A village going about its daily business, a squad taking it easy -- are you sure this is Combat!?
Gotta love Littlejohn's grin as he fends off Kirby's attempts to drag him along on a trouble-making excursion.
Poor Saunders, he tries so hard to save Kirby's hide from this Lt. Gates guy, but Kirby just won't wise up and shut up.
Avery in the first flashback makes me grin -- he's being such a stereotypical sergeant, all loud and bossy. Saunders gives him a series of, "Do you have to do this?" looks. They're like flip sides of the same coin, those two. Saunders is normally all into helping people over rough spots, but he can get loud and bossy when he needs to, and Avery's the exact opposite. I dig it.
(DA!)--Pardon me while I pause for a few hours on the delectable shot of Saunders leeeeeeeeaning on a dead tree, looking down at the wounded guy. His shirt's open a little, his jacket's open more, and it isn't surprising my temperature's rising....
(DA!)--And then back in the here and now, Saunders is washed and rested and ready to go to bat for Kirby, and it's a good thing I haven't tried to get up off my swooning couch!
Lt. Gates is kind of handsome, in a generic, spit-curl way. As if the casting director said, "Send me someone not quite as good-looking as Rick Jason."
Saunders, sweetie, doesn't it seem just a little too neat and tidy the way Avery's helmet and rifle are just waiting for you on that log?
Kirby hollering for Avery after Obie Larkin dies is awesome, full of wrath and desperation.
(DA!)--Don't miss the shot of Saunders and Kirby leaving Lt. Gates' "office." They head straight for the camera, all rugged and manly and droolworthy... mmm mmm mmm.
Wow, nice digs! Saunders gets an actual bed to flop on!
(DA!)--And I do mean flop. Or maybe tumble? Collapse? No, wait, that was me collapsing. Rewind!
Don't you love Saunders' expressions when he first sees Avery? He goes from "Kirby was right about something?" to cold fury and lots of it. I expect him to strike at any moment, cobra-like. I think Avery does too -- he tries to keep his distance from the angry Saunders.
Rip Torn has a very crooked nose. And a great Texas drawl, which I'm assuming is his real accent since he's actually from Texas.
Watch the anger melt into resignation in Saunders' eyes as Avery finishes his tale. Lovely, subtle acting from Vic Morrow.
(DA!)--And now we have Saunders with one foot up on a chair, arm on knee -- hot diggety!
Dude, Kirby's so mad when he finds out it really is Avery, he almost runs into the corner of the wall as he stomps off.
I love the way Hanley tries to connect the dots between Avery's supposed return and Saunders' sudden request to go up front. And I can't help but grin at Saunders' short, "Right," in response to Hanley's instructions to be home in time for tea tomorrow.
You know, Saunders must really have dug Avery to go out on a limb like this for him. Especially without telling Hanley what it's all about. I don't think he'd do this for just any platoon sergeant.
Why oh why don't they just bypass the booby-trapped motorcycle? I thought they were in a hurry!
(DA!)--Not that I really mind, since we get Saunders sprawling in the dirt as a result.
After Saunders gets shot, for seven whole minutes, Vic Morrow does more communicating with a few grimaces, fidgets, and grunts than most actors do with page after page of dialog. And the whole part where he lets Avery give himself a talking to reminds me of the superb scene in "Off Limits" where he lets Kirby yell at himself. Love it.
(DA!)--I say we wound Saunders in the leg more often if it means we get to make him lie down and open his shirt allllll the way like that. Don't you agree?
And that bit where Avery tells the ENGs, "If they ain't thrown it at me, they ain't got it," and then spits derisively through his teeth -- does it get more awesome than that? I laugh, I grin, I fall in love with Avery. No wonder Saunders went out on a limb for him, he's one cool cat.