Directed: Laso Benedek
Written: William Bast
Released: 15 Jan 1963
This was a pretty interesting episode. Once again, Combat! revisits conflicting conscious among their characters. This one in the form of Annette, a French woman that gets caught up inside a resistance ring while hitching a ride to Paris. She is played by Micheline Presle.
It begins in a picturesque farm in Normandy as Saunders enters a farm house to check it out. Saunders says that the danger is in the quiet. Quiet hidden danger.
Saunders finds a record player and he puts a record that his mom sent to him on it. It starts off playing the side where his sister “The brat” begins speaking. He realizes that it’s too risky to listen to it there and takes it off. Right after that, some Germans enter the house and take him prisoner.
While Saunders is being transported, along with a few other prisoners, one which is a member of the French underground. The truck hits a mine and runs off the road. Saunders overpowers the German guard who is killed by the resistance fighters who have come to rescue them.
The driver of the truck, Andre Mallot, who was also one of the escapees goes into a cafe to see if he can get any ration coupons for gasoline so he could make the trip to Paris. Annette, who is sitting in the cafe, overhears him and offers to help him with her gasoline coupons, if she could hitch a ride with him to Paris. He notices that the coupons are from the Reichstag and wonders how she got them? Her reply was “Does it matter? You need them. And I need a lift. It is a fair exchange.”
They stop in a village about 5km from Paris. Andre gets out of the truck to go get another man in a hotel. Annette is panicked that she’ll be left with the men along in the truck.
Before she knows it, she witnesses the Germans picking Andre up and shooting his accomplice as he runs away.
Annette must now choose whether to follow her conscious or to just walk away. She tells the men in the back that she’ll leave the back open but they’re now on their own. Saunders is able to talk her into driving them to another village to Rue Chamblise.
They get to a little shop where the guy complains that there are too many for him to hide out. Annette has no choice but to take one of them to her apartment, which happens to be Saunders.
While Saunders is waiting, Annette has a visitor from her German lover, Major Kurt Hoffman. He’s a German staff officer played by Alf Kjelin. After he leaves, Saunders is tactful about his questions to her about her relationship to Kurt. She tries to explain to Saunders that she is genuinely in love with him and not simply using him for creature comforts during the German occupation.
Once Kurt leaves, Annette asks Saunders if he would like to play the record that he has in his possession. He says “Yes” and she plays it for him. The acting at this point is very convincing, Saunders showing how much he misses his family back home especially when his kid sister Louise was talking. She used an expression that I haven’t heard for a long time. She told Saunders that the song would “send him”, which means that he’ll really like it.
They all of a sudden hear a staff car pulling up and Annette spots Kurt coming back up the stairs. Kurt comes back expressing his frustration with the German command and how they are being told a lot of lies about how they’re going to be victorious against the allies.
That’s when he notices the record which is still in the player. Annette has to quickly come up with an excuse and how she got it in her village of V’ray from a G.I. because she thought that it would “amuse” Kurt. How it would’ve amused him, I’ll never know but he did have some musings about the song that Louise sent to Saunders. He says – “Strange. I don’t even know these people. Yet, I envy them.”
The next day, Annette and Kurt were away all day long while Saunders waited in her apartment. The entire day, the phone kept ringing and Saunders was frustrated because he wasn’t able to answer it. He then sees Annette and Kurt coming home. He quickly scoops up all the rubbish around the house, including some ash trays. I was thinking right then, how some tell tale smells from the cigarettes would be a dead giveaway, since Annette has not been home all day.
Kurt goes into the other room to get cleaned up and shave. In the mean time, Annette picks up the phone and is informed by the resistance that Saunders has to be ready right away to make his escape in a barge that will be waiting for him down by the canal.
Unfortunately, Kurt catches them attempting to leave and holds them at gun point with his luger. He makes a call to Gestapo when Saunders goes for the gun and they get into a tussle which results in Kurt getting shot and killed.
Annette then accuses Saunders of being “murderer”, when it was clearly a case of self defense. Even Kurt talked Annette to go with Saunders or else she will be questioned by the Gestapo.
They make their way to the canal where they meet with one of the wounded Americans. They’re waiting for the Germans to clear the little bridge that they have to cross in order to get to the barge. The American and the German get into a fight and the German throws him into the water and the American drowns because he can’t swim. The German ends up with his knife being stabbed into his back by Annette, killing him.
They then get to where they need to split up. They meet up with some other resistance fighters and what appears to be British soldiers. At least they had British accents.
Not sure what kind of rifles they’re carrying. They look like M1903 Springfields.
Saunders tries several times to try to talk to Annette but she won’t respond to him. When it’s time to split up, she wordlessly goes with the other group, not saying anything to Saunders.
Saunders kills 1 Major Kurt Hoffman in the scuffle over luger
Annette kills German soldier on bridge