Hogan's Heroes - Season 2

Hogan's Heroes - Season 2

Bob Crane
Bob Crane
Bob Crane
Bob Crane
Director: Bob Sweeney, Edward H. Feldman, Gene Reynolds
Cast: Bob Crane
Bob Sweeney, Edward H. Feldman, Gene Reynolds,

DVD (40th Anniversary Edition)

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This five-disc set (packaged in three narrow plastic sleeves -- two discs/two discs/one disc -- in a slipcase) is a lot more entertaining than its predecessor, and not just because the producers, writers, and cast had hit their respective strides and were getting the biggest comedic bang for their buck -- there's also a ton of bonus material, a feature that the first season package sorely lacked, and most of it is delightful. Mostly the DVD producers have worked with deceased series star Bob Crane's wife Patricia Crane (who appeared on the series from the second season on under her screen name, Sigrid Valdis, as Colonel Klink's secretary, Fraulein Hilda), and, in return, have gotten access to a huge body of material from his estate. Crane does a commentary track for the first episode in which she played the role, and while she doesn't remember a huge amount about the production, she has lots of warm recollections of the cast and crew members who are no longer with us, and aspects of the production such as the controversy surrounding the series' setting and concept, and how it evolved from something very different (with help from the book Von Ryan's Express). Her commentary here, and over the 16 mm footage of her and Bob Crane's wedding (which took place on a soundstage adjoining the Hogan's Heroes set), is worth hearing for the human element it adds. Coming away from it, one gets a real sense of what the cast members were like as people; indeed, one suspects that John Banner must have been one of the nicest men ever to work in Hollywood, with Werner Klemperer not far behind in terms of charm. There's also a mildly entertaining five-minute blooper reel, and some much more interesting behind-the-scenes footage shot and narrated by Patricia Crane, plus a brace of CBS promo spots and various variety and comedy show appearances by the cast members (most notably Bob Crane on The Lucy Show), and spots with Crane doing Air Force recruiting pitches, rather surprisingly aimed at women. The best bonus feature, however -- apart from the commentary track -- is the selection of audio clips from Crane's mid-'60s radio show, where he was truly in his element. He had members of the cast on with him after the pilot was shot but before it was on the air, and these are nice, funny, candid moments that are worth as much as the series itself. As to the episodes, they look and sound wonderful, with deep rich color and contrasts, and amazing detail and resolution. Each episode is divided up into five chapters matching the breaks for credits and commercials, and some of the 30 episodes here are not only entertaining but intriguing in some of their underlying concepts. One show, on which Hogan runs up against a German general who has taken a psychological approach to understanding the captured American flyer, is fairly unsettling for a sitcom of this type; and there's even a reference to the 1944 plot on Hitler's life. Each disc opens automatically on an easy-to-use menu that provides smooth access to the special features and advances automatically as one runs through each item. The material is well organized and also assembled very logically in terms of depth, seriousness, and significance, with some of the best of it placed deep (but not so much so that it would be missed) in the two-panel special features menu.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/27/2005
UPC: 0097368884045
Original Release: 0000
Rating: NR
Source: Paramount
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Sales rank: 33,800

Special Features

Period blooper and gag reel -- edited by Bob Crane; 8mm home movies filmed on the Hogan's set; footage from Patricia Olson (aka: Sigrid Valdis, aka 'Hilda') and Bob Crane's 1970 on-set wedding; a Crane guest appearance on The Lucy Show and a full Hogan's cast appearance on The Leslie Uggams Show; audio commentaries on several episodes; original CBS Network promos; period commercials with Hogan's cast members; photo gallery.

Cast & Crew

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