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Hot Money

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Hot Money (2)
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Hot Money
Original Airdate: November 04, 1967
Production Number: 5784-64
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Bob Sweeney
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

None

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan plans to destroy a counterfeiting operation that has been set up in camp.

Plot Details Edit

As our story begins, it is night at Stalag 13. Sergeant Schultz is just leaving a heavily guarded and fenced-off building with a large sign on the door saying HALT! ENTRITT VERBOTEN (Halt! Entrance forbidden). It is brand new, having just recently been built. Klink walks up to him, asking if everything is ready. A convoy is arriving in just a few minutes with something important, and it is to be stored in this building. Klink then asks if the prisoners are secured in their barracks. Schultz overdoes it in assuring him that they are, all sleeping like little babies ...

... but they're not. As his men crowd around him, Hogan is manning the sink periscope, watching Klink and Schultz. "They've been getting that building ready for a week," Kinch observes. "Yeah, ready for what?" Hogan asks. Just then Klink's convoy arrives - a staff car and a large truck - and pulls up to the building. There are a number of odd-sized boxes in the truck, which immediately gets Hogan's attention. LeBeau speculates they might be new weapons and ammunition, but Carter quickly disagrees. "The boxes are the wrong size," he notes - and as he is the expert in such things, for once no one disagrees with him. Hogan becomes thoughtful. "Gentlemen, I'm curious," he says aloud, then asks for suggestions on how they can get past the German soldier guarding the door to their own barracks. "Why don't we all go to bed and mind our own business?" Newkirk cheerfully quips. Suddenly a wide-eyed expression comes over Carter's face. "Why doesn't one of us just open the door and walk out of there," he says, "and if somebody stops us, we just say we're going for a walk?" Everybody in the barracks turns to stare at him. "Just like that?" LeBeau says doubfully. "Sure! Casually" Carter exclaims. "It's gotta work because it's simple." Hogan slowly nods at him. "If it's so simple, you go ahead and do it." Carter cherrily agrees, opens the barracks door, and walks out -- only to be dragged in by the scruff of the neck seconds later by a tall and rather mean-looking camp guard brandishing a submachine gun. Hogan waves at the captive Carter. "Just put it anywhere," he says disgustedly. The guard drops the startled Carter and leaves.

Later, the prisoners are entertaining themselves with an impromptu craps game set up on the main table in Barracks 2. Schultz enters, apparently drawn by the shouting of the prisoners placing their bets. "What's going on here!" he yells at them. He loudly berates them for gambling, which is against camp regulations, and threatens to break up the game. He then breaks into a broad grin, rubs his hands, asks Newkirk, "What's the point?" and pulls out a big wad of American money. "I have to get evidence before I can make my report," he explains, as he lays some of the money down on the table. Newkirk immediately notices that Schultz has over 600 dollars in brand new US $50s, whereas the prisoners have only old and worn US $1 notes. Newkirk immediately welcomes him into the game and shoots a worried look at LeBeau. He then arranges it so that Schultz loses the next throw, shouting "Pay up!" As money moves down the table to Newkirk, LeBeau quietly slips away with the bill Schultz laid down for his bets, making a beeline to Hogan's office. Schultz fails to notice him and shrugs off his loss, then lays down another bill. "Easy come, easy go," he says cheerfully to Newkirk.

Meanwhile, in Hogan's office, LeBeau has interrupted a chess game between Hogan and Kinch with news of Schultz's sudden wealth. Hogan examines the bill. "Looks all right, feels all right," he says, then hands it to Kinch. "Where would Schultz get Yankee money?" Hogan wonders, even as Kinch begins to examine the bill more closely with a jeweler's loupe. He suddenly calls Hogan over. He has found that the second "E" in the words FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE is slightly out of line. The bill is counterfeit, albeit an excellent one. At that moment Carter enters with more news. Schultz is also betting British 5-pound notes, which got Newkirk so excited "he almost put the straight dice back into the game." Hogan correctly guesses that Schultz's fivers are fake, too. He immediately leaves his office, breaks up the craps game, and makes Schultz take back his funny money.

Hogan escorts a worried Schultz out of the barracks. "You won't tell Kommandant Klink?" he asks. Hogan berates him for trying to break the game with his counterfeit cash wad, then demands to know, "Where'd you get the crazy money?" Schultz tries to claim he just found it but Hogan doesn't buy it. As he starts to walk towards Klink's office, the worried sergeant finally breaks down. "You see the new building over there?" he says, pointing to the camp's newest. "They have printing presses, ink, everything. They're going to make counterfeit money right here because a POW camp is safe - for everybody but me." Hogan nods. "And some of the money stuck to your fingers." Schultz also reveals that what he had came from a box of samples that he had helped himself to. "They haven't started yet. They're looking for experts to help them. I think it's pretty good stuff myself." After that, Hogan lets Schultz go, promising not to report him, then returns to the barracks. The rest of the Unsung Heroes are waiting for him. "They could make enough phony money to flood the world!" Hogan exclaims. Kinch speculates that the Germans will probably introduce it through the neutral countries, while LeBeau notes they could ruin the currency of every Allied nation in the war. "Well, we can't tunnel in, it's guarded too closely," Kinch observes. Hogan thinks for a moment, then goes to his office. The rest of the Unsung Heroes follow him. "All we need is one man in there," Hogan says, once they're inside - and that man is to be Newkirk. With Kinch's help, the Unsung Heroes cook up a forged camp announcement with Klink's signature on it. Newkirk, who can at least pass as a forger due to his unique background, is to take the blame for it. Hopefully this will attract the attention of whoever is running the counterfeiting operation, and give the Unsung Heroes the inside man they need to shut it down.

Hogan's plan comes within an ace of success. Newkirk is called to account in Klink's office. Present also is an SS officer, Major Bock, who seems quite interested in Newkirk's apparent skills. He asks Newkirk a series of pointed questions about counterfeiting. Newkirk tries and fails to bluff his way through them. Having seen Bock expose Newkirk as a fraud, Klink throws him out of his office. The Unsung Heroes have heard the whole thing on the coffee pot tap and are understandably upset, but what they hear next sounds promising. Bock asks Klink not to report the incident involving Newkirk to his superiors in Berlin. "Berlin does not recognize mistakes," the major says. "It is watching this operation very closely." He then confides to Klink that his chief technician, Herr Stoffel, has openly questioned the morality of their actions. Bock has not reported this, since Berlin would come down on HIS head - not Stoffel's. "If there is a slip-up," he says evenly, "I will be taken out and shot .... In matters like these there is no appeal. If necessary, the orders will be carried out." An amazed Klink quickly assures the SS major that he will not report the incident, after which Bock thanks him. "You may have just saved my life," he tells Klink.

Meanwhile, in Barracks 2, the Unsung Heroes review a wire recording of Klink and Bock's conversation, then mull over what they have heard. Both Hogan and Newkirk try to take the blame for their earlier failure, then Hogan starts thinking. "We may get another shot at this," he says, focusing his attention on Bock's statement about Herr Stoffel. Hogan quickly comes up with a new plan. He will help Kinch edit their wire recording so that it will sound like Bock is planning to have Stoffel taken out. They will then arrange for Stoffel to hear the recording, and let the man's own conscience take it from there. If everything goes as Hogan hopes it will, Stoffel will help them set the building on fire - and destroy the counterfeiting operation in the process. "Do you think it will work" Kinch asks. Hogan looks at him and smiles. "When it comes to money, Kinch, I'm dead serious," he responds.

The next day finds both Kinch and Hogan with stubble on their faces and bags under their eyes, but the recording has been doctored. Since the prisoners are being used to bring meals to Bock's men, Hogan has LeBeau slip a note into Stoffel's sandwich, warning that his life is in danger. An understandably upset Stoffel takes the first opportunity to excuse himself and chase down LeBeau at the barracks, but finds Hogan waiting for him instead. When Stoffel expresses doubt and suggests the prisoners are setting him up, Hogan plays the doctored recording for him. "Any questions?" he asks. The chastised Stoffel stares down at the floor. "What do you want me to do?" he asks quietly.

Around 3 pm that afternoon, as Bock's men are busy at their work, an unobserved Stoffel starts a fire in a trash can next to the printing press. He then goes back to his desk, waits a few moments for it to get burning well, then begins yelling, "Achtung! Fire!" as loud as he can. The others promptly try to put it out, while Stoffel slips behind them and lobs several of Carter's smoke bombs into various corners. The building promptly fills up with smoke. As it begins to spill out the windows, LeBeau (who is standing under the water tower and watching) also begins yelling, "Fire! Fire!" Hogan and his men are ready and waiting by Barracks 2 with fire axes borrowed from camp supplies. They rush the building, past the startled and confused guards, and proceed to promptly put out the "fire" - while destroying Bock's equipment and printing plates in the process, and hiding what is left of the smoke bombs. Also, during the confusion, Hogan helps Stoffel flee the scene, and catches Schultz in the act of trying to slip away with a whole pile of Bock's funny money. Hogan makes Schultz drop it, even as Klink and Bock arrive on the scene. There is not much left to see. Our Unsung Heroes have been thorough in their destruction of Bock's counterfeiting operation.

Later that afternoon, Klink commends the prisoners in putting out the fire. He awards them with an extra ration of white bread for one week before dismissing them. Excited, the Unsung Heroes gather around Hogan. "We did it!" LeBeau exclaims. "Yeah, and by the time they get reorganized, the war will probably be over," Hogan adds. Newkirk adds that it was a shame to see all those bills burn up, which reminds Hogan of something. He calls Schultz over to them. The cheerful sergeant ambles up to him. "Schultz," he says, pulling out a Zippo lighter, "I've always had a lifelong ambition, and you can make that dream come true." He then reaches into Schultz's great coat pocket and pulls out some more of Bock's funny money. As an anguished Schultz watches, Hogan folds it neatly lengthwise, lights his lighter, and sets it on fire. "I've always wanted to have money to burn, Schultz," he says, as Schultz watches it vanish in the flames.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the sixty-fourth produced episode of the series, but is the seventy-first episode to be shown on television and is the ninth episode shown for the Third Season.
  • Our heroes' homemade wire recorder puts in an appearance in this episode.

Background TriviaEdit

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This is the fifth episode of the series in chronological order. Per the series timeline, it follows Information Please, and comes before Bad Day in Berlin.
  • Internal evidence points to this being a late 1942 episode, which would make it one of the first episodes chronologically. Kinch plays a prominent part in the story. Kinch also says that this is the first time he's ever been able to get a sample of Klink's signature on a document (for use by our heroes). Schultz says this is the first time he's ever broken up a craps game among our heroes - which is unlikely, but deserves mention nonetheless. Newkirk is very reluctant to take on the Germans, more so than in any other episode. This might imply that our heroes had just started their operations at Stalag 13. Carter's rather stupid suggestion on how they should find out what the Germans are doing also ties into this, as it might imply that his arrival was fairly recent. Carter would become a lot wiser later on.
  • This is the first reference in the series to Operation Bernhard, the Nazi plan to destroy the economies of the Allied countries by flooding them with counterfeit money. It began in 1942, but was not detected by British Intelligence until 1943. The Nazis produced almost nine million counterfeit British pound notes, and these were still turning up as late as the 1970s! In actual history, the counterfeiting of U.S. currency ($100 bills) was tested on 22 February 1945, but never carried out due to the end of the war.
  • Hogan's wish about the Nazis losing their counterfeiting capabilities will not come true. He will have to deal with Nazi counterfeit money again, a year later (time wise), in The Empty Parachute.

Quotes Edit

Klink talks with Schultz outside the newest building in the camp.

  • Klink: Are the prisoners all accounted for in the barracks?
  • Schultz: Jawohl, herr kommandant! I've even got extra guards. The prisoners are sleeping peacefully - like little children, dreaming of digging tunnels and escaping back home, and seeing--
  • Klink (irritated): Schultz! I'm asking for a report, not a bedtime story.

Schultz hears shouting coming from Barracks 3 and decides to investigate

  • Schultz: What's going on here!
  • LeBeau: We're having a community sing.
  • Schultz: With money and dice?
  • Newkirk: Well, it makes the slower songs a bit more interesting.

After Bock's counterfeiting operation is destroyed by the Unsung Heroes ...

  • Bock: These plates can't be replaced! What are we going to tell Berlin?
  • Hogan: Don't tell them, ask them.
  • Klink (exasperated): For what?
  • Hogan: Permission to hold a fire sale.

Bloopers Edit

  • Both Schultz and the prisoners are gambling at the craps table with American dollars of post-WWII design. The differences are small, though, and would probably not be noticed at first glance save by someone with training.
  • The Heroes being able to carry axes in this episode would not happen in reality since it would be considered a breach of security to allow prisoners to have anything that could be considered usable as a weapon.
  • When the Heroes use the sink periscope, someone doesn't stand next to the sink and we can see that the pipe doesn't go anywhere. 
    HoganBlooper01

    Blooper: See sink/periscope pipe ends in mid-air.

External links Edit


Previous episode:
Nights in Shining Armor
Next episode:
One in Every Crowd

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