Hogan’s Heroes: Season 1 Episode 8, “Movies Are Your Best Escape”

LOGLINE: Hogan wants to get a peek at the documents that a visiting general has.

As the show begins, a staff car carrying a Wehrmacht general, who wears an eyepatch and carries a briefcase chained to his wrist, pulls up to Col. Klink’s office, where, as is usually the case when a general has arrived at Stalag 13, Klink greets him effusively and leads him inside.

Meanwhile, Hogan greets a couple of RAF lieutenants who were shot down and who had come into the camp via one of the tunnels. They’re in a hurry to get back, because they’re supposed to play the Royal Engineers in a cricket match. They scurry back into the tunnel when someone sends out the alarm "SCHULTZ IS COMING!"

Schultz comes in and tells the prisoners they’re restricted to the barracks until further notice. Someone asks why, and he says "I know nothing!" Eventually, they get Schultz to tell them that he’s General von Kaplow, but little more. When Schultz leaves, Hogan tells LeBeau to dust off his best recipes and goes to see Klink.

On his way in, Hogan stops to neck with Helga and ask her about von Kaplow. She tells him that the general pinched her on the way in and complained that the only time Hogan is interested in her is when he wants some information. He denies it and tells her there’s the whole man-woman thing, and after a little more smooching he invites himself into Klink’s office.

Klink isn’t pleased that Hogan is there, because he interrupted his schmoozing the general. Hogan tells Klink and von Kaplow that the prisoners will be having a special dinner for the "end of prohibition" holiday and wanted to invite them. Klink says no, then yes when von Kaplow expresses interest.

Klink, Helga, von Kaplow, and Hogan are at dinner in Klink’s quarters, with Newkirk serving as waiter and LeBeau in the kitchen with Schultz, who’s ostensibly watching LeBeau but who is also stuffing his face. Newkirk knocks a wine glass off the table and Hogan snaps at him to get all the glass up off the floor. Newkirk goes under the table and, after making Helga and von Kaplow think that they’re playing footsie, opens the general’s briefcase and takes out an envelope of papers, which he hides on his tray and carries back to the kitchen.

von Kaplow wants to repair to the living room, but Hogan convinces him to stay by having Klink play the violin. When he starts playing, LeBeau and Newkirk tell Schultz that the kommandant would probably appreciate him being there. Reluctantly, Schultz leaves, and Newkirk and LeBeau photograph the papers from von Kaplow’s briefcase. Newkirk brings the papers back out with him and gets them back in the general’s briefcase while Klink does his encore.

After dinner, von Kaplow leaves ("unfortunately, without Klink’s fiddle," says a rueful Hogan) and the Heroes are in the tunnel. Hogan is looking at the developed pictures and realizes there’s some vital information that should be brought to London’s immediate attention. Newkirk suggests that the film be sent with the two RAF lieutenants, but Hogan says there’s too much German activity in the area. He has an idea: get the Germans to loosen up by convincing them they’re losing the war. Naturally, they start with Schultz…

The next time Schultz comes to the barracks, Hogan is giving lessons in conversational Russian, "just in case the Russians liberate the camp." They convince Schultz that they’ve heard things that indicate the Germans are losing the war. Soon Schultz is learning Russian with them. The POW’s give him a letter signed by all of them that tells whoever liberates the camp that he has been a "humane and considerate guard" and asks that he be "treated accordingly." Next scene, he’s telling Klink what the prisoners told him, that the Germans are losing the war. Klink demands to know where he heard these things, then demands the letter he got from the prisoners, telling him he’s a disgrace and a traitor. As he’s walking away, Schultz asks Klink if he wants a letter, too.

Kinch gets on the camp’s PA and, in a German accent, says that der Führer will be speaking that evening on matters of utmost importance. Later, Hogan is in Klink’s office and the two of them listen to "Hitler" (actually Newkirk) give a speech in which he orders all Germans not to believe the rumors that Germany is losing the war, and that negotiations have started. Klink is distraught, especially when Hogan describes him being taken prisoner…

About this time, the two RAF lieutenants, dressed in German uniforms and carrying a dummy camera (which contains the real film to go to London) appear to "take film" of prison camp life. They walk around and pretend to take films of the prison and the guards and are ready to leave when Klink decides there are a bunch of things he also wants them to film. In the midst of all of this, von Kaplow returns (no doubt to enjoy a little more of Helga’s "company") and tells Klink that things have never been better, that he already has his reservation at a London hotel for after the war. Hogan tells the British fliers to get out, but before they can leave Klink demands the "film" they took and tries to open their "camera," not realizing it’s booby-trapped. Hogan instead takes the camera and dunks it in a rain barrel, ostensibly to destroy the film. He hands the camera back to them and Schultz drives them in a staff car to Düsseldorf, per Klink’s orders.

CAST:

  • Bob Crane as Hogan
  • Werner Klemperer as Klink
  • John Banner as Schultz
  • Robert Clary as LeBeau
  • Richard Dawson as Newkirk
  • Ivan Dixon as Kinchloe
  • Larry Hovis as Carter
  • Cynthia Lynn as Helga
  • Henry Corden as Gen. von Kaplow
  • John Crawford as Lt. Ritchie
  • William Christopher as Lt. Donner

William Christopher makes several appearances on the show, sometimes as an American prisoner. Interesting that when Hogan’s Heroes ended, MAS*H was just getting started.

Several recurring themes are introduced here: LeBeau cooking for Klink’s dinner parties, visiting generals leering at Helga and Hilda, Schultz stuffing himself with food LeBeau makes, and of course Klink’s lousy violin playing. Werner Klemperer apparently was just good enough to fake playing badly.

On to Episode 9 next…

7 thoughts on “Hogan’s Heroes: Season 1 Episode 8, “Movies Are Your Best Escape”

  1. I love how Hogan strokes Klink’s ego and he always buys it lock, stock, and barrel. I’m on episode 15 now… John does the quality ever drop or do they keep up the good writing through?

    Like

  2. Hi John
    Enjoyed your share on hogans heroes – seems like a brilliant show –
    I watched the video snippet and they mention Sherman tanks and I recently watched a short
    Doc about tanks – so I liked that part especially

    Like

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