All in the Family

Season 7 Episode 15

The Draft Dodger

Aired Unknown Dec 25, 1976 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • Generations clash on Christmas Eve as the Bunkers and Stivics celebrate Christmas Eve with a draft dodger and a Gold Star father.

    Aside from being the best holiday themed episode of the entire series, "The Draft Dodger" is in my opinion the most powerful and emotional episode of "All in the Family" since the excellent season three episode "Archie is Branded". The scene during dinner where David tells Archie the truth is nothing short of excellent. For a moment, you almost forget you are watching actors playing parts in a television show. The late Caroll O'Connor gives one of his best performances in the entire series in this episode. Fans of "All in the Family" know O'Connor has given many excellent performances as the character that has defined his career, but his performance in "The Draft Dodger" is a bold stand out. The supporting cast does just as excellent a job as Carroll O'Connor. The late Eugene Roche gives a truly heart wrenching performance as Pinky Peterson. The moment he tells Archie that he holds no malice towards Michael and Gloria's friend David is absolutely stunning. No matter how many time I have seen it, the impact of it is just as tremendous. As other reviewers have pointed out, Carroll O'Connor's rant was censored. Though he actually said "I don't want to talk about that God damn war no more!", his dialogue was dubbed to get past the censors. I wish the DVD of this episode had the original dialogue track because I think the undubbed version had more impact. Despite this minor disappointment, I still think "The Draft Dodger" is a classic episode of a classic television series.
  • Brilliant!


    Amazing performance by O'Connor. He actually says "God Damn War" although it was later censored and overdubbed so we hear "Rotten war.." but you can clearly read Archie's lips as O'Connor says "I don't want to talk about that God Damn war no more!"

    You can actually feel the astonishment of the stunned audience. O'Connor's most brilliant moment of the series by far.

    Too bad the censored version is still the only one we see, although I hope the DVD version gets it right.

  • This show dealt with how the conservative Archie Bunker handles having a draft dodger in his midst.Archie's friend is also there,and his son did go to Vietnam but he never made it home.See how the father handles the situation as compared to Archie.

    This television show really faced a lot of serious matters during its run, and it did an excellent job of dealing with the Vietnam issue. I have to say that it was very eerie to listen to this today because if it weren't for the part about the draft, the scene could have been written for today's time, if you know what I'm talking about. It was great to see how Archie didn't know how to handle having to face somebody who was on the complete opposite end of the spectrum in his beliefs and who was not afraid to stand up to Archie.
  • Archie celebrates Christmas with a draft dodger, as well as a Gold Star father.

    Again, tough to choose favorite episodes, but this one clearly deserves recognition among the best. All hell breaks loose when Archie discovers Mike's buddy David is a draft dodger, sneaking down for Christmas from Canada. One of my favorite moments is when Pinky Peterson (the Gold Star father) shakes hands with David and tells him his son would have wanted to sit down to dinner with him, and that's what he (Pinky) wants to do as just see how tough it must be on him as a dad. Shortly thereafter, Archie still can't return to the table to face him, and Edith finally coaxes him by saying, "Please Archie...for me?" He looks at her, and slowly makes his way back to the table.

    Also, love in the final scene when Archie reluctantly thanks the Christmas carollers outside his door, then mildly threatens to call the cops on them. He then shuts the front door, which is adorned with a wreath that reads PEACE.