Monday, September 29, 2008


I'm not sure it will work out, but I'm going to try for a Paul Newman-related Tiddlywinkydink every day this week. We'll see how it goes.

Paul Newman played three different historical figures on 'You Are There' - Brutus, Plato, and Nathan Hale.

There have been several portrayals of Nathan Hale on television over the years:

Kevin Anderson (I) (Nathan Hale)
. . . Hale the Hero (1992) (TV)

Brandon De Wilde (Young Nathan Hale)
. . . "Young Rebels, The" (1970) {To Hang a Hero (#1.4)} TV Series

Paul Newman (I) (Nathan Hale)
. . . "You Are There" (1953) {The Fate of Nathan Hale (September 22, 1776) (#2.1)} TV Series

Jeremy Slate (I) (Captain Nathan Hale)
. . . "Great Adventure, The" (1963) {The Story of Nathan Hale (#1.5)} TV Series

The TV movie starring Kevin Anderson should probably be considered the official standard bearer for Hale's life in the TV Universe, as it may be more detailed. But I always have a soft spot for those portrayals of historical figures in scripted TV series, when they interact with fictional characters. So I'm also leaning towards De Wilde's Nathan Hale in 'The Young Rebels', especially as the episode doesn't really interfere with established facts. The three main characters, members of the Yankee Doodle Society of spies and saboteurs, act on the periphery of the historical account.

Here is a biographical thumbnail sketch of Nathan Hale, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776) was an officer for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Widely considered America's first spy, he volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission, but was captured by the British. He is best remembered for his speech before being hanged following the Battle of Long Island, in which he reportedly said, "I only regret that I have but one life to give my country."
Hale has long been considered an American hero and, in 1985, he was officially designated the state hero of Connecticut (my home state).

You can read more about him at his Wikipedia page.

That episode of 'The Young Rebels', "To Hang A Hero", shows Nathan Hale giving the full quote as "I am well satisfied with the cause in which I have engaged. I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country!"

In Toobworld, his sacrifice inspired the parents of Nathan Bridger ('Seaquest DSV') to name him after Hale. (However, this show probably takes place in an alternate dimension, perhaps the one that is home to Jeremy Slate's portrayal of the Revolutionary War hero on 'The Great Adventure'.

Coincidentally, Newman and De Wilde appeared together in the movie "Hud".........
I've always been honored that I share the same birthday as Nathan Hale, separated by 200 years......

Toby O'B

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in the transcription of that Young Rebels episode I put together:

and also my story about Nathan Hale: