Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hogan's Heroes

I am 33. Which means when I would see reruns of Hogan's Heroes I would always catch the tail end of it during the late 70's. Didn't understand it. Didn't make sense, but I like the theme song.

And so, now that the economy has gone to hell and I no longer work in banking, I have my days open and just as much as I am excited to watch Tom and Jerry during the day time, so too am I excited now to watch Hogan's Heroes when it comes on.

The show is freaking hilarious. The premise of how outlandishly stupid the Germans had to be so that Hogan and his crew could run an espionage outfit out of Stalag 17. There's always a hot chick they manage into the plot every 3rd episode. And then there's Schultz. How couldn't you like John Banner?

Oh, but oh is there resistance to Hogan's Heroes. You see, for while it is a hilarious show for GUYS, the femme fatales in my life find it a stupid and sophomoric show. How "dumb" Hogan's Heroes is. How "impossible" it would be to not only run an outfit like that out of a prisoner camp, but that there's seemingly a never-ending stream of Heidi's and Helga's and hot German scientist babes.

Yeah, I know. And that's what makes it great.

That being said, I do have an honest question about Hogan's Heroes that mayhaps some of the Captain Capitalismites out there might be able to answer.

I've noticed a disproportionate amount of the episodes have snow in them. And now that I think about it, none of the episodes ever seem like they're filmed during summer. All of the heroes are dressed in winter great, Klink has a full officer's long coat on and Schultz is dressed in a long coat as well.

Anybody know why this was?


Anonymous said...

Just my uninformed opinion:

They copied what nowadays would be called the "look and feel" of the Billy Wilder film, "Stalag 17," the action of which takes place in the winter.

Angela said...

Maybe they were trying to get across just how freaking cold it is in Germany. I lived in Garmisch for 2 years, and our first 4th of July there we had to wear thermal underwear, sweaters, and heavy coats because of the sleet. They only have 3 seasons over there: snow, winter, and slightly warmer.

Anonymous said...

Yessir Cap'n,

The well known German tendency toward sexual deviancy can be explained by the fact Germany was, in fact, covered by glaciers during the 40s and citizens spent most of their time indoors, surrounded by quality German timepieces, dressed in Liederhosen, who can blame them?

Anonymous said...

I presume it was filmed prior to Global Warming...

Seriously though - I am a huge fan of Hogan's Heroes.

I beleive it was losely based off of The Great Escape (true story) and another all time classic movie "Stalag 17" (if you haven't seen it is a must see for the WWII buffs).

The winters in Germany were unusually cold and snowy in 1943 and 1944 - and it is probably just the image that most people recognize.

Anonymous said...

According to IMDB, early on it was decided to make it always be winter to prevent problems with continuity.

Here's a link, The comment about winter may be found in the seventh bullet-point from the bottom.

BTW, Ivan Dixon, who played Sgt. James Kinchloe, passed away on March 16 of this year. He was 76.

Anonymous said...

Well, they're only supposed to be POWs for a few months and then the war ends. (Or are freed or released.)

It's kind of like how MASH outlasted the Korean War.

Anonymous said...

summer is for reruns

Anonymous said...

I'll bet they don't like Sponge Bob or Pee Wee, either. some people just don't have a sense of humor.

Dan said...

Hogan's Heroes was based on a movie called Stalag 17. Stalag 17 is set around Christmas. That's probably part of it. It's an excellent movie, but much more a black comedy and social commentary as opposed to a slapstick like Hogan's Heroes. The Germans are not inept, and are evil.

Also, from a historical perspective, there simply wasn't a lot of time for most Americans to be held in German prisoner of war camps. D Day was in June 1944. Operation Market Garden was in the fall and the Battle of the Bulge(which had the largest opportunity for American POWS to be siezed by the Germans) was in December. By May the war in Europe was over. Not a lot of Summer there. Anyone in a camp prior to D-Day would have been Army Aircore.

Of course Paris fell to the Allies shortly after D-Day, so Hogan's Heroes either was set before hand, or didn't worry about historical accuracy all that much. I'd suspect the latter.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't allowed to watch because my Dad said there was nothing funny about POW camps. (By the same logic I couldn't watch MASH, though I think his distaste for Alan Alda was another reason.) I managed to sneak a few episodes, though. I suppose the weather was cold in order to make it seem a little more foreboding. Besides, if it were warm, the Germans wouldn't be wearing those Germanic long coats and the good guys wouldn't be wearing their cool leather jackets.

Anonymous said...

To balance out the complete absence of snow in Mayberry, North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Hogan's Heroes is one of my all-time favorite shows. The German dubbed version is even funnier than the original (check out Youtube). Colonel Klink has a Saxonian accent (which is very funny for Germans) and Sgt. Schulz speaks with a Bavarian accent (of course).

The show is certainly neither historically accurate nor realistic, but who cares, it's funny as hell. Spiderman or James Bond films are not realistic, too.

Anonymous said...

Um, Hogan's Heros is set in Stalag 13, not 17.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Hogan's Heroes actually had a longer running time than the U.S. involvement in WWII I believe. Not very historically accurate as the whole camp and espionage outfit somehow didn't notice the war ended :D

Anonymous said...

I believe Robert Clary (the little french solidier - Lebow ) survived a concentration camp in real life.


Antoine said...

I can only think that the heavy clothing was appropriate and in line with a large amount of the WW II footage we see today.

Realize that SS MAjor Hauchsteder, Lebeau and several others were Jewish.

My mother is British and was bombed by the Germans in England during the war. She did not like the shoe either..."Sweetie, it potray's the Germans as stupid and neive and they were ruthless and cunning" quote.

Also, and regrettably, knowing Crain's sexual appetite, you have to wonder how many of the "gorgeous women" on the show were also his playmates between takes.

As an aside, one of my uncles was a prisoner in Luft Stalag Three who helped dig and then escape in the what became famous as "The Great Escape". He is one of the view that was not executed and was returned to the camp.

As he told it, the movie could not have been more fictionalized than it was.