Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Wayne State University Press
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Even small volumes need friends and this one has had a few. ix Texas A&M University has provided me with an institutional home, brilliant colleagues, and energetic students for fifteen years. The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University provided me an internal leave during which time I finished the first draft of this project and began another. The Department of European and Classical Languages and Cultures and the Film Studies Program have proven to be verdant fields of discussion and exchange.....
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In the creative offices of Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the network that gave us a talking horse (Mister Ed, 1961– 66), a stranded extraterrestrial (My Favorite Martian, 1963), and a beautiful domesticated robot (My Living Doll, 1964), it is not hard to imagine a show pitch like the following: “Hey, what if we did a comedy about a World War II German POW camp with a bunch of funny Nazis, where the prisoners are really in charge of the camp?” The network...
1. Hogan’s Heroes and the Late 1960s America
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Hogan’s Heroes premiered in CBS’s Friday night lineup on September 17, 1965, with the pilot episode, “The Informer.” The pilot differed from the rest of the run in a number of significant ways. The pilot episode was shot in black and white.1 Of course, the pilot episode is also what was used to sell the network on...
2. Removing the History from World War II
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Many stories about the creation of Hogan’s Heroes have circulated through fan books, websites, and newspapers, 1 yet one version appears authoritative. The creators of Hogan’s Heroes, Albert Ruddy and Bernard Fein, decided to develop their own version of a military comedy to compete with a planned NBC project. This, as I have already demonstrated, was commonplace programming in the sitcom lineups of the day. The Campo 44 project,...
3. Hogan’s Heroes and Generational Change
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In their book on Hollywood blacklisting and the television industry, Paul Buhle and David Wagner note the following of the Hogan’s Heroes writing staff: “One of the industry’s inside jokes was the antiwar, liberal, and left-wing character of the series’ writing staff and most of its actors. . . . Dick Powell,...
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Hogan’s Heroes may have made no significant contribution to the understanding of the meaning of World War II. In fact, I have suggested it was counterproductive to such an understanding. The series preserves a moment before a more critical consciousness about the Holocaust and its moral significance had emerged among the larger public. But the series did engage, however indirectly, in a conversation about Vietnam. It lampoons old modes of warfare and a military apparatus that remains stuck in the past. To be sure,...
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Page Count: 144
Publication Year: 2011
Volume Title: N/a