Kommandant of the Year

Kommandant of the Year

Director: Robert Butler

Year: 1965

Season: 1, Episode: 3

Episodes: 168

Plot: Hogan concocts a Kommandant of the Year award to distract Klink so a new Nazi rocket being stored protectively at Stalag 13 can be sabotaged.
Original Title: Kommandant of the Year
Director: Robert Butler
Writer: Laurence Marks , Bernard Fein , Albert S. Ruddy
Producer: Bernard Fein , Edward H. Feldman
Type: episode
Year: 1965
Genres: Comedy, War
Cast: Bob Crane , Werner Klemperer , John Banner , Robert Clary , Richard Dawson , Ivan Dixon , Larry Hovis , Woodrow Parfrey , William Allyn , Victor French , Roy Goldman
Runtimes: 30
Countries: United States
Languages: English , German , French
Color Info: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1.33 : 1
Sound Mix: Mono
Original Air Date: 01 Oct 1965
Rating: 7.7
Votes: 290
Year: 1965
Akas: Kommandant of the Year (United States)
Production Companies: Bing Crosby Productions , CBS Television Network
Distributors: CBS , Paramount
Synopsis: With his new German rocket housed at Stalag 13, Major Hauser and his staff arrive and get out of the staff car.Schultz, having caught Carter outside after final roll call, returns him to Barracks 2. Carter says he was only out to buy some beer from town, promising to be back by June, July at the latest.A motorcycle with a sidecar leading a truck with something on it comes into camp. Hogan comes along, Carter reports that something big has been brought into camp, and Schultz, having been called a goon, exits.Hogan pulls up the makeshift sink periscope (made from plumbing pipes and a food can that emerges from the rain barrel outside) to have a look. Schultz is nearby, so Hogan has to be careful looking. It's a big item, bigger than a breadbox and bigger than a piano, and Hogan figures it's in camp as Allied bombers would never attack a STALAG housed with their fellow soldiers.Carter suggests they find out what the big item is and, if important enough, have the Allies bomb their camp anyway. Hogan takes him over to the front door, opens it, and orders Carter out. Carter says he might get shot. "That's right," says Hogan. Socially clueless Carter considers following these orders, but his mates pull him in and close the door.Klink and Hauser are in Klink's office. Klink reads orders from General Burkhalter putting the camp at Major Hauser's disposal. Hauser wants Klink's assurance of absolute security at the camp. Klink says that the secret will not go beyond these walls, unaware that the microphone in the picture of Adolf Hitler on the wall that he stands next to is real, and the conversation is being listened to.Hogan and his men stand around the coffee pot / listening device in Hogan's quarters, hearing every word from Klink's office. Hogan asks for more volume, but Kinch can't comply as the men have been using the coffee pot for making coffee, clogging the amplifier.Hauser reveals that the big item is a new type of V-bomb with a volatile explosive to be taken to the coast for launching against England, keeping it safe at STALAG 13 for two days till its new launchpad is ready. Hauser's report to Burkhalter will speak favorably of Klink's cooperation; Klink reminds him that his name is spelled with a K.Hogan takes Kinch down to the tunnel to contact their submarine. Kinch pumps the antenna handle, which raises their antenna from inside the flagpole flying the Nazi flag atop Klink's office.Hogan (as Goldilocks) calls for the sub (Mama Bear). Hogan says that 'Miss Muffet' has a 'tuffet', and asks permission to destroy the rocket, to make the 'tuffet' go boom; but Mama Bear orders him to sit tight and call back in twelve hours.LeBeau and Newkirk report they can't get near the heavily guarded rocket to check it out. Carter suggests tunneling under it through their wine cellar. LeBeau strongly objects, as this action would disturb their stored Chateau LaFite from its rest, chiding Americans for their low brow preference for hot dogs and beer.Kinch delivers a message from the sub, telling them to expect a four-man team's arrival (Dr. Schneider, a scientist, with three commandos) to inspect the V-bomb, dropping in at 9:00PM. Newkirk asks how they get the men in. The men believe it'll be tough with Klink's raised security measures, for which Klink, jokingly, should receive a medal. This gives Hogan an idea: give Klink a medal and a scroll as Kommandant of the Year. Hogan asks what the metal shop is working on. Kinch replies that they are producing hand grenade paperweights (every third one live to give Gestapo men a real bang in their mail). Hogan has them stop these for a while to fashion an ornate medal with a German eagle clutching the throat of an Allied prisoner - "but friendly" - accompanied by a big, fancy, baroque scroll with cupids.Kinch leaves to confirm the drop point. Carter leaves to order up the medal and scroll. Hogan instructs LeBeau to work up fake orders from General Burkhalter. LeBeau wonders how they can deliver these orders to Klink, to which Hogan points out Newkirk's reliably nimble pickpocket fingers (capable even if wearing boxing gloves). To demonstrate, Newkirk relieves LeBeau of a coin.Later, a soldier arrives with the camp mail. LeBeau collides against him with a full trash barrel. Newkirk helps the soldier up and chides LeBeau for his clumsiness. (Unseen, the faux-Burkhalter document is passed.)Schultz announces Hogan's request to see Klink. Klink blows off the request; Schultz says it's "urgent." Klink asks which colonel actually runs the camp, he or Hogan, adding that he sometimes wonders. Schultz merrily concurs, which rouses Klink's anger and prompts him to threaten sending Schultz to the Russian front. "Boy, are YOU running the camp," says Schultz. Sourly, Klink agrees to see Hogan.Hogan says he's come with a complaint. Klink, presuming all prisoner complaints are trivial, sarcastically asks if the prisoners aren't sufficiently entertained or want more wine and caviar with the food they take from German mouths; to which Hogan replies that the commandant is funny enough and that he's particularly fond of caviar, which the commandant might send from the Russian front. Klink, now alarmed, thinks Hogan might have heard something, but it's just a lead-in to ask about the big thing in the yard.Hogan takes out a copy of the Geneva Convention from his pocket. Reading from the Geneva Convention, Hogan reminds Klink of the illegality of subjecting POWs to unusual danger, tearing out and spiking that page onto Klink's Prussian helmet. Klink says he'll decide what constitutes danger and dismisses Hogan. While this discussion is going on, Hogan quietly puts the phone orders and letter on Klink's desk.Before Hogan leaves, Klink finds the phony Burkhalter dispatch. STALAG 13 is one of the top 10 prison camps, and Klink is getting an award for Kommandant of the Year. He calls Hogan back. He reads that Colonel Schneider will arrive with his staff to present a medal and a scroll. Klink does not recall there being a Colonel Schneider on Burkhalter's staff. Hogan reminds Klink that Schneider is a very common German name and asks if his men can be allowed to parade. Granted.Hogan talks Klink into preparing an acceptance speech, which Klink has given no thought to and wants to keep short, but Hogan talks him into preparing something of some length, such as 10 minutes, advising to leave out the ugly incident with the Munich Police.Hogan's flattery has Klink feeling so good that Klink offers to share his schnapps in celebration. What does the Geneva book say to that?, he asks; to which Hogan looks in his Geneva convention book and replies "Only the good stuff," whereby Klink switches to his best bottle.Hogan preps LeBeau for meeting the drop team. LeBeau deplores the unimaginative use of Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood as identification codes. Hogan says if he wanted to be a writer he should have joined Special Services.Outside the fence, LeBeau's walkie-talkie can't reach the drop team. From his own walkie-talkie, Goldilocks (Hogan) asks Big Bad Wolf (LeBeau) what's wrong. LeBeau can't find the recently-dropped men, and requests help, so Hogan sends Carter to tell Schultz that one of the men has gone over the wire.Carter exits the barracks and calls for Shultz. He says that a man is missing. The tower guard swings a light on him and Schultz runs in, catching up his rifle in Carter's jacket. Schultz wants Carter to quiet down before he wakes everybody up. Carter asks why Schulz doesn't want the credit for discovering there's a missing man. Thinking about it, Schultz happily shouts that a prisoner has gone over the wire.Alarm rings. German shepherds are released that quickly find LeBeau, who asks the friendly canines what took them so long. LeBeau tells them to track down the drop team. The dogs sit reluctantly. LeBeau says he's ashamed of them. Guilt-ridden, they turn and find the drop team.The commandos wonder what to do about their damaged walkie-talkie, to which Doctor Schneider points out he had little to do with them at Caltech.The commandos hear the dogs. The dogs and LeBeau arrive. Passwords are exchanged. LeBeau hears of their problems, that the wind blew them away from point M-14. LeBeau gives a notebook to a commando, and promptly begins taking their measurements, saying they'll be entering the camp in German uniforms tomorrow.Mission accomplished, LeBeau returns with the dogs to the fence where he shouts his surrender and shames the amiable dogs into appropriate aggressive barking by calling them pussycats.Next day. A staff car drives in carrying the drop team, now in German uniforms. Klink greets them warmly and invites them inside. Colonel Schneider introduces the commandos and Captain Hackenburg, Lieutenant Bauer, and Lieutenant Schmittburg. Hogan looks on, and LeBeau says Schneider's collar could do with a little more work.Klink, Schneider, and other assemble on the platform for the award presentation. Later at the award ceremony, Hogan is in complete control of crowd reactions (which swing abruptly from enthusiastic applause and wild cheering to complete silence). He is standing behind Klink so Klink can not see his hand signals. Klink receives his medal and scroll, and starts his acceptance speech.While Klink is speaking, Schneider sneaks unnoticed beneath the rocket canopy. Hogan means to join him but Schultz catches him. Hogan admits his aim, to sneak in and see the rocket, to which Schultz, exasperated, replies that he sees nothing, nothing.Under the canopy, Hogan's arrival startles Schneider, busily photographing the controls. Hogan has the bomb, set to go off in a few minutes; Schneider shows where to place it to trigger the rocket's blast off. Hogan exits.Catching Klink at the end of his speech, Hogan encourages him to say more and milk the moment.As Schneider exits, his coat catches under the canopy. This gives Major Hauser time to notice him and come forward. In finally freeing his coat, Schneider strikes Hauser in the face. It would seem the jig is up, but Schneider keeps talking, admiring the major's rocket and deflecting the awkward moment by saying that Klink is a lousy speech-maker. Schneider tells Hauser that he worked on an original model. Hauser agrees about Klink and, proud of his rocket, invites Schneider back under the canopy for a personal tour. Schneider dares not refuse, even with the bomb set to explode any minute.Klink launches into another personal story that feels right for the occasion.As Schneider fears for his life, Hauser points out some of his many implemented safeguards against accidental firing. Schneider slips out as Hauser begins to demonstrate how the rocket can not be fired. He even puts the switch in the 'remote' position and pushes 'fire', the rocket should not fire. Just as Hauser presses the firing button "in complete safety," the bomb explodes and the rocket launches.Klink, having dropped to the ground, asks what happened. Hogan says one of his rockets is missing. Hauser, soot-faced and in torn clothes, staggers from the rocket transport and declares a catastrophe. Klink agrees - his medal has disappeared. Hogan says that they will make him a new one.Back in his office with Hogan, Klink, his camp's reputation destroyed, frets over the direness of Hauser's report to Burkhalter in Berlin. Schultz enters with news, but Klink is entirely taken up by the rocket's loss. Klink is afraid of being sent to the Russian front. Hogan suggests they claim Hauser was drunk and eager to fire his rocket at England. Though far-fetched, Klink agrees that it could pass.Finally paying attention to Schultz, Klink takes the Berlin report from his hand. Terrible news. The rocket landed in the Hamburg Airfield, destroying half of it. Klink leaves to see if Major Hauser has a better lie than Hogan's to explain it.Left alone together, Schultz pronounces Hogan's destruction of the airport as naughty-naughty. Hogan's glibly replies that his aim is terrible when in a hurry.
Cinematographer: Gordon Avil
Producer: Bernard Fein , Edward H. Feldman
Production Manager: William A. Calihan Jr. , Houseley Stevenson Jr.
Art Direction: Rolland M. Brooks , Howard Hollander
Certificates: Australia:G , United States:TV-PG
Composer: Fred Steiner
Editor: Jerry London
Sound Crew: William M. Andrews , Stanford Houghton
Music Department: Richard Berres , Jerry Fielding , Carol Kaye
Other Companies: Desilu Studios
Costume Designer: Reeder P. Boss , Marjorie Wahl
Assistant Director: Carl 'Major' Roup
Set Decoration: Robert Priestley
Seasons: Milt Hamerman , Lynn Stalmaster
Season: 1
Episode: 3
Number of Episodes: 168
Episode of: Kommandant of the Year