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What are Your Favorite Vintage Western Series?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by JohnHopper, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Of the 39 in the video, there are 9 I don't remember watching or really hearing of, in 1958. And now thanks to DVD and OTA retro stations I've seen 35 of the 39.

    Rob Word, the uploader of the video has uploaded many videos interviewing the old stars.

    Rob Word is a TV producer and did the 80s WILLIAM TELL/CROSSBOW.

    He produced WYATT EARP: RETURN TO TOMBSTONE. It was a colorized TV-Movie made of the last few O.K. Corral episodes of THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYATT EARP. They filmed new scenes with Hugh O'Brian in Black and White and then colorized them so it would match the colorized B&W episodes.

    Word also made three compilation TV-Movies that colorized Richard Greene's THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. Interesting to see in color, but they also replaced all or most of the original music.. boo!, and added optical effects that gave a supernatural element that was never in the original show, so double BOO!! The ITC swashbucklers always debunked spooky stuff.
     
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  2. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Cool video - thanks!

    I have heard of most of those westerns in some capacity (was unfamiliar with Jefferson Drum, Man Without a Gun and Buckskin) but have probably only seen episodes from half or 60% or them. Pity Timeless isn't still around...sure would like to see the rest of the unreleased series put out on DVD.
     
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  3. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    I agree about the general quality of these classic westerns - they really entertain.It was tough to narrow them down to get the list I submitted ! I reluctantly left out Wanted Dead Or Alive , Rifleman , McKenzie's Raiders, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Tombstone Territory and others . Then again , there are shows I haven't seen in many years , so I couldn't evaluate them for the list . Those shows include , Trackdown, Boots And Saddles, Union Pacific , Johnny Ringo, Hotel Di Paree, Colt 45, Black Saddle , Wichita Town and others . Hopefully someone will put these shows out on DVD so we can see them again.
     
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  4. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    And sooner or later, I'll very likely see all of it!
     
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  5. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Boy, you guys weren't kidding about that "Incident at Alabaster Plain" episode of Rawhide. What a great episode! Excellent story, action, locations, guest stars. Good thing Gil Favor came around to lend Rowdy a hand - since he pretty much single-handedly takes out all three bad guys!

    The print on CBS/Paramount's season one set was a little rough and speckled during the opening credits and establishing shots, but it either became a little crisper as the show went on, or I got too caught up in the narrative to notice. It does seem that season 2 looks better on the whole, but I need to go through more of the season one set to make a true comparison. At any rate, glad these are out on DVD to be savored at our leisure.
     
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  6. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    ¶ As you may know, I'm exploring again the fifth season of Rawhide and guess what?
    This DVD edition has two anomalies: they insert a season 6 episode ("Incident of El Toro") to start the set
    and insert a season 4 one ("Abilene") to finish the set.

    Where are we going?

    ¶ Oddly enough, the season 4 episode is clean unlike the prints from the season 4 sets.
    That particular season 4 episode is the last one from that season and concludes the trip from San Anton.
    It defies logic to put that one at the end of season 5.

    Find the file for "Incident of El Toro"
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0683001/reference

    Find the file for “Abilene”
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0682969/reference
     
  7. Message #67 of 94 Oct 2, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Looks like they were supposed put "Abilene" on Disc One S5, first position, since they left it off the S4 release. Somebody goofed leaving it off S4 and somebody goofed again placing it on the last disc of S5. How S6 "El Toro" got on S5 is indeed goofy illogical.

    At least when WAC fiddled with the number of episodes per season release of LAWMAN, it was just to have each release contain the same number of episodes, per set, and all the episodes were still in broadcast order.
     
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  8. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I really love seasons 1-6 of Gunsmoke, Tales if Wells Fargo and have fun will travel
     
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  9. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Dave, I don’t know if that was on purpose or not, but it gave me a chuckle. Thanks.
     
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  10. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I'm not sure what I can add to such a good discussion! I'm pretty well game for any Western, although I've never completely warmed up to Wild, Wild West. It's okay for an episode here and there, but not for binge watching.

    I will second the notion about the fake outdoors on Bonanza. I prefer the "lost episodes" over the earlier episodes as I thought Pernell Roberts leaving improved things-he was too "cultured" in comparison to Hoss and Little Joe. Although it was a last hoorah, the S14 2 part opener rivaled any Western up to that time. There's a S13 episode with Buddy Ebsen, "The Saddle Stiff," that is just begging for the HD treatment. Plenty of outside scenes. Buddy's character is fired by Ben. He went off on Ben telling him he was essentially a desk jockey, wouldn't cut it in the real world, and challenged him to try it. Pa Cartwright gets himself a job as a ranch-hand only to find out someone is terrorizing people using his name (he's going as "Ben Brown). Yeah, you know what happens. Uncle Jed and Pa Cartwright team up to beat the bad guys and instead of going back to work on at The Ponderosa, he stays on at the ranch he was working at with Ben.

    I once said the color years of Gunsmoke were the best of the lot. We all know how it was syndicated, so I was never properly introduced to the earlier years. I caught those a few years ago on Encore Western. It's almost a completely different show, especially the 30 minute shows. Unlike many shows, I actually enjoyed the post-series movies.

    One of the highlights of Saturday was after wrestling on WMC, we got to watch The Lone Ranger. I can still binge watch it to this day. The earliest episodes feel a bit stiff and cartoonish, but it still beats anything on TV today. Sunday nights on WMC had Guns of Will Sonnet and Laredo, two shows I intend to visit again soon, hopefully.

    I love The Rifleman. One of the religious stations on Directv was showing it in the afternoons along with Daniel Boone, uncut. Speaking of Daniel, as much as I enjoy it, why do some stations insist on plugging it as a Western? ProClassicTV, a legitimate outfit that also services Hulu, did have a bunch of The Rifleman on their YouTube page.
     
  11. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    I should also mention The Cisco Kid and Hopalong Cassidy. My dad always talked about The Cisco Kid being one of his childhood favorites. He says it no longer holds up for him as an adult. I feel the exact opposite. I binged on Hopalong Cassidy earlier in the summer on a Sunday afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's always fun to see who pops up in those old Westerns. Many of those actors and actresses later turned up in 60's sitcoms. Byron Foulger was one of those actors. I have saw him as a bartender on a Hopalong Cassidy movie, and he also turned up (as a bartender again, I believe) on The Lone Ranger.

    While this is a TV forum, I will give honorable mention to two movies, both of which have comedic actors who are famous for TV. 4 for Texas with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra has a cameo from none other than Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe. Then we have Shakiest Gun in the West with the fine actor, Don Knotts, and The Wilburn Brothers (who had their own TV show produced by ShowBiz, the same company producing The Porter Wagoner Show) sing the catchy movie theme song.
     
  12. ToddR2

    ToddR2 Stunt Coordinator

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    The Westerner
    Have Gun, Will Travel
    Gunsmoke
    The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
    Zane Grey Theater
    Tate
    The Dakotas
    Nichols
    The Virginian
    Maverick
    Alias Smith and Jones
    Shane- I never saw this until the DVD set came out, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it
    The High Chaparral
    The Loner
    The Quest

    I tend to think of Wild Wild West and Yancy Derringer as not quite western series, but I enjoy them immensely.
     
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  13. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    I found your experience with Shane to similar to my own , not only with that show , but with several others I had never seen or didn't see very much of . Those include Tombstone Territory , Hondo, Laredo , Overland Trail. and a number of others .
    Incidentally , when the Topps Trading Cards company decided to put together a set of cards called TV Westerns they included Yancy Derringer, so I think it was considered a western at the time .
     
  14. Message #74 of 94 Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    For my recent review post on the second to last episode of season one in the Mr. Novak thread, I was doing a little research on the great character actor Kevin McCarthy, and perusing his hundreds of career credits on IMDB...probably best known from the brilliant 1956 SF film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and as the almost immortal Walter Jameson from the classic Twilight Zone episode, he was still a working actor in his 90s! Passing away at age 96 in 2010. I decided to do a mini marathon viewing of some of his appearances in my collection. His memorably warm appearance on Mr. Novak represented one of his rarer atypical good guy roles. He certainly seemed to be cast more often as a slick, pompous, stylishly sarcastic, if not downright evil Stuffed Shirt ripe for a takedown. I think this episode of Bearcats! belongs in this Westerns tribute thread, and it is one of my favorite Kevin McCarthy outings. He plays an evil gangster and first class bastard who enslaves a whole community of poor Pueblo Indians to dig for lost Spanish Conquistador gold...mercilessly and capriciously killing for casual pleasure with a gleeful smirk on his face, and beating the hell out of a saintly and self sacrificing priest! Rod Taylor, Dennis Cole, and the sexy Jane Merrow come to the rescue in the George Barris Stutz Bearcat, masquerading as regular US Army soldiers while General Pershing and the Army are otherwise busy with chasing Pancho Villa...screen caps from the episode itself...

    Bearcats! Conqueror's Gold, (Oct. 28, 1971), Directed by frequent Mr. Novak director Richard Donner...
    Filmed in New Mexico at the Santa Clara Pueblo ruins and Puye cliffs...a stunning location...
    A fare 63.JPG
    A fare 48.JPG

    That's some kind of long barreled pistola right there...check out the holster as well...
    A fare 49.JPG
    A fare 50.JPG
    A fare 27.JPG
    A fare 53.JPG

    The sexy British actress Jane Merrow is a nice addition...
    A fare 64.JPG
    A fare 65.JPG

    Rod Taylor and Dennis Cole...
    A fare 66.JPG

    She's taken hostage in what amounts to a Mexican standoff...
    A fare 59.JPG
    A fare 55.JPG
    A fare 57.JPG
    A fare 62.JPG

    This episode also has a terrific car chase as McCarthy flees in his Hupmobile with the camouflaged Bearcat in pursuit...
    A fare 31.JPG

    Exciting stunts on display in this entertaining episode...Dennis Cole (or stuntman pretending to be him, ha) pulling one of McCarthy's thugs off the Hupmobile...McCarthy doesn't give a damn...
    A fare 34.JPG

    Ending with Fisticuffs, sans Marquis du Queensbarry rules, ha, ha...the gallery egging them on...
    A fare 30.JPG
    A fare 28.JPG
    Rod Taylor strikes a pose for Jane Merrow's old timey camera...great news that WAC is releasing his exciting 1968 action film Dark of the Sun on Blu soon...looking forward to that one (Yvette Mimieux in HD!), and getting Olive's new Signature Edition Blu of Kevin McCarthy's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with Dana Wynter!) as well...
    A fare 29.JPG

    Bearcats! is a fun and entertaining "modern day" western set in 1914...too bad it only lasted 13 episodes on CBS, in addition to the pilot movie which was not included in the Timeless 3 DVD set...

    Seeing as this is 1914, what is that low flying object in the background? Can't be the Wright Brothers could it? ha, ha...I love spotting bloopers like this, although it wouldn't have been as noticeable on a 21" or 26" Tube TV back in the day...
    A fare 56.JPG
     
  15. westumulka

    westumulka Stunt Coordinator

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    I miss the days of Timeless when they would release such hidden gems as Bearcats, which I had never seen before and really enjoyed!
     
  16. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    Granted, I didn't see that many at a shot (I would at most see two at a time), but still, Have Gun has been of such a caliber that I have completed two seasons' worth; I'm in the middle of the third one, and still have the first parts of the fourth and fifth to complete (sooner or later, I will).
     
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  17. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    For those of you who are interested in film music and western film music, find a podcast about a western series.


    Episode 14 - Gunsmoke - Doc Judge & The Blacksmith & The Wake
    http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com/159614/853743-episode-14-gunsmoke-doc-judge-the-blacksmith-the-wake

    Howdy folks! We’re saddling up and riding into Dodge City for an exploration of the long-running TV western Gunsmoke. Your humble hosts Jens, Yavar, and Clark take a look at three episodes from 1960, each highlighted by its own distinctive Goldsmith score. First up is “Doc Judge,” featuring a suspenseful score anchored by an ominous five-note theme. Next, we meet “The Blacksmith,” containing a lively, diverse score offering warmth, romance, suspense, and a bit of action. Last but not least is “The Wake,” which serves up a modest, playful score built around an instantly memorable main theme. Grab your six-shooter, dust off your ten-gallon hat, and join us as we cantor through one of the staples of classic television.​


    Duration
    02:07:08

    The Work
    Gunsmoke: Season 5 Volume 2 (DVD)
    Gunsmoke: Season 6 Volume 1 (DVD)

    In Depth
    Ron Burbella supplied us with his CBS EZ CUE disc and index and with his reel-to-reel tape transfers. Bill Wrobel documented the mass of CBS Music Library stuff donated to UCLA, giving us a little more info on the tracks we’ve acquired.

    The CBS EZ CUE LIBRARY
    https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=56146&forumID=1&archive=0

    Bill Wrobel’s cue-by-cue analysis of classic film, television and radio scores
    http://www.filmscorerundowns.net/goldsmith/index.html

    The Goldsmith Odyssey: All Episodes
    http://goldsmithodyssey.buzzsprout.com

    Contact The Goldsmith Odyssey
    [email protected]
     
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  18. Message #78 of 94 Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Thank you John for this wealth of great material via those links you provided! I'm going to love checking those out...Jerry Goldsmith is one of the great masters of cinematic music scoring! That Goldsmith Odyssey site in particular is very active with frequent posts from the analytical experts of his fandom! and the thoroughly archived FSM site is a mother load of great music from many other composer greats!
     
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  19. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Supporting Actor

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    My favorite Goldsmith score for Gunsmoke is “Doc Judge”, so good it is tracked on Rawhide and on The Twilight Zone.
    More to come from the trio. They will cover the remaining three scores from Gunsmoke and two other series:
    Have Gun Will Travel and my all-time favorite: Rawhide.
     
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  20. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Thanks John! Maybe we need to keep this thread going! Long Live the Dusters of the Old West!
     
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