1 9 6 2 – 1 9 6 3 (USA)
26 x 60 minute episodes
War correspondent Conley Wright (Robert McQueeney) tags along with a squad of G.I’s in Italy under the command of Captain Jim Benedict (William Reynolds, pictured below right) during WWII, beginning with the amphibious landing at Salerno.
The Gallant Men was structured to split its focus between dual leading men, both to reduce the actors’ workload and to multiply the possibility of launching a breakout heartthrob. But McQueeney and Reynolds (pictured below) were so dull that the supporting cast carried the series to an unprecedented degree.
Robert Ridgely played the tough-as-nails second-in-command, Lt. Frank Kimbro, but jut-jawed Richard X. Slattery, as the platoon sergeant McKenna, and boxer Roland La Starza, as comic relief hustler Private Ernie Lucavich, occasionally dominated the storylines, as did singer Eddie Fontaine as the charismatic everyman Private Pete D’Angelo.
In February 1963, ABC announced that it would not extend The Gallant Men beyond the initial 26 episodes.
Although the show’s ratings were not disastrous, ABC was also home to Combat! and to McHale’s Navy, and it’s likely that the three military-themed shows were always seen as being in competition with one another.
Capt. Jim Benedict
Lt. Frank Kimbro
1st Sgt. John McKenna
Richard X. Slattery
Pvt. Pete D’Angelo
Pvt. Ernie Lucavich
Roland La Starza