Hogan's Heroes (1965–1971)

TV Series   |  TV-PG   |    |  Comedy, War


Episode Guide
Hogan's Heroes (1965) Poster

The inmates of a German World War II prisoner of war camp conduct an espionage and sabotage campaign right under the noses of their warders.


7.9/10
8,267

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Cast & Crew

Top Series Cast



Creators:

Bernard Fein, Al Ruddy

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


1 January 2004 | schappe1
A Show that has lost its context
The problem with Hogan's heroes is that it has lost its context. People criticize it as a comedy set in a German prisoner of War camp, saying that trivializes the real human tragedies created by the Nazi regime. The thing is, Hogan's Heroes is not a spoof of prison camps. It's a spoof of World War II movies and TV shows. It came out in the wake of films like `The Longest Day', `The Great Escape', etc. which produced shows like `Combat', `The Gallant Men', 12 O'Clock High', all of which were hyper serious because of the subject matter. Such a trend requires a leavening spoof. And `Hogan's Heroes' and `McHale's Navy' provided that comic relief. Nobody ever criticized McHale's Navy for trivializing the Pacific War, any more than they criticized `F Troop' for not being a documentary about the Old West or `Get Smart' for not being written by John LaCarre. Why do we indict Hogan's heroes for being insensitive to the deprivations of the Nazis?

This show is itself based on a hit Broadway play and movie from a decade before called `Stalag 17' which won William Holden an Oscar. If you've seen Stalag 17, the humor there is much cruder and more oblivious of the real threat of the Nazis than Hogan's Heroes. Robert Strauss and Harvey Lembeck, (later to show up in another Military spoof to which HH also obviously owes a lot), decide at one point they would like to see some female Russian POWS take showers. They grab a bucket of paint and begin painting a stripe down the middle of the road toward the building where the showers are. This fools the guards until the paint a stripe right over to the window of this building, (the showers have windows?), and peer in. There is nothing this crude or insensitive in any episode of Hogan's Heroes. Yet this is a highly regarded film.

But now, 30 years later, when there are fewer films about that era made, the old show is viewed not a spoof of a show business trend but as a parody of the real event, which it was never really intended to be. This has allowed the critics to `pile on' and rip the show for being insensitive to the victims of Nazi oppression. All I remember is a funny show and that's all it was ever intended to be.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in production planning, it was decided to make it always be winter, with snow on the ground, and frost on the windows. This was to prevent problems with continuity, and to allow the episodes to be shown in any order. Since much of the filming was done in the summer, the cast members had to wear coats and act cold, even when the temperature was over ninety degrees Fahrenheit (thirty-two degrees Celsius).


Quotes

Col. Wilhelm Klink: Colonel Hogan, I'm very busy this morning - dispatches from Berlin. What is it?
Col. Robert E. Hogan: I want to register a complaint on behalf of my men.
Col. Wilhelm Klink: Really? A complaint. Not sufficient entertainment, perhaps.
Col. Robert E. Hogan: No, you're funny enough.


Goofs

In one scene taking place in a German laboratory, a periodic table of elements is hanging on a wall. It shows all the 103 elements known to science in the 1960s, but during the war, fewer than 92 elements were known: the rest were created by nuclear science, including several instrumental in the top-secret Manhattan Project.


Alternate Versions

German broadcasts of the show differ from the original. For example, because Nazi symbolism had been outlawed in Germany, any time the German officers gave the Hitler salute and shouted, "Heil Hitler!", the German version dubbed in another, more bizarre line such as, "This is how high the cornflowers grow." Also, anytime the show alluded to actual bombing and killing, the dialog there was modified as well. For instance, when the Americans destroyed a munitions factory, the German version made it a toilet paper factory. And when Sgt. Schulz reported the Allies having bombed Hamburg, it was revised to the Royal Air Force dropping planeloads of candy as a "propaganda maneuver."

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy | War

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