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Paramount Home Video presents
Hogan's Heroes: The Complete Fourth Season (1968/1969)

"Klink, you are succeeding in doing by yourself what millions of enemy soldiers are unable to do—bring the Third Reich to its knees!"
- Major Hochstetter (Howard Caine)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: August 14, 2006

Stars: Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer, John Banner, Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis, Ivan Dixon, Robert Clary, Leon Askin, Howard Caine, Sigrid Valdis
Other Stars: Gavin MacLeod, Noam Pitlik, Bernard Fox, Marj Dusay, Ned Glass, James Sikking, Harold J. Stone, John Crawford, Chris Robinson, Charles Napier, Ruta Lee, Alan Oppenheimer, John Hoyt, Dick Wilson, John Orchard, Alice Ghostley, Henry Corden, Larry D. Mann, Nita Talbot, Vito Scotti
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 11h:02m:40s
Release Date: August 15, 2006
UPC: 097368899049
Genre: television


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

DVD Review

Who says war can't be fun? There's plenty to smile about when Hogan's Heroes returns with another 26 hilarious episodes in its fourth season. Things are pretty much the same around Stalag 13, the most secure prisoner of war camp in all of Germany—at least as far as the Germans are concerned. The formula remains as it has been since the beginning—Hogan and his men operate their elaborate clandestine operation under the noses of their captors, finding ingenious ways to divert attention from their activities and outsmart their German adversaries. Notable in this season is the expanded use of location sets, which adds to the variety.

Each episode features a new mission for Hogan's crew, with an assortment of bridges, trains, communications systems, ammunition dumps or manufacturing plants the Allied crew are charged with putting out of action, while gathering intelligence on many new German threats. One of the more novel episodes is Klink vs. the Gonculator in which Carter's rabbit trap morphs into the fictional Gonculator, and using Schultz as an informer, Hogan manages to get Klink, Burkhalter and even the supply depot convinced it is a top secret electronics device, by playing on the German's ignorance and arrogance. In To the Gestapo with Love Hochstetter has a new and unfallable interrogation method—three irresistable young ladies who can make any man talk, and Hogan has to devise a way to keep his men quiet.

Klink gets a couple of opportunities to demonstrates his prowess as a ladies man. William Klemperer puts on a grand performance when with Hogan's help Klink has to do his best to deflect the affections of a former love interest in Klink's Old Flame when her husband to be, Count Rudolf von Heffernick (Ben Wright), shows up to see if the candle still burns. Hogan also sets him up for betrothal to Burkhalter's sister in Watch the Trains go by.

The operation at Stalag 13 is in danger of being exposed when a rescued American newspaper reporter publishes a story about their setup (No Names Please). Hogan sends Newkirk into a Gestapo trap (How to Catch a Papa Bear), and Klink is under surveillance as a traitor (Will the Real Colonel Klink Please Stand up Against the Wall). The final episode brings word from the underground that the Gestapo suspects something going on at Stalag 13, but before Hogan can deliver the message his men have fallen for Hochstetter's trap, and only a surprise party can provide the escape route in Happy Birthday, Dear Hogan.

On the guest stars front, Gavin McLoud (The Love Boat) makes a pair of appearances, first as Major Kiegel in the season opener, Clearance Sale at the Black Market where Schultz gets caught as the messenger between Hogan and an underground agent, then as the propaganda ministry's General von Rauscher, who plans to use Hogan to break the news about a new rocket that will end the war (The Witness). This episode also sees the return of Nita Talbot as Russian agent Marya. Bernard Fox returns as Colonel Crittendon to bungle things up when Hogan's men are set to destroy a ball bearing factory in Hogan's Trucking Service...We Deliver the Factory to You, and Vito Scotti costars in The Return of Major Bonacelli as an Italian traitor assisting Hogan in getting info on new antiaircraft guns, with Klink's unwitting help.

The cast continue to do a superb job in their roles. Bob Crane maintains his cool as Hogan, while getting up to his usual mischief, including convincing Klink to let him search for an escaped LeBeau (Robert Clary). Clary plays up LeBeau's Frenchness in the kitchen, seducing Schultz into betraying his country over strudel or cakes, or out in the field with his eye on the ladies. Richard Dawson continues his slight of hand as Newkirk while Larry Hovis masters the impersonations and explosives as Carter. Least active on the roster is Ivan Dixon as communications expert Kinch. John Banner remains a delight as the gullible Sgt. Schultz with Leon Askin (Burkhalter) and Howard Caine (Hochstetter) as enjoyable as ever as Klink's exasperated superiors. Werner Klemperer would win his second Emmy for his over the top performance in the role of the bumbling Col. Klink.

Another highly enjoyable season.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Once again, image quality continues to impress for the most part. The image is sharp and detailed, virtually free of print defects, with well saturated color and consistent black levels. only a couple of episodes look subpar by comparison, a little less defined, with darker colors losing definition. Overall, this looks great.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is clean and free from any noticible defects. Dialogue is clear and aside from the occasional accent, easy to make out. Excess sibilance is negligible, and the tonal balance is even.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 26 cues and remote access
Packaging: Thinpak
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Apart from the animated menus there are no extras included this time.

The four-disc boxed set is housed in a pair of dual thinpacks, with episode synopses and original airdates on the back covers.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

The fourth season of Hogan's Heroes continues its winning formula with another 26 episodes highlighting the hilarious escapades of the WWII's most secret Allied weapon. Recommended.

 


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