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Encounter (31 January 1967)

Appearing as Jack Cole

Broadcast 31 January 1967 on the NBC television network.

Synopsis by curator@jmdigitalscrapbook.com:

When war correspondent Jack Cole (James MacArthur) arrives to spend a few days interviewing Lt. Hanley (Rick Jason) and his men and reporting on their efforts, he is dismayed to learn that his estranged father (James Daly) is already there, working with Hanley's unit to destroy a key bridge and thwart the German effort to control the area. Father and son exchange a brief, uncomfortable greeting and go off on their separate ways, both obviously disturbed by the unexpected encounter.

In talking with Sgt. Saunders (Vic Morrow), Kirby (Jack Hogan), Littlejohn (Dick Peabody), Caje (Pierre Jalbert) and Pvt. Kean (Richard Eyer), Jack learns, much to his surprise, that his father is both respected and extremely well liked. The man these people speak of is nothing like the father he saw so little of while growing up.

Saunders and Hanley decide to conduct a reconnaissance mission in the area of the bridge. Jack overhears and states that, in accordance with his authorized orders, he plans to join the group so that he can report on it. But Capt. Cole immediately quashes Jack's plans, stating unequivocally that it is his mission and he does not want Jack there.

Jack is furious and appeals to Hanley, who, while expressing understanding for Jack's predicament, tells the journalist that the Captain is within his rights as mission leader to deny Jack permission to go along.

Jack next tries to get his father to change his mind, but their conversation turns into a heated argument, and Captain Cole remains unswayed. The mission proceeds without Jack, much to the confusion of the other men, all of whom were aware of Jack's intent to come along.

After Saunders is wounded during the mission, Hanley decides to lead another team back on the following day. This time Jack gains permission to accompany them. When his father again objects, Hanley intercedes, stating that since this is his mission, he will make the final decision about who comes along and who stays.
What dangers lie ahead for Hanley and company? Will Jack and his father ever learn to communicate and forgive each other for past mistakes? Will the stoic career Army officer ever be able to accept that his son chose a different profession from his own, one which he feels is less than admirable in this time of war?

Special Note: Daly and MacArthur had previously portrayed a similarly combative father and son in The Young Stranger.

To view a full gallery of images from this movie click here.

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James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

Richard Eyer, James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James Daly, James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James Daly, James MacArthur

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