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Paramount Home Video presents
Hogan's Heroes: The Complete Second Season (1966-1967)

Colonel Klink: Around here I am the supreme authority. Nobody tells me what to do!
General Burkhalter: Klink!
Col. Klink: Yes, sir, General! I'm coming.

- Werner Klemperer, Leon Askin

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: September 26, 2005

Stars: Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer, John Banner, Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis, Ivan Dixon, Robert Clary
Other Stars: Leon Askin, Sigrid Valdis, James Gregory, Parley Baer, Lou Krugman, Paul Lambert, Willard Sage, Howard Caine, Edward Knight, David M. Frank, Walter Janovitz, John Dehner, Dave Morick, Arlene Martel, Nita Talbot, William Christopher, Dick Wilson, Harold Gould, Sam Melville, John Stephenson, John Crawford, Ina Victor, Joyce Jameson, Frank Marth, Karl Bruck, Ruta Lee, Mary Mitchel, Cliff Norton, Barbara Morrison, Felice Orlandi, Bard Stevens, Elisa Ingram, Sidney Clute, Stewart Moss, John Hoyt
Director: Gene Reynolds, Robert Sweeney, Edward H. Feldman, Howard Morris

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 12h:48m:13s
Release Date: September 27, 2005
UPC: 097368884045
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-A-A- A+

DVD Review

"I see nuthink! Nuthink!" -Sgt. Schultz

Hogan's Heroes returns with another 30 hilarious episodes in its second season. Aside from a new secretary (Sigrid Valdis), not much has changed at Stalag 13, Germany's renowned prisoner of war camp, where no prisoner has ever escaped—at least not officially. The allied POWs, led by Col. Robert Hogan (Bob Crane), continue to wreak havoc on the German war effort through their covert missions, using the camp as their base of operations, complete with underground command post and an extensive network of tunnels. No matter how elaborate the plan, or complicated the job at hand, Hogan and his men are sure to find a way to make it happen. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a commandant who is as gullible and easily manipulated as Col. Wilhelm Klink (Werner Klemperer), in fact, half the battle is keeping Klink from being shipped off to the Russian front or executed. Also aiding the activities is the affable Sgt. Hans Shultz (John Banner), who gets even more involved in Hogan's schemes this season, while turning a blind eye to the goings on he always finds himself privy to.

Among the adventures our heroes get into this time out are taking care of an oil refinery (Hogan Gives a Birthday Party), disposing of a secret new tank (Tanks for the Memory), destroying a lab where the German's are developing a new synthetic fuel (Hogan and the Lady Doctor), blowing up a cannon factory (The Swing Shift), and taking out a radio tower (The Tower). Hogan and LeBeau (Robert Clary) make a couple of trips to Paris, first, as uninvited stowaways on Klink's furlow while trying to rescue an agent (Arlene Martel) form the Gestapo in the two-parter A Tiger Hunt in Paris, then as guests of the commandant when a famous painting left in his charge by General Burkhalter is apparently destroyed, and finding a forged replacement is the only thing that can save Klink from a firing squad (Art for Hogan's Sake).

The show hit the ground running in its first season, and never missed a stride. Hogan's Heroes is driven by the strong and loveable main characters, and when it comes to actors who were born to play their parts, you need look no further than the trio of Crane, Klemperer, and Banner. All three continue to play off each other brilliantly and give stand out performances in their iconic roles. That isn't to say the rest of the heroes don't have their share of the limelight, as Carter (Larry Hovis), LeBeau, Kinch (Ivan Dixon), and Newkirk (Richard Dawson) do their part in defeating the German's plans. In particular, impersonations are a key part of the plot, as Dawson and Dixon take turns at voicing their deceptions, while Hovis gets put to work as a Gestapo agent and even Hitler himself. Hogan and Klink swap identities when Hogan convinces his commandant that there is an assassin on the loose, and Shultz gets a crack at being a General, with riotous results.

Of the recurring characters, it is Leon Askin's imposing Burkhalter who is ever present to keep Klink squirming, which ironicly endears him to Hogan to come up with solutions to the situations he finds himself in. Hogan gets his captor out of a bind in several episodes, including The Shultz Brigade, where a plot to discredit Burkhalter lands Klink in the cooler, Don't Forget to Write, when Klink unwittingly volunteers for service on the Eastern front, The Top Secret Top Coat in which Klink is suspected of being an traitor, and had to diffuse Colonel Klink's Secret Weapon when it backfires.

The writing continues to be topnotch, lending each story its own merit, and making it near impossible to pick favorites. There is a nice diversity in the situations, and the solutions are novel. Action is somewhat limited, but there when needed, and there is enough change of scenery to keep the settings from getting stale. This is another fine season, and easily rewatchable.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: I have to hand it to Paramount, for the most part these episodes look stunning, and even more impressive for a 1960s television series. Colors are deep and well saturated, detail and clarity is awesome. The show uses a fair amount of stock footage as inserts, which is of expectedly lesser quality, and there is the odd source defect here and there but overall this looks simply fabulous.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is well presented. Dialogue is clean and clear, without excess sibilance, and there is no hiss or distortion to speak of. A very solid track.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 30 cues and remote access
2 TV Spots/Teasers
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Sigrid Valdis (Patricia Crane), Robert Clary
Packaging: Thinpak
Picture Disc
5 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Bob Crane's home movies
  2. Gag reel
  3. Patricia and Bob Crane's wedding footage
  4. Guest appearances
  5. Radio spots
Extras Review: Paramount makes up for the lack of first season goodies with a plethora of extras this time out.

Commentary is provided on two episodes. The first, on the season opener, Hogan Gives a Birthday Party, is by Bob Crane's widow, Patricia, better known to viewers as Sigrid Valdis, who joined the cast full time as Klink's secretary, Hilda, in this episode after a guest spot in the first season. The second is by Robert Clary (LeBeau) on Art for Hogan's Sake, in which Clary's character plays a central role. While I wouldn't call either track essential listening, they both offer insight into the players and the atmosphere on the set, and considering that their are few surviving cast members, it is great to hear about the show from those involved.

The fifth disc holds the bulk of the extras, and there is plenty to find here, starting off with a promo blooper reel edited by Crane (05m:28s). Next is a bit of an odd inclusion—Bob and Patricia Crane's wedding footage (07m:18s)—but Patricia's comments will clear things up.

A collection of clips from Bob Crane's "home" movies (5m:58s) provide a glimpse behind the scenes on the set, which Patricia narrates over.

Two CBS promo spots are included; a short (:25s) trailer, and an extended (01m:28s) spot featuring John Banner as a lonely TWA attendant.

A commercial (02m:21s) has the gang plugging Jello and Dreamwhip in the barracks, with Carol Channing making a guest appearance.

Crane, Clary, Hovis, Klemperer, and Banner do a character bit for The Leslie Uggums Show, while Bob cameos on The Lucy Show (1966, 2m:36s) in a pair of skits with a surprise guest I know nuthink about.

A spot (01m:26s) for Air Force Now features Klemperer, Crane, and Clary, and Crane hosts a pair of recruitment ads for the Air Force looking for female officers and nurses (01m:03s; 01m:02s).

Crane was a radio host prior to landing the show, and a series of his radio spots are included here. The first is an interview (16m:13s) with co-star Richard Dawson and Chad Garrett, taped at KNX Radio in 1965 soon after the pilot was shot. A collection of Christmas spots for the Armed Forces Radio network in 1967 includes Werner Klemperer (02m:52s), Richard Dawson (02m:03s) Robert Clary (01m:29s) and Sigrid Valdis (01m:40s).

Finally, a 31-image photo gallery is included.

Episodes appear complete, including the "CBS in Color" opening slug and final logos. Each is chapter marked nicely, including breaks immediately following the credits. and there is a "Play All" feature. The set is housed in three thinpaks inside a box. Each case features episode synopses and original air dates, and the disc features.

Extras Grade: A+

 

Final Comments

The second season of Hogan's Heroes continues to entertain, with its stellar cast and intriguing misadventures. It is a funny today as it was when it first aired, and Paramount's treatment here is first class all the way. Recommended!

 


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