4:3, so the cropping used by Universal HD — similar to the 14:9 compromise aspect ratio already in use to transition shows and commercials to/from 4:3 and 16:9 — leaves a narrow vertical black strip at each side of the picture, each about 1/3 the width of the normal "pillarboxing" borders characteristic of 4:3 content shown on a 16:9 screen.[25] The series is also broadcast on Me-TV.

German-language version

Hogan's Heroes was not broadcast in Germany on German television until 1992. The original German-language dubbed version was titled Stacheldraht und Fersengeld ("Barbed Wire and Turning Tail"). The program was next re-dubbed and re-broadcast in 1994 as Ein Käfig voller Helden ("A Cage Full of Heroes"), which gained considerable popularity.

In the newer German-language version of Hogan's Heroes, the Germans and Austrians speak in a number of different accents. It amplifies the contrast between Colonel Klink (who portrays the Prussian stereotype but has an accent from Saxony) and Sergeant Schultz (who portrays the Urbayern Bavarian stereotype), which gives the German version of Hogan's Heroes another slapstick element. Furthermore, Klink's choice of vocabulary and memorable quotes add more gags that would not be possible in a direct translation of the original English-language version of Hogan's Heroes.

The American characters in Hogan's Heroes speak a neutral High German (Standard German). Lebeau speaks German with a French accent. General Burkhalter speaks with strong Austrian accent, especially to go along with the fact that the actor who played this role, Leon Askin, was born in Vienna, Austria.

A major change to the German version of Hogan's Heroes is that Corporal Newkirk, who speaks with a British accent in the original, has his voice changed to that of an exaggerated stutterer in the German version. Another change that was made is in Sergeant Schultz's first name. This is "Hans" in the English version, but they changed this to "Georg" in the German version.

Apart from all of the above, there are numerous departures from the original stories, which introduce factors that are not present in the English Hogan's Heroes. Among other things, the German version introduces a new character, "Kalinke", who is Klink's cleaning lady and also his perennial mistress. Of course, she is referred to, but never seen, because she was nonexistent in the films of the television program. Colonel Klink describes her as performing most of her cleaning duties in the nude.[26]

DVD releases

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all six seasons of Hogan's Heroes on DVD in Region 1 & 4. The series was previously released by Columbia House as individual discs, each with five or six consecutive episodes.

DVD Name Ep # Release dates
Region 1 Region 4
The Complete First Season 32 March 15, 2005 July 30, 2008
The Complete Second Season 30 September 27, 2005 November 7, 2008
The Complete Third Season 30 March 7, 2006 March 5, 2009
The Complete Fourth Season 26 August 15, 2006 June 3, 2009
The Complete Fifth Season 26 December 19, 2006 August 4, 2009
The Sixth & Final Season 24 June 5, 2007 September 30, 2009
The Complete Series (The Kommandant's Collection) 168 November 10, 2009 December 3, 2009

In popular culture

  • Mad magazine #108 (January 1967) parodied the show as "Hokum's Heroes". An additional one-page parody called "Hochman's Heroes" took the show's premise to the next level by setting it in Buchenwald concentration camp.
  • In the December 1, 1966 Batman episode "It's How You Play the Game", Colonel Klink appears in one of the show's trademark window cameos as Batman scales the side of a building. When Batman and Robin ask why Colonel Klink is in Gotham City, Colonel Klink states that he is looking for an underground agent. Batman tells Colonel Klink to try not to get picked up as Chief O'Hara can be very tough with aliens incognito. Colonel Klink quotes "incognito, in my monocle?" When Robin tells Colonel Klink to say hi to Colonel Hogan for him and Batman, Colonel Klink quotes that it's a wonder Hogan hasn't borrowed one of Batman's bat-ropes for one of his escapes.
  • The television series The Simpsons has made several references to Hogan's Heroes[27] including:
    • The episode "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk" when Mr. Burns sells the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to a German company. One of the Germans alludes to the show when he says, "The new owners have elected me to speak with you because I am the most non-threatening. Perhaps I remind you of the lovable Sergeant Schultz on Hogan's Heroes."
    • Colonel Klink (voiced by Klemperer himself) appears in the episode "The Last Temptation of Homer", as a guardian angel assuming the form of a character Homer knows, who shows Homer what his life would be like without Marge. Throughout the episode Homer tells Klink of the tunnels and radio that were hidden from him throughout Hogan's Heroes.
    • In the episode "The Great Louse Detective", Rainier Wolfcastle references Sgt. Schultz's catchphrase. When discussing a nudist Nazi exploitation film he made early in his career, he says "I Wore Nussing!"
  • Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz appear in the Robot Chicken episode "Metal Militia", voiced by Seth Green. In a segment that parodies this show, Hulk Hogan and other wrestlers were in the place of Colonel Hogan and his inmates as they plan to make their escape at the time when Adolf Hitler pays a visit to Colonel Klink's Stalag 13 camp.
  • The children's Disney TV show Recess makes reference to Hogan's Heroes on the episode "Old Folks Home". In the episode, an old war hero named "Logan" reminisces about his days in the war to T.J. While he reminisces, a flashback appears of his days in a German-style POW camp. In the flashback, one of the barrack reads the number 13 (as in Stalag 13) in the background of the formation of Logan's men. While in formation, "Kommadant Pricklyton" questions Logan after losing his secret communique. In the flashback, many renowned Hogan's Heroes gag lines are used such as the Kommadant shouting "Logan!" and a husky man in a World War I style German uniform stating "I haven't seen a thing!"
  • In the Battalion Wars series of video games, the soldiers of the Western Frontier faction are referred to as "Hermans Heroes", an obvious allusion to "Hogan's Heroes".
  • Episode 4 of the fourth season of television show Community contains many references to the show.

Merchandise

In 1965, Fleer produced a 66 trading card set for the series. Between 1966 and 1969, Dell Comics produced 9 issues based on the series, all with photo covers. In 1968, Robert Clary, Richard Dawson, Ivan Dixon, and Larry Hovis cut an LP record, Hogan's Heroes Sing the Best of World War II, which included lyrics for the theme song. The record did not sell well and as a result is today considered a collector's item.

In 1968, MPC (Model Products by Craft Master, Model Products Corp.) released a model jeep in 1/25 scale with spurious markings labeled as "Hogan's Heroes World War II Jeep". In 2003 another model (from the same mold, but with slightly different—though still spurious—decals) was released by AMT/ERTL. It cannot be built as a correct World War II military jeep, regardless of markings, without body work due to the fact it has a tailgate opening; but it includes alternate parts to build a correct CJ-2A. A decal on the model read, "If found, return to Colonel Hogan".

See also

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • TV.com
  • Hogan's Heroes Episode Guide' at TV Gems
  • AllRovi
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