Whispering Smith The Complete Series - April 20th

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by kemcha, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. kemcha

    kemcha Second Unit

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    Finally, Audrey Murphy comes to DVD:

    http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Whispering-Smith-The-Complete-Series/13458
     
  2. shoeshineboy

    shoeshineboy Second Unit

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    Count me in!
     
  3. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    I've only seen one episode of this series, maybe 25 years ago at Library of Congress. Very rare show which hasn't run anywhere in decades and even when all of the Universal 16mm prints showed up 20 years ago this show wasn't among them. Looking forward to seeing this.
     
  4. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    You can bet the house this will be among the group of series I'll be purchasing (or in this case pre-ordering) on "Little Stinker Day". (That's April 14 for those of you in a certain California Town outside of Sacremento!)
     
  5. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    I might get this western series on DVD as the show's synopsis sounds different to other western TV series (like Whiplash).
     
  6. ToddR2

    ToddR2 Stunt Coordinator

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    Danny, what was your impression of the show? I've never seen it.
     
  7. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    It's been so long that I really don't recall anything about it. Reportedly, the show was extremely violent. We can only hope that's true.
     
  8. silverking

    silverking Guest

    Like Neil I have only seen the one episode which I imagine is the same one which has been floating around collector circles for some years & apparently originated in Argentine of all places.

    I don't think it is any more or less violent than similar shows of the period, It certainly seemed to be singled out by the anti TV violence lobby of the day but hard to judge without seeing more than one segment.

    It was certainly a troubled production, co-star Guy Mitchell broke his arm which held up shooting & another regular character committed suicide during the run. (hopefully not because of the show !). Audie (not Audrey !) Murphy was very unhappy about the series & didn't like doing television.

    I believe the show was pulled before it completed its run & the story goes that the studio executives were so disenchanted that they ordered all prints destroyed.

    The prints being used for this DVD release were apparently found in a warehouse by Timeless. Credit to them for getting this 'lost' show out after 50 years.
     
  9. Stephen Bowie

    Stephen Bowie Stunt Coordinator

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    Where does this conspiracy stuff get started? I was told that Universal found the Whispering Smith elements when they inventoried their vault after the fire, which seems to have had a silver lining.

    The actor who committed suicide in May 1960 was Sam Buffington, and he's also in an episode or two of The Barbara Stanwyck Show which also apparently sat on the shelf for a while before being broadcast. Talented actor; kind of a Ned Beatty type.
     
  10. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I'll certainly be picking this one up. It's a huge rarity and I've heard good things about it, but like others I can only go by what I'm hearing because other than the one episode Neil and Chris have mentioned I know nothing about this series.

    Gary "thankful for Timeless" O.
     
  11. benbrigade

    benbrigade Stunt Coordinator

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    Whispering Smith (1948) Alan Ladd played a soft-spoken railroad detective.
    In the TV series the packaging states that Audie Murphy plays a Denver Railroad
    Detective.This is incorrect;in the TV series Murphy plays a Denver Policeman
    circa 1870.There are no trains or railroads in the entire TV series.
    Show was an attempt to combine Western action with a mystery element.
    Trouble is a lot of episodes are really talky and short on Western action.
    Most of Murphys Westerns were shot in colour (apart from a couple) and had
    decent production values;so it is strange to see him in such a low budget
    black & white setting.
    The image quality on the Timeless Media set is pretty good;several notches above what I was expecting.It probably will not satisfy high defination freaks
    but imperfections are few and it is more than watchable.
    As to be expected nightime scenes are pretty murky.
    When great character actors like Jan Merlin,Jim Davis and Leo Gordon
    are on board you cannot go far wrong.In several episodes however the
    supporting casts are incredibly weak.
    It is fun however to see Robert Redford and Richard Chamberlain at the dawn
    of their careers.Despite what it says on the slipcase Forrest Tucker does .
    not appear in this set.
    One of the episodes was written by Robert Bloch and Norman Bates house
    makes a "guest appearance" in another
    The extra Murphy documentary turns out to be a promo for To Hell And Back
    which then becomes a promotion for US Treasury Bonds with Universal
    contract players John McIntire and Barbara Rush playing themselves.
    Though this extra appears in black & white it looks as if it was originally
    shot in colour.
    Overall a decent neatly packaged set (3 slimline DVD cases in a slipcase)
    and an absolute must for Audie Murphy fans.
     
  12. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

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    And, once again, this is part of the current Timeless lot (along with Alias Smith and Jones, The Oregon Trail, and Frontier Circus) available at Sam's for $19.88... if you can find it. I've only seen it at one of my local Sam's, and they only had one copy. (Similarly, my other local Sam's only had one copy of Frontier Circus. Go figure. *shrugs*)


    John Knight gives a good summary of what to expect in this set. One thing I'd like to add is that each episode still has the ad bumper midway through, which is unusual for any TV release. Also, the show had two different title sequences. The first one is similar to what Combat! and The Wild Wild West later did. The second is more traditional, and comes in long and short versions.

    From what I've seen so far, it's an interesting hybrid Western. This is a cop show, just one that happens to be set in 1868 Denver.

    And now, the statistics...


    Title Airdate Length Comments The Blind Gun 8 May 1961 25:42 The Grudge 15 May 1961 25:25 Robert Redford guest stars. The Devil's Share 22 May 1961 25:34 Stake-Out 29 May 1961 25:42 2nd title sequence. Safety Valve 5 Jun 1961 25:31 Stain of Justice 12 Jun 1961 25:35 Richard Chamberlain guest stars. The Deadliest Weapon 19 Jun 1961 25:36 The Quest 26 Jun 1961 24:06 Missing pre-credit sequence. Three for One 3 Jul 1961 25:24 No episode title. Death at Even Money 10 Jul 1961 25:39 The Hemp Reeger Case 17 Jul 1961 25:04 2nd title sequence.
    James Best and Edward Platt guest star.

    This Mortal Coil 24 Jul 1961 25:31 Cross Cut 31 Jul 1961 25:39 2nd title sequence. Double Edge 7 Aug 1961 25:32 Trademark 14 Aug 1961 25:17 Bernie Kopell guest stars as a croupier. The Jodie Tyler Story 21 Aug 1961 25:21 Poet and Peasant Case 28 Aug 1961 25:20 2nd title sequence.
    Written by Robert Bloch.

    Dark Circle 4 Sep 1961 25:31 Diana Millay (Dark Shadows) guest stars. Swift Justice 11 Sep 1961 25:23 The Idol 18 Sep 1961 25:32 Alan Hale, Jr. guest stars.
    Written by Gene L. Coon (Star Trek).
    One character gets sulfuric acid in the face.

    String of Circumstances unaired 25:31 2nd title sequence.
    Kathleen Freeman guest stars.
    (You may not recognize the name,

    but you'll recognize her face immediately.)

    The Homeless Wind unaired 25:21 2nd title sequence.
    Jim Davis (Dallas) guest stars.

    Trial of the Avengers unaired 25:19 2nd title sequence.
    Western star Bob Steele guest stars.

    Prayer of a Chance unaired 25:30 2nd title sequence.
    Peter Whitney (Lafe Crick from

    The Beverly Hillbillies) guest stars.

    Hired to Die unaired 25:22 2nd title sequence.
     
  13. Guest

    I've been to 2 of my local Sam's numerous times and have yet to see even one copy of either Whispering Smith, Frontier Circus, or Oregon Trail.
     
  14. borisfw

    borisfw Supporting Actor

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    Checked my local Sam's again today and still no Whispering Smith,Oregon trail or Frontier Circus. I guess i just keep checking . Hopefully they show up at some point .
     
  15. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

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    Perhaps they will become more visible the closer we get to Father's Day.
     
  16. spawndude

    spawndude Auditioning

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    I finally found it at SAMS about three weeks ago. Also found Oregon Trail, Circus, and Smith&Jones 2. Strange thing is they were all in one "stack", "row", or whatever you wanna call it. Oregon Trail was in front. Gave me the impression they came out of the shipping box that way. These were the only copy of each of them.


    I've checked 5-6 times since and haven't found any of them again.
     
  17. borisfw

    borisfw Supporting Actor

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    Still no show for Whispering Smith,Oregon Trail and Frontier Circus at my two local Sam's . I'll try again next week .
     
  18. spawndude

    spawndude Auditioning

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    borisfw,


    I know your frustration!!!. I've been there many times waiting for DVD's to show up at SAMS.


    It was just pure luck I found mine when I did.


    A good sign is that all the (western) DVD's I've ever craved did eventually show up at SAMS. Its the waiting that sucks.
     
  19. borisfw

    borisfw Supporting Actor

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    Waiting for them to get these shows in can be frustrating at times. But the fact that you did find them there gives me hope that they will show up at some point .
     
  20. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    Wake-up guys! The missing episode titled "The Interpreter" has been found in The Library of Congress and TMG has re-released the entire set with that previously missing episode. It'll have a yellow sticker on the box, so at some point in time, I'll have to get it!
     

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