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The Gold Rush

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The Gold Rush
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: The Gold Rush
Original Airdate: January 14, 1966
Production Number: 5784-19
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Howard Morris
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & Bernard Fein

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

French gold has been stolen, so Hogan convinces Klink to have it brought to Stalag 13 so he can steal it.

Plot Details Edit

A truck pulls into camp bringing in a new prisoner to Stalag 13. He is Captain Edward H. Martin, USAAF, who was downed in a recent raid on Hammelburg and turned over to the Gestapo by local farmers. Schultz is four hours late bringing him to camp because, as he explains later to Klink in his office, he was held up by a gold shipment that the Gestapo was handling. The Unsung Heroes, who are listening in via the coffeepot bug, prick up their ears instantly at this. Once Klink begins his "no escape" spiel, they turn the bug off.

As it turns out, it is gold that the conquering Germans have stolen from the Bank of France. They plan to use the gold to help finance their continuing war effort. Hogan decides the best thing that they can do is, in his own words, "take it out of circulation." The first problem is how to get it into camp, but it proves an easy task for the Unsung Heroes. Per the Geneva Convention, the ranking POW is supposed to be present when a new prisoner is interrogated. Hogan is the ranking POW at Stalag 13, and he takes the opportunity to slip a doctored map into Klink's office - making it appear as if Martin had dropped it (he apologizes to Martin later). The map is of Hammelburg, and it is marked up to look as if the Allies are planning to bomb the city on account of the gold shipment being kept there. After finding the map, and discussing the matter with the Gestapo office in Hammelburg, Klink volunteers to have the gold shipment kept at Stalag 13 because "the Allies won't bomb a prisoner-of-war camp." This is exactly what Hogan and the Unsung Heroes hoped would happen. On to stage two ...

An all-volunteer prisoner detail works hard to clean the front porch of the Kommandantur. Schultz is surprised, but lets it pass, just happy that the prisoners don't seem to be causing any trouble. Klink too lets it go, and that is his mistake. Unnoticed, hidden behind the screen of the others moving about, LeBeau saws away the supports to the porch stairs. The Heroes finish and later watch the outside of the office, waiting for Klink to leave. Their plan nearly backfires when Schultz leaves the office instead of Klink, prompting Hogan to recommend his men covering their ears to block the "shockwave." To their surprise, Schultz walks down the stairs with no problems, but by strange circumstance, the next time Klink tries to walk up them, they collapse and he almost hurts himself. Hogan claims that termites have eaten through the wood and suggests they be replaced with brick stairs. After a round of wrangling with the angry Klink, the camp commandant finally agrees. On to stage three ...

The gold shipment arrives the following day inside an armored car, along with a contingent of five Gestapo soldiers - SS Major Krieger, his aide, a driver, and two armed guards. As they discuss details with Klink, and as the driver looks for a good place to park the truck, Carter and LeBeau pretend to string a clothesline between Barracks 2 and 4 - right in the path of the armored car. It is forced to stop between the barracks, and while Schultz argues with the prisoners about the clothesline, Newkirk manages to puncture one of the truck's tires with a long dart thrown through the window of Hogan's office. Once the tire blows out, the truck is stuck between the barracks. The Gestapo officer in charge is furious, because the weight of the gold in the back of the truck, combined with the softness of the ground, makes it impossible to either jack up the truck or to tow it out. He stations his men around the truck until a solution to the problem can be found. At the same time, moving fast behind the Gestapo officer, Hogan and Newkirk (who has come outside) manage to wedge a plastic shim into the door without being noticed, thus preventing the door from locking. So far, so good for the Unsung Heroes. On to stage four ...

That night, as Schultz prepares to bring some hot coffee to the Gestapo guards, Newkirk and LeBeau intercept him enroute. LeBeau pretends to temp him with thoughts about stealing the gold, while from behind Newkirk spikes the coffee with several knockout drops. Schultz eventually shoos the two of them away and takes the coffee to the grateful guards, who promptly pass out within the hour. Once that happens, both the Unsung Heroes and the Barracks 3 gang promptly swing into action. Newkirk and Carter don the uniforms of the sleeping guards and pose as them, while the prisoners quickly but efficiently move the gold down into the tunnels by means of a human chain - almost like an old-fashioned bucket brigade. Down below, the machine shop in the tunnels has been turned into an improvised foundry. Some of the gold bars have been melted down and the melted gold sits on one side of a pair of conveyor belts. At the end of the other one is a freshly mixed vat of red paint. Working quickly, and doing their best to keep things straight, the prisoners coat Klink's requisitioned bricks in the melted gold while at the same time dipping the real gold bricks in red paint. By the time the guards are due to awaken, the operation is finished. They come to and find themselves on the ground at the back of the truck, having apparently fallen asleep at their posts. They of course do not report this ... and the next day, after the necessary equipment is secured to jack up the heavy armored truck, the tire is fixed and the "gold" shipment sent on its way.

It doesn't take long for the switch to be discovered, once the shipment reaches its destination and is weighed. An infuriated Krieger rushes back to Stalag 13, which is the only place where the gold could have been switched. He has his men search the camp, but none of the gold turns up. In his rush to find the gold, he fails to notice the new brick stairs in front of the Kommandantur - the same one which Hogan is sitting. Like Rachel in the Bible story, he is using his posterior to cover the evidence of the theft - in this case, a scuffed-away area of the paint that Klink had inadvertently knocked away while arguing with Krieger. Klink is surprised by Hogan's reaction. "He's going to search!" he exclaims. Hogan shakes his head, and for once, his response is honest. "If you don't mind," he says, "I'd like to sit this one out."

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the nineteenth produced episode of the series, but is the eighteenth episode to be shown on television.
  • The title of this episode refers to the "rush" of people to any site where gold is discovered in quantity. The American Gold Rush of the 1850s, the Australian Gold Rush of about the same time (1850s), the South African (Witswatersrand) Gold Rush of the mid-1880s, and the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s are probably the four best known examples. It may have also been inspired by the 1925 Charlie Chaplin silent feature film of the same name, which is set during the Klondike Gold Rush.
  • Klink still has his "short" shirt salad rack of medal pins, as in The Informer. These do not match the longer bar of medals he wears for most of the rest of the series.
  • LeBeau values each of the bars in the gold shipment at 50,000 Reichsmarks.
  • Based on the visuals and on Hogan's dialogue (25:30), it appears the Unsung Heroes melted down some of the gold and are dipping the bricks in it. Had they merely used gold paint, their deception would have been the more easily exposed.
  • BARRACKS 3 GANG WATCH - The actor who normally plays Private Addison can be seen in a different role this time - as one of the SS guards on the gold shipment. True to form, he is the younger guard that never speaks. As for Broughton, you can see him down in the tunnels - he's the one dipping the gold bricks in red paint. "Slim" can be seen at various points in the background. The best place to spot Walters is in the tunnels - he is the one dipping the bricks in melted gold.

Background Trivia Edit

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This is the twenty-eighth episode of the series in chronological order, per the series timeline. It follows Guess Who Came To Dinner, and is in turn followed by The Most Escape-Proof Camp I've Ever Escaped From.
  • Hogan asks if the coffeepot bug is working now. Chronologically, it had burned out earlier that month, as depicted in Psychic Kommandant.
  • Given what happens in this episode, in relation to the rest of the series, it is quite possible that the theft of the gold from the SS is what probably provoked their long-running interest in the sabotage activities surrounding Stalag 13. After all, this was a slap in the face insofar as SS pride was concerned. If true, then chronologically this would be one of the earliest series episodes (if not the earliest) involving the SS, implying an early 1943 date.
  • The Bank of France had shipped all French gold overseas prior to France's surrender to Germany. After that, it was used by the Germans as a clearinghouse for all the gold and other forms of monetary wealth being looted from other occupied countries in Europe. The gold shipment involved in this episode would have been so-called foreign gold, despite LeBeau's assertions to the contrary. How was he, a POW, to know any better?
  • Newkirk emphatically claims that he can't speak German in this episode. Of course, this may be an exaggeration on his part, given his demonstrated fluency in later episodes and which would be in character for him. A more likely scenario is that he was still in the process of learning German, and didn't feel like he could yet carry on a conversation with a native speaker and get away with it.

Quotes Edit

Hogan, on Stalag 13

  • "It doesn't look like much, but after a while you get to hate it."

Hogan, on Klink

  • "He's a great host and serves a wonderful buffet."

Schultz debates the Gestapo gold shipment with Klink. Captain Martin is present and listens.

  • Schultz - A big shipment of gold bars, which we stole from the Bank of France. It's being shipped to Düsseldorf.
  • Klink - Not stolen, confiscated! (to Martin) When you defeat a country, you confiscate its gold. (back to Schultz) Stupid!
  • Schultz - I thought if you take something that doesn't belong to you, that is stealing. (low voice, aside to Martin) I'm stupid.
  • Martin - I don't think you're so stupid.
  • Klink - Silence!

Klink, with Hogan present, formally welcomes Captain Martin to Stalag 13 (excerpt).

  • Klink - The captain has been informed that no one has ever successfully escaped from Stalag 13.
  • Hogan (looking at Martin) - Yeah, shameful. People are beginning to talk.
  • Klink - Captain, I must warn you. Do not be tempted into any foolish ventures. For those who try, we have a reward known as "the cooler."
  • Hogan (looking at Martin) - One of the smaller rooms, without a view

Klink orders Martin to turn out his pockets. Among his personal effects is a black thimble lens ...

  • Hogan (exclaiming) - Hey! Got one of those!(picks it up, holds it to one eye, laughs loudly) Ah-hah-hah! Oohh-ho! Hello, there!
  • Martin - One of the men at the base gave it to me.
  • Klink (befuddled) - What do you see?
  • Hogan - You know that famous picture of George Washington crossing the Delaware?
  • Klink - Yes, I'm familiar with it.
  • Hogan (grinning broadly, shaking his head) - This ain't it.

(Klink gets up, comes around the desk to Hogan and snatches it away)

  • Klink - Give me that! I must inspect it for security reasons.
  • Hogan (handing it over) - Oh, I understand, sir.

(Klink holds it up to his monocled eye, then grins impishly. He stops, once he realizes that Hogan and Martin are watching him, trying hard not to smile. Putting forth his best Prussian manner, he turns away and looks again ... trying hard not to grin again.)


Schultz, to the German guards.  (Conversation translated from German).

  • Schultz - Ah, I'm back. I've brought you some good, hot coffee. (hands coffee pot to Guard #2)  Here.
  • Guard #1 - Aha, thank you!
  • Schultz - You're welcome.
  • Guard #1 - It's very cold this evening.
  • Schultz - (dismissively) Ahh, even the rooms are cold here.
  • Guard #1 - Yes. (Schultz pours him coffee) Thank you.
  • Schultz - It's good, right? ...Good. Have a nice night.
  • Guard #1 - Good night. (to Guard #2) ...What a decent fellow!

Hogan and the Unsung Heroes, still working on the Kommandantur porch stairs, watch the "gold" shipment leave camp.

(Kinch immediately claps a hand over LeBeau's mouth)

  • Hogan - What?!
  • LeBeau (removing the hand) - Bricks!
  • Hogan (exasperated, motions to camp stores) - Go draw some from the bank!
  • LeBeau (confused) - The bank?
  • Hogan - Bricks!
  • LeBeau (suddenly understanding) - Oh!

Klink almost exposes the gold switch

  • Krieger - This was the last stop before the bank in Düsseldorf! When the shipment was weighed it was light! Some of the gold is missing!
  • Hogan - Oh, that's terrible.
  • Krieger - And unless it is found, I will be missing. (to Klink, sternly) And I assure you, I am going to look for it!
  • Hogan (to Klink) - Sir, I resent the implication that there may be thieves among us.
  • Klink (missing the joke) - So do I!
  • Krieger - Do I have your permission to search this camp, or must I take this matter over your head to General Burkhalter?!
  • Klink - You may take this camp apart building by building, and if you find one ounce of that gold ...

(Klink abruptly turns and takes a rifle away from one of the nearby guards)

  • Klink (continuing) - ... you may use THIS gun to shoot me!

(Klink slams the rifle down hard on the new stairs. Hogan immediately glances down, and notes with horror that the rifle butt has knocked away some of the red paint. He quickly sidesteps to cover the scored mark with his shoe.)

Bloopers Edit

  • The Ford "armored" truck used to transport the gold is visible - parked in the distance - in the very first opening scene.
    IMG 2566
  • The "German" truck used to bring the gold into camp is in fact a repainted Ford panel truck, not older than 1948.
    IMG 2564
    You can clearly see the chrome "FORD" inscription on the hood after the truck has been parked. This is not itself a blooper as Ford had a German subsidiary, but the vehicle is obviously of postwar design. (12:50, 14:05)
  • The "blowout" sound effect for the tire on the gold truck is a bit early. (14:30)
  • The younger of the SS guards on the gold shipment (i.e. "Addison") is carrying an American-made Thompson submachine gun with forward grip and straight ammo clip. FYI, even the model is incorrect - it's the civilian version, not the military one.
    IMG 2565
    The type of Thompson seen is the famous 1920 "Chicago Typewriter," as favored by gangsters, which normally sported a high-capactity ammo drum instead of the U.S. Army's standard issue straight ammo clip as seen here. The U.S. Army version of the Thompson also had a barrel grip instead of a forward pistol grip. Apparently, the series production offices had trouble rounding up enough MP-40 Schmiesser submachine guns - such as the one the senior SS guard carries - for use on the German side during the First Season. They thus had to use whatever guns were available in quantity (American civilian Thompsons) until they could get enough Schmiessers. This would also explain why you sometimes see camp guards carrying American-made Thompsons instead of German MP-40s during the First Season.
  • Private Broughton should NOT have been able to dip the gold bars in red paint as easily as he does. Gold weighs about as much as lead; therefore, picking up gold bars with a pair of tongs in the fashion shown - not to mention holding each bar up in the air with just the tongs for an extended period - would have been an extremely difficult task.
  • After the prisoners build the steps to Klink's office using the stolen gold disguised as bricks, these steps are wooden for the rest of the series.

External links Edit

Previous episode:
Happy Birthday, Adolf
Next episode:
Hello, Zollie

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