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Rat Patrol - The Complete First Season

4.5 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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(Jan 12, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Blazing across the North African deserts, it¹s THE RAT PATROL, an elite Allied commando team whose mission is to attack, harass and wreak havoc on Field Marshal Rommel¹s vaunted Afrika Korps. Join four-man army Sgt. Sam Troy (Christopher George), Sgt. Jack Moffitt (Gary Raymond), Pvt. Mark Hitchcock (Lawrence Casey) and Pvt. Tully Pettigrew (Justin Tarr) as they wage war against Nazis, traitors and wild-eyed fanatics in this action-packed first season collection, featuring all 32 explosive episodes, uncut, unedited and commercial-free!


Veteran TV writer/director Tom Gries (East Side/West Side, Helter Skelter) created this action-packed drama about a four-man commando team (three Americans and one British) battling the German Army's Afrika Korps in World War II. Though primarily a vehicle for adventure fans, The Rat Patrol benefited from smart scripting (Larry Cohen and Richard Landau both penned stories for the series) that refused to paint the German antagonist, Capt. Dietrich (well played by Hans Gudegast, who's better known today as Eric Braeden), as a stock Nazi heel; in fact, Christopher George's Sgt. Sam Troy and Dietrich occasionally partnered up to combat a common foe, as in the series' fifth and tenth episodes ("The Chain of Death Raid" and "The Moment of Truce Raid," both of which are included in this four-disc set), which pit them against Arab fighters. Other highlights from the 1966-67 debut season include "The Kill or Be Killed Raid" (Gary Raymond's Moffitt must impersonate a German soldier to find a map to a hidden water source), "The Wildest Raid of All" (the Rat Patrol's plan to capture an important Nazi general goes awry), and "The Blind Man's Bluff Raid" (the Germans impersonate an American unit to trick a sunblinded Troy into revealing the Rat Patrol's location), but all 32 episodes deliver plenty of action and excitement. Unfortunately, no extras are included in the set. --Paul Gaita

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher George, Gary Raymond, Eric Braeden, Lawrence P. Casey, Justin Tarr
  • Directors: Frank Baur, Herschel Daugherty, Hollingsworth Morse, Jack N. Reddish, Jesse Hibbs
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 807 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CCBCD0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,552 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rat Patrol - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was a teenager when I discovered Rat Patrol in 1966. I was at the time depressed because of the cancellation of another WW II show that I enjoyed very much, 12 O'Clock High, which I sincerely wish they would release on DVD but have not.

The Rats came in to fill that void in my TV watching life and I enjoyed every single episode. What makes a girl or a woman want to watch a war show? NO, it isn't the shoot 'em up 50's or the racing jeeps spewing sand! It's the interesting characters and the stories which had heart to them. With just a half hour they couldn't delve those characters as deeply as 12 O'Clock High did (one of the best character dramas ever) but they made a good go at it. They displayed the many facets of the regulars, Troy (Chris George) who was the original loner/rebel who had to learn to be a team player and to trust others, and Moffitt (Gary Raymond) the intelligent, laid back Englishman whose strong emotions lay carefully controlled just below the surface. Less time was accorded to Hitch (Larry Casey), the cute skirt chaser, and Tully (Justin Tarr) whose love is his jeeps.

The other regular was the German commander Dietrich played by the actor then known as Hans Gudegast who has since gone on to a long lasting career in soap opera as Eric Braeden. What was so great about Dietrich was that, contrary to the popular stereotyping of the German foe at that time, he was not a conscionless, sadistic Nazi. He was a good soldier who loved his country even though in his heart he knew its methods were misguided. He gave a very human face to the enemy and you couldn't walk away from this show hating him. You understood that the enemy is human too.
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Format: DVD
The music and opening credits with the Rat Patrol jeeps flying over the sand dunes grabbed my attention as a kid. The jeeps with 50 caliber machine guns mounted in back, looked so cool flying over the sand and dodging enemy fire. This was probably the reason why I watched this program, since when it was originally on TV, I was too young to understand the storylines. Dominic Frontiere's theme, is bold, powerful, and unforgettable. A great, little piece of music.

Since my memories of the show are so vague, I look forward to viewing this program as and adult, and seeing how the war in North Africa is presented. A bit of historical accuracy would be nice, but all I really want is some good old-fashioned, 60's style war action.

Christopher George was an under-appreciated and mostly forgotten actor, who was only 54 when he past away. He frequently appeared on TV in the 70's, and this is an opportunity to see him as a 60's prime time star. As Sgt. Troy, George was fiery and tough, a familiar role for him. Paul Raymond was British Army Sergeant Moffat. Moffat's lower key personality complemented Troy's more emotional one. Lawrence Casey, as "Hitch" was memorable to me, mainly for his gum chewing.

Probably the cast member most well-known to today's viewers was on the German side. Hans Gudegast, played Capt. Dietrich, who in leading forces of the Afrika Corp proved to be a worthy adversary, bringing a sense of class and honor to the desert conflict. Gudegast later changed his acting name to Eric Braeden, and appeared frequently in films and on TV. In 1980 he became a regular on the daytime drama The Young and the Restless, where he still appears.

The Rat Patrol was created by veteran director Tom Gries, who's directorial credits include the films Helter Skelter, The Hawaiians, The Greatest, Breakout, and Breakheart Pass.
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Format: DVD
This is what action shows are all about. THE RAT PATROL was another of those television series that had kids playing outside repeating the previous night's episode. The first season had 32 episodes. Compare that to today's television series where the overpaid actors boast about 20 episodes per season. I have noted this before in my reviews for COMBAT! and it also applies for THE RAT PATROL. THE RAT PATROL was produced in an age where actors actually had to work for a living.

The biggest shortcoming of THE RAT PATROL is that the running length of 24 minutes per epidode is too brief to tell the story. In 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s television, many shows stretched 30 minutes of story to fit an hour-long time slot. Even COMBAT! occassionally fell into this trap. Not so with THE RAT PATROL. A half hour was not enough time to develop the plot. As such, some of the episodes are rushed and several shows include occasional annoying narration for things that are already patently obvious.

The exciting RAT PATROL soundtrack was composed by Dominic Frontiere. Frontiere was frequently behind the music for shows like THE OUTER LIMITS, THE INVADERS, and THE FLYING NUN. By the way, some of Frontiere's RAT PATROL soundtrack, note for note, ended up in 1970's THE LAST ESCAPE starring Stuart Whitman.

THE RAT PATROL was one of those television shows that was meant to be military fiction. This series was more of a shoot-em-up western set in Tunisia. M*A*S*H lengthened the Korean War to more than a decade. COMBAT! successfully immortalized the second half of 1944 for five years. THE RAT PATROL achieved no less significance in sustaining the six months following the November 1942 Torch landings into two seasons.

The show did not syndicate well in Great Britain.
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