2020 Paley Archive Elements 3840x1536 Banner2
Continue searching the Collection



One in this dramatic anthology series. This program, hosted by Edward G. Robinson, is adapted from the story by William Styron, and is set at a Southern boot camp during the Korean War.

The story begins as Reservist Marine Corps Captain Al Mannix butts heads with stern Lieutenant Colonel Rocky Templeton when Rocky announces that the men will be embarking on a grueling 36-mile march back from an upcoming training mission at Beetle Hill. PFC Jimmy Hobbs requests extra free time to marry his sweetheart, Mary Jean, but Al is forced to refuse him. Heading home for a brief afternoon off, Al is frustrated when his glamorous wife Mimi goes to her fashion-industry job; elsewhere, Al's close pal, Lt. Warren Culver, meets up with his steady girl Betsy Tendler, who is eager to be married. Mimi seems entirely disinterested in spending time with Al, noting that she believed him through with the military when they married, while Betsy, in contrast, declares that she's joining Warren on the base, regardless of the rules.

Betsy obtains a rundown apartment two miles from the base and meets Jimmy and Mary Jean, who have just married in a quickie ceremony. Al decides to join the impromptu reception party, though Warren points out that officers fraternizing with enlisted men is frowned upon. Al is then summoned to the colonel's office and scolded for using an outdated map and placing their battalion headquarters in an unsafe spot; his continued objections to the long march are again dismissed. At the party, he causes a scene when he aggressively flirts with an unimpressed "barfly," when Jimmy fails to return to base on time, Al tries to persuade Rocky not to declare him officially AWOL. On their next training maneuver, Al is again lambasted for losing his wire team and running out of ammunition for a full hour; he determinedly heads back to base to retrieve a grateful Jimmy, who has finally reappeared. Once there, he phones Mimi and begs her to visit, but he is again rejected. When Rocky ignores his warnings that the heavy rainfall will render the road and the nearby Enterprise Ridge too dangerous for the men to scale, Al declares him "drunk with playing God."

On the day of the march, Al is determined that he and all of his men will make the entire 36-mile journey on foot, refusing to allow any of them to admit defeat and board one of the trucks. His damaged boot and the sodden terrain cause trouble along the way, but they finally make it to Enterprise Ridge — where Rocky finally decides that the journey is too dangerous because of the rain after all; he orders them all into the trucks. Furious that Rocky "took it away from him," Al defies direct orders and scales the ridge himself, and when the loyal Jimmy tries to climb after him, he is fatally injured in the attempt. Back at the base, Rocky informs Warren that there will be a formal inquiry into the "unusual circumstances" of Jimmy's accident; he reminds Warren to be completely honest when questioned despite his personal friendship with Al. At the post-mortem, Al tries to blame Rocky, claiming that he is unfit to lead and allowed the dangerous march to continue despite warnings. Rocky counters that he called off the climb in the end and that Al's "gross insubordination" in climbing led to Jimmy's fatal injury. A deeply uncomfortable Warren is unable to contribute any "new facts" and admits that Rocky followed the rules, leaving a disappointed Al to a likely court martial.

Rocky learns that an impressive 70 percent of Al's men actually finished the march, suggesting that he has trained them well after all. Warren visits Mary Jean and gently breaks the tragic news. He then heads home to Betsy and, declaring that he's finally ready to marry, sadly wonders if Al was right to dare to break the rules, rather than quietly accepting the restrictions in "the best of all possible worlds," as he himself does. Includes commercials.


  • DATE: October 16, 1958 9:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:28:22
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: B:44869
  • GENRE: Drama
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama; U S Marine Corps; Korean War
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV series, 1956-1961
    • TV - Commercials - Crest toothpaste
    • TV - Commercials - Delsey toilet paper
    • TV - Commercials - Eveready batteries
    • TV - Commercials - Ford automobiles
    • TV - Commercials - Kimberly-Clark Kleenex products
    • TV - Commercials - Prestone anti-freeze
    • TV - Promos - "Playhouse 90" upcoming episodes
    • TV - Promos - "The Ed Sullivan Show"


  • Fred Coe … Producer
  • Robert Goldman … Associate Producer
  • Russell Stoneham … Associate Producer
  • Delbert Mann … Director
  • Roger O. Hirson … Writer
  • William Styron … Based on the story by
  • Sammy Cahn … Theme Music by
  • Edward G. Robinson … Host
  • Jack Carson … Cast, Captain Al Mannix
  • Mona Freedman … Cast, Betsy Tendler
  • Rod Taylor … Cast, Lieutenant Warren Culver
  • Sterling Hayden … Cast, Lieutenant Colonel Rocky Templeton
  • James Congdon … Cast, Private First Class Jimmy Hobbs
  • Jacqueline Beer … Cast, Mimi Mannix
  • Shirley Knight … Cast, Mary Jean Hobbs
  • Paul Lambert … Cast, Major Lawrence
  • Harvey Stephens … Cast, Colonel Pierce
  • Jason Wingreen … Cast, Master Sergeant Walter O'Leary
  • Fletcher Allen … Cast, Private Leadbetter
  • Harry Davidson … Cast, Captain Oliphant
  • Pauline Meyers … Cast, Margaret
  • Robert Cass … Cast, Headquarters Corporal
  • Bob Duggan … Cast, Private First Class
  • William Benedict … Cast, First Private
  • Joe Bishop … Cast, Second Private
  • Garry Walberg … Cast, Command Post Lieutenant
  • Warren Frost … Cast, Command Post Sergeant
  • Eve McVeagh … Cast, Woman in the Bar
Continue searching the Collection