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Old August 29 2014, 04:09 AM   #1
Warped9
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Hogan's Heroes....

I haven't watched this show since reruns in the early to mid '70s. So I found myself curious what impression it would make as an adult forty years later.

Firstly, the premise is even more absurd now then I thought then. Allied POWs running a secret operation out of a German POW camp? Not very likely.

That said I still find this hilarious in many instances. Occasionally there are slight acknowledgements of the war's horrors (excluding the Nazi concentration camps), but largely things are played for laughs. And while the German military and particularly the Nazis are lampooned there are also digs at the British.

The show is definitely not politically correct. And it still makes me laugh. I particularly like Carter's impersonations of German officers, especially his impersonation of Hitler.

Cynthia Lynn, who played Fraulien Helga (Klink's secretary) in the first season was a dish. Actually I think she passed away not long ago. Robert Clary (Lebeau) is the only one left of the original cast.

Still a funny show.
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Old August 29 2014, 04:15 AM   #2
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

Sorry, Klemperer and Dawson are both dead.
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Old August 29 2014, 04:16 AM   #3
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

mos6507 wrote: View Post
Sorry, Klemperer and Dawson are both dead.
I already amended my post.
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Old August 29 2014, 04:29 AM   #4
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

It was a terrific show, and I still watch it when I can. I adore John Banner's Sgt. Schultz. You just couldn't hate the guy; he belonged in his toy factory, making little children smile, not in a POW camp guarding the "enemy."

It was the cast that made the show great. Yes, there were absurdities, but that's what made it work, because the guys played it straight. The only thing that I tend to pick out is when they're using night lenses for obvious day shots. I realize they couldn't help it, but it still gets my attention. That and the high sodium snow.
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Old August 29 2014, 04:31 AM   #5
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

Yeah, it's sad they are all gone. Klemperer was notable for seeming almost Patrick Stewart-like well into his later-years, not seeming to look much older than he was on Hogan's Heroes.

It's a show that you either accept or you don't. My mom used to think it was offensive but I just lumped it with all my other mindless 60s show reruns in my youth. And this is speaking as someone who is half-jewish.

What's kind of interesting about it is if you find an episode not that funny, you can kind of tune out the jokes and just watch it for the espionage subplot. I guess the only other show that operated that way was Get Smart, but I felt the spy plotline in Hogan's Heroes felt more serious than Get Smart. There's always some very serious objective that could help win the war for the allies at stake. So you get a sense that there is this island of lunacy and most of the others are playing it like they are in a straight war movie.
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Old August 29 2014, 04:38 AM   #6
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

Dave Sim had a great take on the show. It's a satire of the then-current corporate mindset/environment. The shows Nazis are basically men the grey flannel suit.

Schultz is the beleaguered labor class. Klink is clueless middle management. Burkholder is the tyrannical upper management. SS Major Hofsteader is the dreaded outside consultant (sort of a precursor to Alec Baldwin in glengarry Glenn Ross).

Berlin is the home office and the Russian Front was unemployment.
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Old August 29 2014, 04:52 AM   #7
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

the G-man wrote: View Post
Dave Sim had a great take on the show. It's a satire of the then-current corporate mindset/environment. The shows Nazis are basically men the grey flannel suit.

Schultz is the beleaguered labor class. Klink is clueless middle management. Burkholder is the tyrannical upper management. SS Major Hofsteader is the dreaded outside consultant (sort of a precursor to Alec Baldwin in glengarry Glenn Ross).

Berlin is the home office and the Russian Front was unemployment.
Now that is an interesting take on it.

Watching this in some ways it makes me think of Mission: Impossible done as comedy.
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Old August 29 2014, 06:41 AM   #8
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

My best friend's father was a POW in WWII and loved this show. It's a favorite of mine, too.
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Old August 29 2014, 06:44 AM   #9
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

The thing about Hogan's Heroes was that they weren't afraid to show a grim side to things, even though it was a comedy. There were times when the guys had to kill people, and did. Most of the time, though, it was lighthearted. One of my favorite moments was anytime Schultz would have one of the guys hold his gun, and then if they did something, he'd threaten them with "Give me back my gun or I will shoot!"
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Old August 29 2014, 07:04 AM   #10
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

Schultz and Klink were brilliantly played by Banner and Klemperer. Klemperer was nominated for the Emmy six time and won twice.
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Old August 29 2014, 07:11 AM   #11
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

It lost its charm for me when I got older, after understanding what concentration camps were relaly like, and Bob Crane's downfall (no pun intended).

That said, keep in mind all the RL POW escapes were done under Nazi noses. Guys in Colditz were building a glider in the ceiling when the war ended And I was really tickled wen I found out nearly all the Nazis were played by gentlemen of the Jewish persuasiion. A classic gotcha right there, on your screen, every week.
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Old August 29 2014, 07:35 AM   #12
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

"MeTV" (I think it is called) is showing HH these days. It was a favorite of mine when I was a kid, but I had not seen it in years. I have to say, watching it a few days ago, it struck me again that I had trouble believing that this premise was done as a comedy only 20 years after the horrors of WWII. The next day, I got into a discussion with a friend about the program and he pointed out how many of the actors were Jewish. I looked the show up on Wikipedia and saw that John Banner had apparently said, "Who can play Nazis better than us Jews?", a sentiment that Mel Brooks also took to heart. On that site it mentioned that Robert Clary, also a Jew, was held in a concentration camp for 3 years, and his parents were killed there. Banner and Leon Askin (Gen. Burkhalter) were held in pre-war interment camps. Another irony, Klemperer, Banner, Caine (Maj. Hochstetter), and Askin all actually served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.
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Old August 29 2014, 11:45 AM   #13
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

Australis wrote: View Post
It lost its charm for me when I got older, after understanding what concentration camps were relaly like, and Bob Crane's downfall (no pun intended).

That said, keep in mind all the RL POW escapes were done under Nazi noses. Guys in Colditz were building a glider in the ceiling when the war ended And I was really tickled wen I found out nearly all the Nazis were played by gentlemen of the Jewish persuasiion. A classic gotcha right there, on your screen, every week.
Stalag 13 was a POW camp, not a concentration camp--two distinctly different things. HH didn't touch the issue of concentration camps because there was simply no way to make light of that. We never see the heroes actually shoot anyone, but then offscreen we know plenty died due to them planting bombs or arranging air strikes. In one episode they swap out fake ammunition to be used in wargame exercises for the real stuff. And then later there are references to people being "wiped out" in the exercise.

The show was initially conceived as one about regular guys in prison, but was later changed to Allied serviceman in a POW camp.

It was a show that came along at the right time because it's hard to envision anything like it being done now. M*A*S*H came along soon after HH, but its use of doctors rather than prisoners allowed them a bit of distance from the subject matter, in some respects anyway, because as the series progressed it did acknowledge the ugliness of war in a way HH never did.
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Old August 29 2014, 02:07 PM   #14
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

I watched the show as a kid in the 90s. That's about when that show first aired here in Germany. Couldn't have shown this to a German audience back in the 60s, obviously.

As usual with German characters in foreign productions, Klink and Schultz were dubbed with dialects, because the non-German characters were obviously dubbed in normal German. Klink was given a Saxon dialect, while Schultz was a Bavarian. Burkhalter was dubbed with a bit of an Austrian accent, but no dialect.

A bit of a let-down was the German dub for Newkirk. Instead of just having him speak German with an English accent, he was made to stutter.

On other occasions, the German dub showed some creativity. The targets of Hogan and his team weren't simple arms factories and transports, but other stock for the front troops, like Schnaps, instant fried potatoes, synthetic toilet-paper, or the Nazi's version of Coca-Cola, which exploded when they shot a burning arrow at it.
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Old August 29 2014, 07:50 PM   #15
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Re: Hogan's Heroes....

J. Allen wrote: View Post
It was a terrific show, and I still watch it when I can. I adore John Banner's Sgt. Schultz. You just couldn't hate the guy; he belonged in his toy factory, making little children smile, not in a POW camp guarding the "enemy."

It was the cast that made the show great. Yes, there were absurdities, but that's what made it work, because the guys played it straight. The only thing that I tend to pick out is when they're using night lenses for obvious day shots. I realize they couldn't help it, but it still gets my attention. That and the high sodium snow.
Agree.
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