The Long Fight: 'Combat!' and the Generic Development of the TV War Drama Series

Title

The Long Fight: 'Combat!' and the Generic Development of the TV War Drama Series

Files

Document Type

Book Chapter

ISBN

9781138927698

Publication Date

3-21-2016

Publisher

Routledge

Keywords

military, war, television, melodrama, combat, America

Disciplines

Film and Media Studies | History | Other Film and Media Studies | United States History

Comments

Book chapter from edited by Anna Froula and Stacy Takacs.

More about this chapter:

This essay examines the popular ABC-TV series Combat!, which became American television's longest running war drama with 152 hour-long episodes beginning with the 1962-63 television season and ending on August 29, 1967. Combat follows the exploits of the U.S. Army 2nd Platoon, K Company fighting its way across France during World War II following the D-Day invasion. In the early 1960s war dramas were prevalent on American television and the Hollywood war film was experiencing its own nostalgic resurgence with the release of expensive blockbuster epics, like The Guns of Navarone (1961) and The Longest Day (1962). Jeannine Basinger, who wrote the definitive account of the World War Two combat film genre, describes this period as the "fourth wave" of the evolving genre lasting from 1960 to 1970. Unlike their third wave film predecessors, these large-scale epics were not chiefly concerned with understanding and resolving America's involvement in the Second World War, but rather were designed to preserve the war as a prized "filmed replica." These films re-created in painstaking detail the great battles of World War II. Many of the films were shot on actual battlefield locations, with huge international casts, and included veterans from the historic battles. A few films intermixed actual World War II combat footage with their staged dramatic depictions.

The Long Fight: 'Combat!' and the Generic Development of the TV War Drama Series


Share

COinS