Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Hogan Goes Hollywood
Original Airdate: September 26, 1969
Production Number: 5784-121
Written by: Richard M. Powell
Directed by: Edward H. Feldman
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman, William A. Calihan & Jerry London

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan plans to use an American actor in a German propaganda film as cover for blowing up a bridge that Allied bombers can't get.

Plot Details Edit

As the episode opens, Hogan and his men are enduring an overproduced Hollywood movie about a bomber pilot returning to his lady love, a rather buxom blond nurse, as the strands of the USAAF theme song sound behind them. After the movie ends, Klink brags that the movie was captured in an American plane that was recently shot down. That was not all that was on the plane, either, as he escorts the star of the movie, USAAF Major Byron Buckles, before them. Klink appears to be one of the few people in the rec hall that was impressed by the acting skills of Buckles, and plans to make his own movie for the good of Germany - "the true story of Stalag 13" ... with the help of Buckles, of course. To Buckles, it is just another job. He is an actor, not a soldier, and our heroes finds his self-absorbed moral ambivalence deeply disturbing. The men are all for killing him outright, so Schultz is assigned as Buckles' bodyguard. Hogan has another problem, though. London has assigned his team the task of blowing up a nearby bridge that has proven too difficult to bomb. His solution? He will direct Klink's propaganda movie -- himself! As the heroes absorb this development, Hogan worms Buckles out of Schultz's protection and proceeds to have a long talk with him, off-camera, about the realities of their current situation ....

Hilda seems impressed by Klink's recent accomplishment. She hopes for a part in the movie, and eagerly takes dictation for his plans in his private quarters. They are interrupted by Schultz, who announces the arrival of Hogan and Buckles. The movie star major quickly charms the socks off of Hilda, announces that she is now in the picture, and that Hogan will direct the movie. Klink is flabbergasted by this development, as he planned to direct the movie himself. Klink is further incensed when Buckles suggests that Schultz play the part of the camp commandant. Klink goes into an angry tirade, at the end of which he says, "There will be NO picture!" Buckles looks non-plussed. "NO picture," he says, then goes back to charming Hilda. Klink is left speechless, at which point Hogan pulls him aside and begins fast-talking him. Hogan maintains that Klink has to pamper Buckles' ego in order to ensure his continued cooperation with the project, even at the cost of Klink's original plans for the movie. Klink is understandably upset at this, as he is now boxed into a corner. He has already told Berlin about the project, and the Propaganda Ministry "is sending film crews, cameras, everything!" He has no choice but to agree to the changes. Klink's reward is to be listed as executive producer ... "on the screen, in small print." As Klink sinks to his chair, humiliated by the turn of events, Hogan pats him on the shoulder and says, "Well, that's show business."

When next we return to the story, filming is taking place in the camp rec hall. All the soldiers are in their best uniforms. Hilda is cheerily dressed in a rather short pink dress, with colorful ribbons in her hair. Buckles is seated at a table with presents stacked on it, including a built model of the battleship Bismarck. Standing behind him to one side are Schultz - dressed as Klink - and Klink - dressed as Schultz. This is Klink's new role in the film, but he is grimly making the best of it. Hogan explains that the prisoners, led by Buckles, are supposed to be throwing a surprise birthday party for Klink. "How nice!" Klink says, but as Hogan quickly reminds him, "You're Schultz! He's Klink," pointing at Schultz. Klink is having considerable difficulty playing his part, and Schultz has to give him pointers and cover for his many gaffes during filming. As the scene proceeds, Buckles grandiosely proclaims that the prisoners made the Bismarck model by hand out of their own mess tins. "How wonderful!" Schultz responds, in an even more exaggerated manner than Buckles, and promptly manages to break the model. This brings a halt to filming, with Buckles loudly complaining about the terrible acting of Schultz. At the same time, General Burkhalter walks through the door on one of his frequent, unannounced surprise visits. "What is going on here?" he demands of Klink, "and why are you out of uniform? Or has Berlin finally caught up with you?" he adds with a smile. It turns out that Hogan has quietly arranged for Burkhalter's involvement, as his approval is needed for a "parade sequence" he plans for the movie. Burkhalter is to have a cameo in the movie as himself, taking salutes from "happy marching prisoners," as a more imposing figure than Klink. The sight of the smiling Hilda in her short pink frock is all the convincing Burkhalter needs, and he quickly agrees.

Later, in Hogan's quarters, Buckles complains to Hogan about Schultz's frequent scene-stealing. Hogan reminds him that the sham of the movie is only to support the Allied war effort. "I'm on my side, Colonel," Buckles says as he looks in the mirror. The other heroes are not amused. Newkirk suggests, in a quiet but threatening tone, that if Hogan would but step outside then he and the others would "convince" Buckles to go along, and Carter backs him. Hogan refuses their offer and again addresses Buckles. He starts to chew him out again, but has second thoughts and stops. "Buckles," he begins again, "think of this as your greatest role ... Academy Award type." The mention of the Oscars manages to penetrate Buckles' ego, and he agrees to cooperate.

The movie is almost finished. Hogan, Burkhalter, Klink, Schultz, and Hilda are all in Klink's office, trying to work out a grand finale that will prompt the victory parade over which Burkhalter will preside. His suggestion? The prisoners form a secret unit, go behind Allied lines ... "and blow up a bridge!" he finishes, pointing at Hilda. Hilda smiles back, but says nothing. His suggestion is to use "the bridge 20 miles south of here." Klink is concerned about whether or not the prisoners assigned to the role of the secret unit will come back to camp. As for Burkhalter, he is understandably upset. "You cannot blow up that bridge, Hogan!" he says. "That is the most closely guarded bridge in all of Germany." Hogan counters that they only need the bridge for location shooting, complete with fake explosives, and that a six foot long miniature bridge will be blown up instead. This is the cover for the real reason why Hogan needed Burhalter's involvement - as a general, he can get permission for filming in a restricted area. He appeals to Burkhalter's ego by suggesting they name their fictional secret group "the Burkhalter Brigade." The general, pleased at the idea of having his name prominently featured in a major movie, quickly agrees.

Later, at the bridge, during the "location shooting," Carter supervises Buckles, Newkirk, Kinch, and LeBeau in the placing of real explosives. Buckles is nervous, as he has never filmed his own action sequences before. He's also nervous because he knows the explosives are for real. "I think Hogan's insane," he stammers, as Carter hands him a block of real TNT. As they place the explosives, Hogan orders some German soldiers to begin shooting at them - "to make things more realistic," Carter explains to a frightened Buckles. The frightened actor finds a way to make the best of his situation. "If I'm going to die," he says with a mixture of mock sincerity and real fright, "let it be in a close-up." Shortly thereafter, Buckles and his "team" flee the bridge and right into the arms of the waiting "Germans." Hogan quickly yells, "Cut! Cut!" When Burkhalter and Klink asks him what's wrong, Hogan explains that the scene just doesn't "sing." It needs something more ... like the involvement of the secret team's allies, the Germans themselves. He finagles the cooperation of Burkhalter, Klink, and Schultz in the movie's climax. As the cameras roll, and the gunshots play, the trio proudly surround the plunger, and all three push down at once. There is a deafening explosion, as the bridge is blown to pieces in front of them. "Great shot!" Hogan exclaims. "That's just what we needed to sell the picture!" Burkhalter pulls himself up from the ground. He is furious. "Never mind about the picture, what about the bridge?!" he demands. Hogan puts on a hurt puppy dog look. "That was unfortunate, sir," he deadpans, "but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs." Klink tries to figure out from where the real explosives came, but he is interrupted by an angry Burkhalter. "I will have you shot, all of you!" he yells. Hogan quietly reminds him that they are all in this together, since "we have such marvelous footage of you setting off the explosion." Burkhalter indignantly declares he will tell Berlin the whole story, but then is forced to admit he might as well kill himself afterwards if he does. Hogan suggests that instead Burkhalter tell Berlin that the bridge was destroyed by "secret, high-flying Allied bombers." Burkhalter realizes he has no choice but to go along, but to cover his own hide he orders all of the film from the movie destroyed.

As the episode ends, we learn that Buckles is being exchanged for three German generals-as specified in his actor's contract. His inflated ego remains to the end, but he mentions that he was proud "to work with Hogan." Carter requests a photograph of Buckles for their camp album, to which the major agrees. As he poses for the shot, Schultz (who was there to thank Buckles for his part in the film) accidentally blocks Buckles' face with his hand just as the picture is taken.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the one hundred and twenty-first episode of the series, but is the one hundred and nineteenth to be shown on television and the first episode shown for the Fifth Season.
  • Two contemporaneous American actresses are mentioned in the episode: Betty Grable and Esther Williams. Carter asks Buckles if he worked with Williams, and later asks him to tell Betty Grable, "Carter says, 'Hello.'"
  • Alan Oppenheimer is better known to television fans for his portrayal of Dr. Rudy Wells in The Six Million Dollar Man television series.
  • The model of the Bismarck that appears in this episode was built from a 1/400 scale kit originally marked by UPC, and then later by Lindberg. The model was built, sawed in two, and then lightly reglued prior to filming the scene in which it appears. You can see the actors doing their best to handle it in such a way that it will not break before it is supposed to. You can also see the fault line for the break if you look carefully in a good freeze frame.
  • The theme music of Buckles' movie is the USAAF theme song ("Nothing can stop the Army Air Force!").
  • Some of the stock footage seen in the episode appears to have been borrowed from both Twelve O'Clock High (the crashing bomber) and Von Ryan's Express (the blowing of the bridge).
  • This is the only time that Schultz gets to impersonate Klink openly, by playing him in Hogan's movie.
  • This is the second time that Klink has been forced to don an enlisted man's uniform - both to Schultz's enjoyment. The first was Diamonds in the Rough.
  • This episode is a satire on Hollywood contribution to World War II - Buckles claims to have done his bit for the war by appearing at the Hollywood Stage Canteen thrice (See below) and also has it written into his acting contract that, if captured, he is to be exchanged for three German generals! (Which would explains his short stay at Stalag XIII!)

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

Quotes Edit

  • Newkirk: "If America's sweetheart is a traitor, then we gotta do away with America's sweetheart. Right, Carter?"

Carter thinks about a while, then moves over beside Newkirk.

  • Carter: "I pretend I'm taking his picture, but instead, inside the camera, I've got a 37mm cannon ... sawed-off."
  • Newkirk: "You don't think that's a little messy?"
  • Carter: "Oh."

  • Schultz: "Nothing is going to happen to Major Buckles."
  • Carter: "Of course not. Just like nothing happened to Benedict Arnold -- because we didn't catch him."
  • Schultz: "Carter, I'm warning you ...! Furthermore ... I'm imploring you."
  • Buckles: "I just don't understand, chaps. I mean, my record is perfect! Appeared three times in two years at the Hollywood Canteen."
  • Hogan: "My men are upset with you, Buckles, doing a propaganda film for the Germans."
  • Buckles: "They are? But it sounded like such a good part."
  • Hogan (looking disgusted): "Get him out of here, Schultz."

  • Schultz (as Klink): "Oh! For me?"
  • Buckles: "And there's more to come, Kommandant, as the prisoners express through their own simple handicraft, their gratitude for their hospitality and political guidance."
  • Schultz (as Klink): "Oh! How wonderful!" (puts hand in front of Buckles' face; Buckles has to step around it)
  • Buckles (picks up model): "Crafted out of their own mess tins - a scale replica of the battleship Bismarck."
  • Schultz (as Klink): "Ah!" (grabs stern of model) "The unsinkable Bismarck!" (model breaks in two).
  • Hogan: "Cut, cut!"

Buckles and the heroes are at the bridge, doing "location filming" -- but actually planting real explosives.

  • Buckles (nervously): "I always worked with doubles, you know. Always! Why couldn't Hogan give me a double?"
  • Kinch (from behind): "Authenticity for your performance."
  • Buckles: "I think he's insane."
  • Carter: "Will you hold this, please?" (hands him a block of real TNT)
  • Buckles (nervously): "It won't go off, will it?"
  • Carter: "Probably not."
  • Buckles: "Then I'm insane."

After the bridge blows up ...

  • Burkhalter: "I will have all your heads! All of them!"
  • Hogan: "Ahhh, begging your pardon, general, but I think we're all in this together -- especially since we have such marvelous footage of you setting off the explosion."
  • Burkhalter: "Destroy the picture!"
  • Hogan: "Anything you say, sir, anything. Ah, um, that still leaves the bridge -- or what's left of it."
  • Burkhalter: "I will tell Berlin the complete and entire truth! ... and then kill myself."

Bloopers Edit

  • In his movie, Buckles crashes a B-17 Flying Fortress. In the closeups, after his girfriend nurse runs out to meet him, he is standing amid the wreckage of a B-25 Mitchell. This is probably the same wrecked bomber prop that we've seen used in previous episodes.
  • The paint scheme on the Bismarck model does not resemble any that was ever used on the real ship. It looks more like the box top artwork painted by noted maritime artist John Steel for Aurora's 1/600 model kit of the Bismarck, which is also historically incorrect.

External links Edit

Previous episode:
Happy Birthday, Dear Hogan
Next episode:
The Well

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