|Episode:||The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery|
|Original Airdate:||January 13, 1967|
|Written by:||Phil Sharp|
|Directed by:||Bob Sweeney|
|Produced by:||Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan|
- Colonel Hogan - Bob Crane
- Corporal Louis LeBeau - Robert Clary
- Corporal Peter Newkirk - Richard Dawson
- Sergeant James Kinchloe - Ivan Dixon
- Sergeant Andrew Carter - Larry Hovis
Camp Personnel Edit
Guest Stars Edit
Plot Details Edit
A tremendous explosion rocks the camp. Hogan, the Unsung Heroes, and the Barracks 3 gang race to the emergency tunnel entrance in Barracks 2, out of which smoke is billowing. They help a half-dazed, dirt-covered Kinch up the ladder. As it turns out, Newkirk and Carter had placed a mislabeled bottle of nitroglycerin near Kinch's post at their secret transmitter, and he had mistaken it for something else. Kinch was lucky to escape with his life, and the tunnels seem okay, but their communications gear is wrecked beyond repair. It will take two days at least for Kinch to rig up something else. At that moment Schultz comes running into the barracks, demanding to know what just happened. Kinch dives for Hogan's office, clean uniform in hand, while everybody else draws Schultz's attention away from him. Schultz never does find out what happened, but he demands that nothing else does. "On account of you I've already lost a three day pass," he tells them before leaving. "I'm up for another one. I want nothing to happen, you understand?" Hogan is less concerned with Schultz and more about the BBC transmission coming up in 20 minutes, part of which is a message in code for them. How are they going to hear it now, since Klink has the only other working radio in the whole camp in his office. Easy! "When Emily Post doesn't work," he tells his men, "you use Sigmund Freud." The others look at each other, wondering what he means.
A short time later, Klink arrives at his office to find the Unsung Heroes planting shrubs outside his office. Hogan claims its part of the effort to improve the looks of the camp. Klink lets it pass and goes inside. The weather is unseasonably warm, and he has left the windows open to his inner office. Below and outside it, Hogan and his men begin talking, pitching their conversation somewhat louder than usual so Klink can hear them. He listens as Hogan tells his men what a pushover Klink is, how Allied soldiers are allowed to listen to German propaganda broadcasts while German soldiers are not. Incensed, Klink goes over to his shortwave radio, turns it on, tunes it to one of the BBC frequencies, and turns it up so they can hear it. The look on his face as he does so effectively says, "Well, I'll show them!" Meanwhile, pad in hand, Kinch copies down the coded message they are supposed to receive. A special mission has been lined up for the Unsung Heroes, and the coming air drop will have what they need to fulfill it.
The package they receive contains 100,000 authentic reichsmarks. It is payment to a German contact named Ludwig Strasser. In exchange he is providing the Allies with a detailed map of all of the new German rocket launching sites, which they in turn can use to destroy them. They are to deliver the money and get the map in return within two days. This time they are interrupted by the arrival of Klink, and pressed for time they hide the money in the barracks stove. Klink, still upset over Hogan's earlier words outside his office, has come by to remind them that lights-out was a half-hour ago. He also reprimands Schultz in front of them for allowing this to happen, and takes away his three-day pass. Klink takes the pass and pulls a lighter from his pocket. As they watch, unable to stop him for fear of exposing themselves, he lights the pass and throws it in the stove before leaving. They rush to put out the fire as soon as he leaves, but are forced to scurry away as Klink comes back to harangue them about his supposed weakness (listening to the BBC broadcast). They again rush to the stove once he leaves but it is too late. Too many of the bills have been burned for their mission to succeed. Though Hogan meets with Strasser and promises to pay him later, the unsympathetic Strasser refuses to surrender the map without immediate payment. Unable to contact London for another payment, the daring colonel decides their only avenue is to rob the local bank. Enlisting LeBeau and Newkirk for the job, Hogan devises a way so they won't be missed for the time they'll be out of camp. Soon enough, they are back at work "beautifying" the kommandantur, and just "happen" to start slinging shovelfuls of dirt through the open window onto Klink's desk. The incensed camp commandant has them all thrown into solitary confinement for 24 hours. Now they have just enough time - and perfect cover, too - for their mission, since they can't attend roll calls while incarcerated. As soon as Schultz locks them up and leaves, Hogan lifts the sill on the back window. The bars go up with it, and they quickly climb out - free to take on the bank job unhindered in any way.
The following day, Hogan and Newkirk assume the guise of German businessmen - Hans and Friz Biler, owners of Biler Brothers GmBH, a well-known established German industrial firm out of Hamburg. They go to the Brinksmeyer Bank in nearby Hammelburg on the pretense of opening an account. Their reason? It's the only bank in town. Their original plan is for a straightforward stick-up, but they soon learn that robbing the bank will be no pushover. Herr Brinksmeyer, the owner of the bank, tells them quite proudly that all the tellers are armed, there is a police station across the street, and the hidden guard in the balcony with a machine gun preclude any possibility of even trying a smash-and-grab. Hogan is forced to abandon his plan, and both he and Newkirk quickly but unobtrusively end their talk with Herr Brinksmeyer, thank him for meeting with them, and leave. Their next stop is the Hofbrau, to plan on what to do next, but there they accidentally run into Schultz. The heavyset sergeant boasts that he would turn them in and "might even get a medal." But Hogan points out that since Klink burned Schultz' leave papers he too has escaped Stalag 13, in a way - he is absent without leave (AWOL) and therefore can't turn them in without being punished himself. Thus Schultz is forced to let the matter drop.
LeBeau joins them at the Hofbrau even during Hogan and Schultz' discussion and after the sergeant leaves, he presents Hogan and Newkirk with a copy of the building plans for the bank. This plays right into something Newkirk noticed during their visit. The Brinksmeyer Bank vault has an interesting weakness. Its back wall was not reinforced steel, as one might expect, but brick. It has never been rebuilt, and is shared with an adjoining apartment building. All the Unsung Heroes have to do to rob the bank is go into the adjoining apartment, break through its brick wall, and thereby get into the vault. The only thing standing in their way is the current occupant of the apartment ... but as she (emphasis) is a middle-aged introvert named Mady Pfeiffer, who lives alone, but Hogan declares that "she won't be alone, not tonight."
What follows next is a wild dual exercise in romantic comedy and old-fashioned skullduggery. While Hogan keeps Mady distracted by trying to woo her, claiming that he has loved her from afar and wants to get to know her better, Newkirk and LeBeau sneak into Mady's apartment and to her bedroom, where the back wall of the bank is located. Hogan turns up Mady's radio as loud as he can to drown out the sound of the power saw in the next room as his men cut through the wooden wall of her apartment to the brick of the bank. The fact that what he chooses on the radio is a loud, boisterous speech by Adolf Hitler helps tremendously in this regard. Next, while Mady is distracted, he slips a mickey into her drink and proposes several toasts, to Hitler, Hermann Göring, and Julius Steiner, who Hogan claims is "Himmler's Barber." As a jaunty polka plays after the speech, and with Newkirk and LeBeau keeping time with their sledgehammers and wedges (so Mady will not know any better), the poor girl soon feels the effects of the drug-laced alcohol and passes out -- leaving Hogan and his men free to continue their work unhindered. It is not long before they are into the vault and steal all the money they need -- and an extra thousand for poor Mady, too, who was unknowingly roped into their scheme. They then reseal the brick wall and cover up all traces of their work inside Mady's apartment before leaving. Hogan takes the money to Strasser and gets the map, while the others return to camp. The mission is a success
Later, Schultz escorts Klink to visit his inmates in the camp cooler. To Schultz's immense relief, everybody is there like they're supposed to be. Klink tells them that he hopes they've learned their lesson and leaves. Schultz shares with them an interesting local news item. The Brinksmeyer Bank was robbed the previous night, and the thief appears to be a German citizen named Ludwig Strasser. He had tried to deposit in his own account the very money that Hogan and his men stole from the bank the night before. Even so, one thousand marks of the stolen funds has yet to be accounted for. "I never heard of such gall," LeBeau says, as he walks out of the cell. "Hmmm," Newkirk muses, as he too walks out. Hogan follows, but pauses at the door. "Well," he adds, "whoever got it, I hope she puts it to good use." He shuts the cell door behind him as he leaves ... leaving poor Schultz locked inside. "She?" Schultz says through the door porthole, not realizing his predicament. Hogan smiles at him. "Isn't it always a woman?" he asks, before he closes the porthole. The episode fades to black as Schultz screams and beats on the door, begging Hogan to unlock the door and let him out.
Story Notes Edit
- This is the fifty-second episode produced in the series, but is the fiftieth episode to be shown on television and is the eighteenth episode for the second season.
- Two historical figures are mentioned in the episode: Sigmund Freud and Emily Post.
- A speech on the radio by Adolf Hitler is listened to during the episode.
- Although listed in the credits, Larry Hovis (Sergeant Andrew Carter) does not appear in this episode.
Background Trivia Edit
- Both the episode title and the name of the bank are references to the Great Brink's Robbery of January 17, 1950.
- An uncredited Richard Dawson (Newkirk) does the voice of the BBC broadcaster.
- The plane that drops the package is a C-47 Skytrain, aka Douglas Dakota. It is one of the military versions of the venerable Douglas DC-3 passenger plane that saw service in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. A popular airframe in its day and widely exported around the world, the DC-3 was considered to be one of the most reliable and influential transport planes ever made. The C-47 is no longer used by the U.S. military, having been effectively replaced by the C-130 Hercules (among other craft). However, there are still hundreds of DC-3s in civilian service in various capacities worldwide as of this date (2010). This particular piece of footage, blue-tinted from the black-and-white original, is used frequently throughout the series.
- Actor Theo Marcuse (Strasser) is better known to classic Star Trek fans as the wizard Korob from the second season episode "Catspaw." A well-known character actor who appeared in many other television shows of the era, Marcuse also guest stars in other episodes of Hogan's Heroes.
- Fans of The Andy Griffith Show will recognize the Brinksmeyer Bank exterior, as it also appears in that series under another name. It was part of the old downtown Atlanta set on the 40 Acres backlot at Desilu - where Hogan's Heroes was filmed in another part of the lot - and was originally built for street scenes in the movie Gone With The Wind. It also appears in many other movies and TV shows filmed at 40 Acres in the 1960s, 1970s, and even the 1980s. The entire 40 Acres backlot was eventually torn down and turned into an industrial area and parking lot, as location shooting became more practical over the years. It still lives on, though, in the miles of film that was shot there over a half-century of Hollywood history.
- Hogan jokingly proposes a toast to one Juilius Steiner, whom he claims to be Hitler's barber. In actual history, Waffen-SS General Felix Julius Steiner is known for the so-called "Steiner counterattack." in WW II history. It was supposed to have saved Berlin from the advancing Russians in the final days before its fall. Steiner was unable to do this because he no longer had the forces available at his command to carry out what Hitler had ordered.
Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit
- This is the twelfth episode of the series in chronological order, per the series timeline. It follows The Tower, and is in turn followed by Standing Room Only.
- Per the BBC news report that Klink hears, this episode takes place during the closing days of the Battle of El Alamein, November 7-11, 1942.
- At this point in the war, the Allies had only limited intelligence regarding Germany's rocket programs, and most of it was being supplied by Polish agents behind enemy lines. Any information at all, especially a map marked with potential (V-1?) launch sites, would have been most helpful.
- It is interesting to note that the Unsung Heroes appear to have only one radio at this point in time - their main communications rig inside the tunnels. Later, they would get their hands on several portable shortwave radios -- if for no other reason than to at least have the capability to receive transmissions, in the event their transmitter ever got knocked out again.
Newkirk, looking at the burned money ...
- Newkirk - That's the story of my life. I could never hang onto money.
Hogan's meeting with Strasser ...
- Hogan - You sent for a plumber?
- Strasser - No, you've made a mistake.
(He starts to shut the door, but Hogan sticks his foot in it.)
- Hogan - No, Herr Strasser. (forces his way inside). No mistake.
- Strasser - Who are you?
- Hogan - There are no penguins at Gibraltar.
- Strasser (recognizing the code) - There are no canaries in the Canary Islands.
- Hogan - Blue is the most attractive color.
- Strasser - White is more suitable for blinds.
- Hogan - That's why there are so many June weddings.
- Strasser - Good. (Looks levelly at Hogan) Give me the money.
- Hogan - Not so fast. What about the map?
- Strasser - Oh, I've got it. You'll get it when I get the money.
- Hogan - There's a little problem.
- Strasser - Problem? You don't have 100,000 marks?
- Hogan - Not exactly.
- Strasser - Exactly how much do you have?
- Hogan - Nothing. But we'll get you the money in a few days, if you give me the map now.
- Strasser (smiling) - In the spy business, there are no credit accounts.
- Hogan (perturbed) - Doesn't it mean anything to you that you may be saving a lot of lives?
- Strasser (indifferent) - Oh, that's another thing about the spy business. The only thing we're interested in saving is money.
(Hogan waves a plumber's wrench in Strasser's face)
- Hogan - You know, that big heart of yours is going to swell right up and choke you to death.
- Strasser (unimpressed) - In case you have any foolish ideas, the map isn't here - but I can lay my hands on it in five minutes, when I need it.
(Hogan pauses, then lowers the wrench.)
- Hogan - Thanks. You saved both of us a lot of trouble. (picks up his other tools) I'll see what I can do about getting you the money.
- Strasser (touches his arm) - Oh, and while you're here ...
- Hogan (irritated) - Yes?
- Strasser - Could you do something about a dripping faucet?
- Hogan (smiling) - That's another thing about the spy business. We don't do anything for drips.
(Hogan hoists his tool bag and leaves)
Hogan discusses his plan to rob a bank ...
- LeBeau - Rob a bank?!
- Newkirk - Banks don't like to be robbed. What if we get caught?
- Hogan (quickly) - What's the penalty for that? They throw you in prison. Where are we now?
- LeBeau - In prison.
- Hogan - So what have we got to lose?
Hogan, as Herr Biler, forces himself onto Fraulein Pfeifer ...
- Hogan - What a lovely apartment! What's in there? (pointing)
- Mady (flustered) - That ... is the bedroom.
(Hogan walks over, Mady following, and opens the door to look inside.)
- Mady - Herr Biler, you will have to behave yourself, or I must ask you to leave.
(Hogan smiles and tweaks her nose. He advances, backing her towards the couch.)
- Hogan - All I want to do is look at you. Just look.
(Mady stumbles back, half-falling onto the couch. Hogan sits beside her.)
- Mady - That's all?
- Hogan - No, there is one thing more. Something I want more than anything in the whole world.
- Mady (breathlessly) - What?
- Hogan - A cup of coffee.
Hogan, on being locked in the cooler
- Hogan - I wouldn't recommend this place to my friends. The service is terrible!
- Klink - Don't worry. We can get all the customers we want.
- Actor Bob Crane (Hogan) flubs his next-to-last line in the episode. Instead of saying "I hope she puts the money to good use," he says "I hope she uses it to good use." (24:30)
- The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery at TV.com
- The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery at the Internet Movie Database
- The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery episode capsule at Webstalag 13
- Hogan's Heroes Fanclub
- The Hofbrau
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Praise the Führer and Pass the Ammunition