|Episode:||Cuisine à la Stalag 13|
|Original Airdate:||September 20, 1970|
|Written by:||Laurence Marks|
|Directed by:||Jerry London|
|Produced by:||Edward H. Feldman, William A. Calihan & Jerry London|
- Colonel Hogan - Bob Crane
- Corporal Louis LeBeau - Robert Clary
- Corporal Peter Newkirk - Richard Dawson
- Sergeant Andrew Carter - Larry Hovis
- Sergeant Richard Baker - Kenneth Washington
Camp Personnel Edit
Guest Stars Edit
- General Wexler - John Hoyt
- Karl - Chet Stratton
- Gestapo Officer - David Morick
- Captain Richter - Jay Sheffield
- Marie Bezet - Brenda Benet
Plot Details Edit
The episode opens inside Klink's quarters. His guest is Major General Wexler, an important member of the Promotions Board. This explains why Klink is treating the General Wexler and his aide, Captain Richter, to the best food in the area - LeBeau's French cooking, that is. As expected, Schultz is on hand as official food taster (which Klink has to explain to the general) and Carter is serving as the busboy. The German officers have some jokes at LeBeau's expense, which the irritated Frenchman gamely swallows, and then they settle down to the wonderful meal he has prepared for them. As they do so, however, Captain Richter gives Carter a side glance. Carter acknowledges it, then slips into the back bedroom, where the captain has put the general's briefcase. Newkirk is hiding back there, having already picked its lock and pulled out the papers inside. These Carter rolls up and hides under the lid of the silver serving tray he is carrying. He then carefully exits the bedroom and passes the table as if he has just left the kitchen, then heads out the front door. General Wexler asks Klink what Carter is doing. Klink explains it is a food bribe to Hogan, the senior POW, for allowing them the use of LeBeau as their chef. The general seems satisfied and continues with his meal.
Meanwhile, in the tunnels under Barracks 2, Baker and a couple of members of the Barracks 3 gang are quickly taking pictures of all of the papers Carter has brought with him while Hogan quickly scans them, looking for anything important. As it turns out, Captain Richter has been quietly slipping the Allies valuable intelligence, in exchange for cash payments, ever since Klink started wining and dining General Wexler. Hogan seems preturbed that there is nothing of real significance in today's batch of German army documents. Carter assures him that Captain Richter gave the signal that something would be there. They find it on the last page - a note from the captain that he will provide a real prize at the meal. It will be a complete map of all of the underwater obstacles being laid for the West (Atlantic) Wall fortifications on the coast of France. That is indeed significant, in light of the fact that the Allies are planning an amphibious invasion in the not-too-distant future. Hogan goes ahead and pays Captain Richter for his help, putting the money along the papers back under the lid of Carter's serving tray. Carter then returns to Klink's quarters as unobtrusively as he left.
Later that night, Hogan and LeBeau deliver the photographs of the papers to a contact in the French underground - the lovely Marie Bizet - in a old barn frequently used for such meetings. She agrees to the delivery, but stops them before they can leave. She has a special message for LeBeau. It is from General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces and the power behind the French government in exile. He is calling all Frenchman who can to rally to his banner and fight for France. The message has a strong emotional impact on LeBeau, and for obvious reasons. He formally requests of Hogan to leave the Unsung Heroes and go to England to join de Gaulle.
To say that Hogan is upset at this development is putting it mildly. The multitalented LeBeau is one of the most critical members of his operation. Furthermore, his legendary skills in the kitchen are the thing most needed right now for Hogan's current mission to succeed. To put it simply General Wexler has become hooked on LeBeau's cooking. What started out as a ploy by Klink to better his chances at promotion to general has turned into an intelligence-gathering gold mine for the Unsung Heroes. They are one dinner away from getting the biggest nugget out of that mine, and LeBeau's abrupt departure will ruin it for them. Nevertheless, LeBeau remains adamant about leaving, and nothing the others can say or do will change his mine. In fact, he manages to get some of the others to see things from his point of view, much to Hogan's irritation. In the end, Hogan has no choice but to let him go - but only after he promises to teach the others some of his arts of cooking. LeBeau does his best, and even though the results are less than desirable Hogan keeps his word and helps LeBeau escape. The jaunty little Frenchman says his goodbyes to the others, and with Marie's help flees into the countryside to await the next opportunity to cross the Channel.
Within a day Stalag 13 is in an uproar. Klink finds out about LeBeau's escape in a rather dramatic fashion - he tries to eat a meal that Carter has cooked in LeBeau's place. "Bury it!" he exclaims, then dispatches most of his guards to search for LeBeau. Klink is in a panic, for General Wexler is due to return soon for another meal. Without LeBeau to cook that meal, his prospects for promotion are doomed. Likewise, now that the gig is up, the Unsung Heroes will have no chance at getting the promised West Wall intelligence. At considerable risk to everyone, Hogan sneaks out to LeBeau's hiding place and begs him to come back - just long enough to cook one more meal for the general. LeBeau still wants to go to England and join de Gaulle's Free French - but just then they are interrupted by Karl, one of their German underground contacts. Marie, who has been taking care of LeBeau the past few days, was picked up for questioning by the Gestapo while in town getting food for him. An angry LeBeau grabs and loads his gun, swearing to rescue her single-handed if he has to. Hogan tells him to cool his jets, reminding him that he can accomplish nothing by himself. Karl has told them that the local Gestapo has sent for a representative from Vichy (the occupation French government), since Marie is a foreign national. Hogan realizes this gives them some time, and offers the aid of the Unsung Heroes in rescuing Marie - provided LeBeau returns to camp and cooks one more meal for General Wexler. LeBeau, realizing he can't rescue Marie by himself, agrees to the deal.
Later, at local Gestapo headquarters, a desk officer is examining the credentials of a visiting official. It is LeBeau in disguise, posing as a Vichy police inspector, and he asks that Marie be released into his custody. The desk officer says he can't release the woman without proper authorization. While they are speaking two senior SS officers in full uniform arrive and, per protocol, check in with the desk officer. They are Hogan and Newkirk, both in disguise, and Hogan pretends to recognize LeBeau as an old acquaintence with whom he has worked before. LeBeau explains the situation and Hogan immediately offers to provide the proper authorization. The desk officer protests but Hogan cuts him off, threatening to take the matter up with SS Reichsfuhrer Himmler himself. The desk officer quickly backs down, and Marie is released - after which the three Unsung Heroes quickly spirit her to safety. LeBeau returns to camp, a visibly relieved Klink holds another dinner party for General Wexler, and the West Wall intelligence is delivered as promised.
Later, the Unsung Heroes and some of the Barracks 3 gang gather around LeBeau and Marie inside the tunnels near the ladder to the hollow stump. It is time to say goodbye. LeBeau then surprises them all by announcing that he will not be going with Marie to England. He has decided to stay at Stalag 13, since they can't manage without him. "What's our next job?" he asks Hogan. There is a clamor of voices from the others placing various orders for the food which he makes so well. LeBeau, doing his best Maurice Chevalier, snorts at them and shakes his head, while Marie quietly laughs beside him.
The episode ends with Klink in his office, finishing a phone call with the Promtions Board. General Wexler has apparently done nothing about Klink being promoted to general - in fact, the subject appears not to have even come up. The viewer gets the impression that the general was taking Klink for a ride, enjoying the fine meals while never intending to do anything about Klink's promotion wishes. Hogan, who is also present, suggests to Klink that he aim higher next time - why not Klink's ultimate superior, Reichshmarshall Goring himself? Klink is pleased with the prospect and immediately starts to set it up but Hogan stops him, reminding him that Klink put LeBeau in the cooler for trying to escape. Klink tells Hogan that Lebeau will plan his meals anywhere he tells him to. Hogan then intimates that LeBeau might try to pull something if he's forced to cook while still in the cooler. A nervous Klink promises to have LeBeau released as once. As Klink reaches for the phone again, and as Hogan leaves his office, the American says to him, "You're too kind." Klink is left standing alone in his office, a look of utter frustration on his face as he holds the phone's handset before him ....
Story Notes Edit
- This is the one hundred and forty-sixth produced episode of the series, but is the one hundred and forty-fifth to be shown on television, and is also the first episode shown for the Sixth Season.
- This is the first appearance in the series of Sergeant Richard Baker.
- A famous performer is named - Maurice Chevalier.
- No explanation is ever given for Baker (Kenneth Washington) replacing Kinch (Ivan Dixon) as the group's radio man.
- LeBeau reminds Hogan of the time that he was strung up by his thumbs by the Gestapo. This is commonly interpreted as happening before LeBeau was transferred to Stalag 13 (despite what the dialogue implies). Such an incident never occurs during any of the series episodes, and LeBeau shows no obvious scars from such an ordeal.
- Karl, a member of the German underground in Hammelburg, is a semi-recurring character in the sixth season of the series. He also appears in Eight O'Clock and All Is Well and Operation Tiger.
Background Trivia Edit
- This is the first episode after Ivan Dixon's departure from the series.
- The "Cuisine à la" in the title is French and roughly translates to "Cooking in the style of...".
- It is notable that when LeBeau informs his guests what their meal is, in French, Schultz is able to translate it into English seemingly contradicting his admittance in having no knowledge of the language in Bad Day in Berlin. It is possible, since his admittance is made prior to these events (as per the series timeline) that Schultz has learned some French. Though it is more likely that Schultz, a food lover, knows the English name purely by circumstance.
- Brenda Benet, who plays French underground agent Marie Bizet in this episode, also plays another French agent, Janine Robinet, in The Antique.
- In this episode, underground agent Karl is played by Chet Stratton. In other episodes he is played by Dick "Mr. Whipple" Wilson, who normally appears in the semi-recurring role of Captain Grueber, Klink's adjutant.
- Unlike every other German military member in the series (barring the usual Stalag 13 gang and those Germans working with the Allies), General Wexler is respectful, even kindly to the prisoners (Carter in particular, who is even treated disrespectfully by the other Unsung Heroes). Though many German soldiers and officers treated prisoners cruelly, some (notably Erwin Rommel) were humane and professional.
Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit
- This is the fifteenth episode of the series in chronological order per the series timeline. It follows Color the Luftwaffe Red, and is in turn followed by The Big Gamble.
- The dates given in the series timeline allow for earlier visits by General Wexler to Stalag 13, as alluded to during the episode.
- This is one of those episodes where the implied date contradicts the overall context. One might infer from the dialogue that the Allies have already or are just about to land at Normandy, which would put this anywhere between mid-1943 and early 1944. However ... the speech by General de Gaulle that is relayed to LeBeau was first broadcast in 1940. Also, both in the speech and as mentioned in the episode, de Gaulle calls for all free Frenchmen to go to England -- not Paris, to which he returned in triumph in late August of 1944. Perhaps the best thing to do, and what has been done for the series timeline, is to spilt the difference in dates and put this in late 1942. That way contradicting de Gaulle's speech is minimized, and the Allied offensive in question is interpreted as that of North Africa (a French possession at the time).
- Most fans naturally assume that all of the episodes that feature Baker instead of Kinch take place near the end of the war, late 1944 though 1945. This is natural enough, given that Baker only appears during the Sixth Season. Timeline analysis of all Sixth Season episodes, however, paints quite a different picture. It appears that Baker has been in Stalag 13 from the beginning of operations, possibly as part of the so-called Barracks 3 gang of supporting heroes. This would have put him in the same crowd as Olsen, Scotty, Thomas, Wilson, et al, being available as a substitute for Kinch as needed and for whatever operations required large amounts of manpower. He only takes over for Kinch as one of the main heroes when Kinch departs Stalag 13. Episodes that support this view include this one, Kommandant Schultz, Lady Chitterly's Lover, Easy Come Easy Go, That's No Lady, That's My Spy, To Russia Without Love, and Kommandant Gertrude.
During the first meal with General Wexler ....
- Klink - Now corporal, what is the piece de resistance tonight?
- LeBeau (speaking in French) - Tournedos Rossini et de pommes de terre frites.
- Schultz (translating) - Meat and french fried potatoes!
- Klink (looking disgusted) - It loses a little something in the translation.
(Schultz begins wolfing down a plate of food that LeBeau has handed him)
- Wexler (looking surprised) - The sergeant eats first? Some local tradition?
- Klink - Ahh, no, no. Er, you see, our very fine chef is also a very dangerous prisoner, and I think it is wise to have a food taster around, just in case.
- Schultz (excitedly, his mouth full) - I risk my life for the Fatherland!
- LeBeau (aside) - And gain a few pounds on the way.
- Schultz (rolling eyes, mouth full) - Ahh! This is wonderful! Not a sign of poison!
- Klink - Excellent! (to Wexler) You see, whenever Schultz does not fall down, it is safe.
- Carter (snidely, from behind the Germans) - Provided he falls in the other direction.
(Everyone except Schultz laughs)
The Unsung Heroes discuss the possibility of Klink getting promoted.
- Baker - How would Klink look with a red stripe on his pants?
- Hogan (unperturbed) - Like a bald-headed Kraut with a red stripe on his pants.
Newkirk tries to talk LeBeau out of leaving.
- Newkirk - Aw, come on, Louis! You know you'll miss us, and the Krauts, and the lice, and the stinkin' food, and the bloody awful weather! What about all that?
- LeBeau (looking disgusted) - What about it?
- Newkirk (pause, then deadpan) - Need a man to carry your chafing dish?
Baker tries to talk LeBeau out of leaving.
- Baker - The point is, you ARE fighting, Louis.
- LeBeau - And what happens après la guerre?
- Baker - What?
- LeBeau - AFTER the war? I find a girl, get married, we have a child. And the baby says to me, "Hey, what did you do in the war, Papa?" (disgusted) And I must answer, "I made crêpes suzette."
- Baker (evenly) - LIE to the kid!
LeBeau tries to teach Newkirk, Carter, and Baker the proper way to grill a steak, French style. Schultz watches with intense interest.
- LeBeau (to Newkirk) - Come here, Peter!
(He takes the raw steak in the skillet to the table where Carter and Baker have prepared the garnishings. Newkirk follows. Schultz is sampling the table and listening)
- LeBeau - Now listen. We are going to cook steak with sauce bordelaise.
- Newkirk - Louis, I'll never learn about French cooking - I don't even like it!
- LeBeau (reassuringly) - You can learn.
- Newkirk (to others) - I get heartburn watching Maurice Chevalier.
- Carter - C'mon, let's give the little fella a chance.
- LeBeau - Merci, Carter.
(He picks up the salt shaker and hands it to Newkirk)
- LeBeau - Now put some seasoning on it. Let me see what kind of touch you have.
(Newkirk begins to dump salt in large shakes, as if making salt pork. LeBeau immediately wrests the shaker out of his hand and cleans the steak off.)
- LeBeau - No, no, no, no, no! This is wrong! You have to use seasoning with a delicate touch!
(LeBeau puts the cleaned steak back in pan, works as he speaks. Schultz is watching eagerly, his face lighting up all the more as LeBeau works.)
- LeBeau (continuing) - Now, in a case like this, a little salt ... pepper ... and when you are ready, your butter and parsley should actually dance across the meat.
(Schultz begins breathing heavily)
- LeBeau (continuing) - And when you are finished, your meat will lie there like Sleeping Beauty, waiting for the sauce to bring it to life.
- Schultz (half-moaning) - Cockroach!
- LeBeau - Oui?
- Schultz (eyes half-closed) - Will you marry me?
Schultz samples Klink's next meal, unaware that Carter - and not LeBeau - has cooked it.
- Schultz (carrying in the tray) - Bon appétit, herr kommandant!
- Klink - Ah, thank you, Schultz, thank you.
(Schultz sets down a large plate in front of Klink, and takes a smaller plate for himself)
- Klink - Mmmmm ... aaaahhh, that looks fantastic, eh? A little parsley garnish, lemon, pimento ....
- Schultz - Mmmmmmmhhh!
- Klink - Capers nestled in the lemon!
- Schultz (more emphatically) - Mmmmmmmhhh!!
- Schultz - ? (unintelligible)
(Schultz quickly samples his food. He takes one bite, chews twice, and stops cold. A strange look crosses his face.)
- Schultz (quitely) - You won't believe it.
(Klink hurriedly tries his food, and reacts in much the same way. He drops his fork.)
- Klink - This is terrible! The man who cooked this should get 30 days in the cooler!
- Schultz - 60 is not enough, Herr Kommandant?
- Klink (yelling) - Get the little Frenchman out here!
- Schultz (also yelling) - Little Frenchman, out here!
(Carter hurries from the kitchen, wearing an apron, coat and tall chef's hat. Klink is too busy being mad to notice he's not LeBeau.)
- Carter - You called, monsieur commandant?
- Klink (reaching for the wine) - You prepared this?
- Carter - Oui, monsieur commandant. It's called "chicken a la princess-ee."
- Klink (pouring a glass to kill the taste of the food) - But how could you--?!
(Klink suddenly notices who's speaking. He jumps up and points accusingly at Carter.)
- Klink - Wait! You're not the little Frenchman!!
- Carter - Uhh, no sir. (smiles weakly) But in high school, I took one year of--
- Klink (cuts him off) - Schultz!! Get Hogan in here at once!
- Schultz - Jawohl, Kommandant!!!
(Schultz puts down his plate and leaves)
- Klink (back to Carter) - And you! Take this away ... and bury it!
- Cuisine à la Stalag 13 at TV.com
- Cuisine à la Stalag 13 at the Internet Movie Database
- Cuisine à la Stalag 13 episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
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