What's new

What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)? (4 Viewers)

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
7,429
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
What a coincidence, Howie! I, too, dated the daughter of a Methodist minister many years ago-- who would drag me to church whenever she could (thus the source of my reference).
However--as I fondly remember--once outside those church walls, she was anything but holy...
Amen.
Well... the old saying is beware of preacher's and deacon's kids as they're the worst. My dad was a deacon so I have first hand experience in that arena. :D
 

Rustifer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
2,133
Location
Carmel, Indiana
Real Name
Russ J.
87th Precinct - 1.3 “Lady Killer”
In the middle of a heat wave, a young boy comes into the precinct and leaves a letter on Det. Kling’s desk. Whoever wrote the note claims that he will kill “the lady” at 8pm that night. Who wrote the letter, and who is the lady? Detectives Kling (Ron Harper), Carella (Robert Lansing), Havilland (Gregory Walcott) and Meyer (Norman Fell, droll as always) work tirelessly to try and prevent the crime. Very good episode based off the Ed McBain novel, with a nice little twist on just who “the lady” is. Also with Vito Scotti, Marian Collier and Barbara Parkins.

Due South – 1.3 “Diefenbaker’s Day Off”
A rare Canadian-produced show that earned a network spot in the U.S. (on CBS) for a few seasons. Entertaining fish-out-of-water cop show with honest, unfailingly polite and highly competent Mountie Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) fighting crime and spreading good vibes around the seedy streets of Chicago, along with his excitable police detective pal Ray Vecchio (David Marciano). In this one, Fraser is asked by a young girl in his (borderline tenement) apartment building to help out her dad, an ex-boxer involved in an insurance scam. A sexy local reporter (Madolyn Smith Osborne) is also nosing around the case, and at first suspects Fraser is part of the crime ring. Meanwhile, Fraser’s pet wolf Diefenbaker, ignoring Fraser’s orders, spends his days running around outside evading the dog catcher. A busy but typically fun episode. Paul Gross is extremely charming as the Dudley Do-Right-like hero. The writers seem to be setting up Ms. Osborne's character as a recurring love interest for Fraser, but not only did the actress not return, this was her very last acting role, after a brief but interesting career, including appearances in Urban Cowboy, All of Me, 2010 and Funny Farm.




The Westerner – 1.12 “Hand on the Gun”
Watched this one twice – once on its own, and once more to listen to the commentary track with Sam Peckinpah experts Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weddel and the late, great Nick Redman. This short-lived 30-minute western series created by Peckinpah is a real gem, written with a sharp eye for humanity and realism. This is a particularly fine episode, skillfully directed by Peckinpah himself. Dave Blassingame (Brian Keith) is rounding up mustangs with his amigo Oresquote (Michael Ansara, on excellent, world-weary form here), when a seemingly friendly Easterner approaches camp looking for work. Trouble is the dude (Ben Cooper) is a hot young buck itching to become a gunslinger like the kind he’s read about in dime novels. He’s in for a rude awakening. The ending of this one is fantastic. I highly recommend grabbing this series on DVD while it’s still quite affordable. Shout Factory did a great job on the set, which not only includes all 13 episodes (plus the backdoor pilot episode, “Trouble at Tres Cruces” from Zane Grey Theatre), but also commentary tracks by the aforementioned gents on several episodes.




The Equalizer – 1.6 “The Confirmation Day”
McCall helps out schlubby Burt Young, who is mixed up with some nasty gangsters, led by smiling old barracuda mob boss Joseph Wiseman. The first season of this show has been quite strong - until now. This one’s just OK, marred by some pretty ropey acting by the supporting cast. I’m becoming more and more convinced that Burt Young is just not a good actor, but more of a one-note, scruffy mumbler. He’s effective enough in Rocky, but that’s about it as far as I’m concerned. Luckily, Edward Woodward is a class act and holds this one together. Here’s hoping the quality ticks back up in the next episode…

Colt .45 – 3.10 “Calamity”
Found a so-so looking copy of this rare WB western series on YouTube. Puckish blonde Calamity Jane (Dodie Heath) helps Christopher Colt (Wayde Preston) escort a stagecoach bearing a lady doctor (Joan Taylor) and a case of smallpox vaccine to disease-ridden Tombstone through hostile stock footage Indian territory. King Kong’s Robert Armstrong is along for the ride. I generally don’t have a lot of time these days for movies or TV episodes where a handful of cowboys mow down dozens of Indians without receiving hardly a scratch in return, so this might not be the best episode of the series to have started with...but beggars can't be choosers, as it's the only episode I've been able to scrape up. It sure would be nice to see this show get a release from Warner Archive some day (not that I'm holding my breath on that one…) Wayde Preston doesn’t say much but makes for a good, ramrod-straight leading man with a decent amount of charisma. The print here seems mostly complete, missing the usual “From Warner Brothers Studios…” announcement at the beginning...but it does have the mid-episode commercial bumpers and end credits (complete with catchy theme song).

Trackdown – 1.25 “The Pueblo Kid”
A cherub-faced Michael Landon (in the first of two appearances in the series, a year or so before making it big on Bonanza) guest stars as the titular outlaw, whose return to his hometown causes trouble for Marshal Hoby Gilman (Robert Culp), who’s been holding the fort until the local sheriff recovers from an illness. Turns out that the Kid’s reputation is a bluff; he’s no killer, but an old rival (George Brenlin) who fancies himself quick with a gun is itching for a showdown. Culp brings his usual edgy cool to the lead role; it’s a real pity that rumored plans for this series to make it’s way out onto DVD seem to have fallen through. Ellen Corby has a few scenes as the editor of the local newspaper, and Gail Kobe also shows up in a briefly recurring role as Hoby’s love interest.

Shotgun Slade – 1.28 “A Flower for Jenny”
Some kind soul uploaded a bunch of episodes of this 30-minute Revue western onto YouTube. The gimmick of this one was that, although it took place in the wild west, it plays like a film noir detective drama, replete with jazzy soundtrack, femmes fatale and whodunnit plots. Big, stony-faced slab of beef Scott Brady stars as Slade, a shotgun-toting private dick who, in this outing, is hired by famous singer Jenny DuPree (Diane Foster) to find out who’s been sending her threatening letters implying she will die soon. Once we meet Jenny, we realize why she might have a long list of enemies wishing her dead…she’s a real piece of work. Suspects include her ex-husband, her former lover, her browbeaten piano accompanist and...well, pretty much anyone who’s ever met her. Lots of action and snappy banter keep things moving at a nice clip. Neat show, and Brady (the brother of notorious Hollywood tough guy, Lawrence Tierney) makes for a fine, gruff lead. Ms. Foster co-starred in a number of big screen westerns, too, including The Kentuckian, The Violent Men and Night Passage. She does good work here, as does Monica Lewis, who plays a saloon singer gal pal of Slade’s.


Once again, Jeff, you've displayed a great lineup of shows, most of which I'm woefully ignorant. But I do get a kick out of reading your synopsis of each and recognizing many of the actors from other shows I've seen. I do remember The Equalizer with Edward Woodard, and even though I didn't watch it regularly--I did enjoy the premise of an older gentleman taking on lost causes and having the singular ability to not only outsmart the bad guys but also kick the livin' crap out of them. Retribution at its finest.
 

Jeff Flugel

Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,327
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
Once again, Jeff, you've displayed a great lineup of shows, most of which I'm woefully ignorant. But I do get a kick out of reading your synopsis of each and recognizing many of the actors from other shows I've seen. I do remember The Equalizer with Edward Woodard, and even though I didn't watch it regularly--I did enjoy the premise of an older gentleman taking on lost causes and having the singular ability to not only outsmart the bad guys but also kick the livin' crap out of them. Retribution at its finest.

Cheers, Russ! The last three of the shows I talked about are on YouTube, if you care to give 'em a look. I think you'd particularly enjoy Shotgun Slade, kind of a western take on Peter Gunn.
 

JohnHopper

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
1,915
Real Name
John Hopper
I am currently starting the first set of my season 9 DVD from Gunsmoke.​
I watched the first episode and reviewed it. I was not disappointed and I found the writing good.​
More to come …​
gunsmoke9_main04.jpg
 

Jeff Flugel

Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,327
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
The Twilight Zone
2.1 “King Nine Will Not Return”
2.18 “The Odyssey of Flight 33”
2.28 “One Hundred Yards Over the Rim”
Three more episodes of this seminal sci-fi series. Russ’ recent review of “One Hundred Yards Over the Rim” spurred me on to give it a watch, and it was indeed a fabulous episode, easily the best of these three. Cliff Robertson does an excellent job portraying a worried settler who leaves his wife and feverish son to scout over a nearby ridge...only to suddenly find himself transported over 100 years into the future. Strikingly directed by Buzz Kulik.



“King Nine Will Not Return” stars Robert Cummings wandering around a WWII fighter plane wrecked in the African desert, haunted by the specters of his long-dead crew. Cummings tries hard but just isn’t quite a compelling enough actor to enliven what is essentially a slow-burn one man play, though there’s a neat little reveal in the closing moments of the episode that redeems it somewhat.



The central idea of “The Odyssey of Flight 33” – that a mysterious, extremely fast tail wind blasts a commercial airliner back to prehistoric times – is intriguing, but the execution falls a bit flat. Not bad, but a tad dull…likely due to most of the action taking place in a crowded cockpit. It's good to see John Anderson play a decent, non-deranged person for a change, anyway.




Wagon Train – 1.9 “The Charles Avery Story”
My previous viewings of this show left me with the feeling that it was much more a talky drama than the usual action-based sort of western that I prefer (in other words, there just wasn't enough "western" in this western, for my tastes)... but this particular episode is about as tried-and-true cowboy shoot-'em-up as you can get. Therefore, I really dug it. Robert Horton takes center stage here as scout Flint McCullough, who accompanies a dwindling Cavalry party escorting Mokai (Susan Kohner), the daughter of an Indian chief, back to her people as part of a treaty arrangement. A rebel faction of the tribe, led by Henry Brandon, vehemently opposes making peace with the whites, and is out to kill Mokai as a way of instigating another war. Farley Granger plays Lt. Avery, leader of the escort, who has a personal agenda of his own and treats the lovely Mokai coldly. I’ve always liked Susan Kohner, a demure, curvaceous beauty who was often cast in Indian or other ethnic parts (she's memorable in the great Richard Widmark western The Last Wagon). Chuck Connors (playing a real creep) and Bing Russell co-star.




Ellery Queen
1.17 “The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario”
1.22 “The Adventure of the Disappearing Dagger”
This is such a fun show, with nicely-realized late ‘40s period atmosphere and a warm central relationship between Jim Hutton and David Wayne as amateur sleuth Ellery and his cantankerous but loving father, Inspector Queen. Another plus is that every episode is chock full of great character actors and fading big screen stars. In “…Sinister Scenario,” a sly satire on Hollywood backbiting, we get Vincent Price, Troy Donahue, Barbara Rush, Don DeFore, Paul Fix, Noah Beery, Jr. and James B. Sikking. The final episode of this sadly short-lived series, “…Disappearing Dagger,” in which the solving of an older murder case ties in to the solution of a new one, features Walter Pidgeon, Dana Wynter, Mel Ferrer, Gary Burghoff, Ronny Cox, and R.G. Armstong. The murder plots are of a generally high standard, as well. This, along with Columbo, is IMO one of the few American-based mystery shows that can credibly hold its own with its British counterparts.


The Rockford Files – 1.8 “The Big Ripoff”
Rockford returns from a European investigation (where he gets up close and personal with fresh-faced Suzanne Somers) to report to his client, the mistress of a man who reportedly died in a plane crash. After the woman stiffs him on his fee, and suspecting that the dead man is still alive and sitting on a sizable insurance settlement, Rockford pursues her to a small town to get to the bottom of the case and collect a much-needed $20,000 commission (no million dollar paydays ala Banacek for down-on-his-luck Jimbo). Jill Clayburgh, very cute despite sporting an unbecoming moptop wig, plays a kooky artist’s model who helps Rockford out. Typically strong episode of this wonderful, lighthearted ‘70s private eye show, a perfect showcase for James Garner’s easygoing charm and unforced yet powerful charisma.


 
Last edited:

JohnHopper

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
1,915
Real Name
John Hopper
2.1 “King Nine Will Not Return”
2.18 “The Odyssey of Flight 33”
2.28 “One Hundred Yards Over the Rim”


KING NINE and YARDS are the best of this selection: both directed by Buzz Kulik and composed by Fred Steiner.
The basic plot of KING NINE will be reworked in 1970 through a telefilm entitled Sole Survivor:
both stories refer the real-life aircraft Lady Be Good.
Season 1 & 2 were the very best of The Twilight Zone.
 

Rustifer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
2,133
Location
Carmel, Indiana
Real Name
Russ J.
Episode Commentary
I Dream Of Jeannie
"The Richest Astronaut In The World" (S1E17)

I guess as long as I'm riffing on women with mystical powers, I may as well continue down the same era with the I Dream of Jeannie series. What makes this episode stand out is that finally a typical male actually enjoys the many tawdry opportunities presented by magic. Nothing gnashes my teeth more than Darrin Stevens or Tony Nelson's lunatic perspective of repressing the power at their disposal. The idea of attempting to maintain a "regular guy / regular existence" is enough to drive a railroad spike into the skull of any red-blooded greedy male.

So kudos to Captain Roger Healey (Bill Daily) who at long last discovers Jeannie (Barbara Eden) is way more than just an alluring, pink-clad lassie. Once he understands Jeannie can grant his every wish, his attention immediately focuses more on greed than, say, libidinous opportunities. Things like money, gold, cars, yachts and free HBO. Roger immediately absconds with Jeannie trapped in her bottle while her true master Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman) is away on business. After all, what's a best friend for if he can't share his shapely wish-granting genie?

1605105287582.png
1605105423712.png
1605105451865.png

Damn! This is better than my VHS copy of "Nuns in Leather"; Jeannie demonstrates "level" to her contractor; So you're an astronaut, big boy?

In no time, Roger is being escorted around town in a Rolls driven by a comely chauffeur in hot pants--although that damnable Florida sunshine is just hell on black leather seats when thighs are so exposed. Tony finally catches up with Roger at his new villa estate, sunning poolside with what can only be described as a pole dancer from the local Pussycat Gentleman's Club, working on erasing her tan lines. Tony hatches a scheme to get his Jeannie genie back.

Roger is soon suspected by his superiors of grifting military funds and espionage, a practice that today is considered not only clever, but acceptable. It takes Tony and Jeannie's magic to get the high brass to lose all recollection of Roger's indiscretions. Such vaporized memory is usually available to me via four martinis.
 
Last edited:

Jeff Flugel

Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,327
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
Episode Commentary
I Dream Of Jeannie
"The Richest Astronaut In The World" (S1E17)

I guess as long as I'm riffing on women with mystical powers, I may as well continue down the same era with the I Dream of Jeannie series. What makes this episode stand out is that finally a typical male actually enjoys the many tawdry opportunities presented by magic. Nothing gnashes my teeth more than Darrin Stevens or Tony Nelson's lunatic perspective of repressing the power at their disposal. The idea of attempting to maintain a "regular guy / regular existence" is enough to drive a railroad spike into the skull of any red-blooded greedy male.

Enjoyed your review as always, Russ! Reminds me that I need to dust off my I Dream of Jeannie complete series DVD set and watch an episode or two. A little Barbara Eden does a body good. ;)
 

Jeff Flugel

Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,327
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
Stoney Burke – 1.10 “The Wanderer”
One of two modern western dramas based around the rodeo circuit that premiered (and ended) in the 1962-1963 TV season. Stoney Burke (Jack Lord) is a skilled bronco rider who travels around the American west in quest of the Golden Buckle championship. Along the way, he gets involved with the lives of assorted troubled souls, ne’er-do-wells and damsels in distress…and since he’s a real stand-up guy, goes out of his way to help them. That’s very much the case in this episode, as Stoney comes to the aid of a pregnant friend (Jacqueline Scott) who’s searching for her itinerant husband (Albert Salmi). Like most episodes of this series, it’s a unique, adult and finely acted drama with lots of real-life rodeo footage and background detail.

Leslie Stevens and the skilled crew of his Daystar Productions company brought a lot of talent to bear on this series, both in front of and behind the camera, and it really shows, from the noirish cinematography (often by Conrad Hall), music by Dominic Frontiere, and an array of heavy-hitter guest stars...not to mention the regular cast (which includes Warren Oates and Bruce Dern, as two of Stoney’s entourage.) Stevens and many of the same personnel from this show would go on to make the much more famous but equally well-produced sci-fi classic, The Outer Limits. This is another gem of a DVD set from the irreplaceable Timeless Media Group, before they were bought out (and closed down) by Shout! Factory.




Soldiers of Fortune
1.23 “Run Till You Die”
2.22 “City of Doom”
Two more pulpy tales of derring-do, with devil-may-care adventurers Tim Kelly (a pre-Lawman John Russell) and Toubo Smith (Chick Chandler), seemingly ripped from the pages of a lurid 1950s men’s magazine. In “Run Till You Die,” Tim and Toubo are tasked with rescuing a band of mine employees (including Morris Ankrum, Ross Elliott and Virginia “Folgers lady” Christine) threatened by a local Tibetan bandit leader (John Doucette). An ancient cult in India is being manipulated by whites to foment rebellion against the local maharajah's dam project in “City of Doom,” which makes extensive use of some flood disaster stock footage during the climax. Action and adventure galore, with scripts often far better than one would expect for this kind of show. I wrote about this series, and the wonderful, bantering bromance between the two main characters, at length on my now-defunct blog here. Suffice it to say, this modest little programmer packs a lot of entertainment value into each episode, with very few duds among the 52 episodes.

Tombstone Territory
– 1.2 “Reward for a Gunslinger”
An outlaw’s been robbing stagecoaches and killing the drivers, and the townspeople of Tombstone are all het up about it. They pony up a big reward for the killer, garnering the interest of a couple of disreputable bounty hunters, complicating things for Sheriff Clay Forrester (Pat Conway). The more episodes I watch of this series, the more impressed I am with it. Like many ZIV shows, there’s a lot of outdoor location work, with the added bonus this time of many helicopter shots of riders galloping across dusty trails. Pat Conway was raised on a ranch and so makes for a very authentic, stern cowboy badass, and he’s a good actor, to boot. The stories are lean and gritty, and while so far I’ve not spotted many familiar faces among the guest cast, they all do reliably solid work. It doesn’t hurt that Timeless’ DVD set boasts very nice-looking transfers on the episodes, either. All in all, I’d rank this show quite high on the list of 1950s TV oaters.

Wide Country – 1.8 “A Devil in the Chute”
Rodeos must have been quite a thing back in the 1962 – 1963 TV season, as that year brought us not only the aforementioned Stoney Burke, but also this series, very good in its own right, which follows champion bronco rider, Mitch Guthrie (Earl Holliman), and his younger brother, Andy (Andrew Prine). In this one, the boys are on their way to a small rodeo when they give a ride to sullen, troubled Jay Brenner (Michael Ansara), who is freshly released from prison and out to settle the score with his estranged, abusive father (Vic Perrin). A good-looking widow (Colleen Gray) and her young son, plus some laid-back, thoughtful advice from wise, watchful Mitch, cause Jay to rethink his resentment-fueled quest. A script that doesn’t shy away from the dark, damaging legacy of child abuse, plus a strong performance by Ansara, make this a compelling story. Similarly to Stoney Burke, all the little touches depicting the daily lives of rodeo workers and miscellaneous hangers-on are fascinating. This show premiered a few weeks before Stoney Burke. Both were gone by the next fall...I guess two quality dramas about rodeo cowboys were two too many. Pity, as they're both very fine shows. At least back then, if a show got a full season order, there were a decent number of episodes made. There are 28 episodes of Wide Country, and 32 of Stoney Burke...by today's standards, that's a good 3 or 4 seasons! This is another DVD set from Timeless, and while the transfers don't look as nice as the ones on Stoney Burke, they are plenty watchable.

Harry-O – 1.9 “Second Sight”
Grumpy P.I. Harry Orwell (the great David Jannsen) gets involved with a blind psychic and best-selling author, who has predicted a series of murders and is now convinced her own death is imminent. Is she a fake, or is she on the level? The fact that the psychic in question is played by the lovely Stefanie Powers makes Harry’s interest in the case completely understandable. I love how gruff and prickly Jannsen makes Harry, while still keeping him likeable, and the sarcastic back-and-forth with his police contact pal, Lt. “Manny” Quinlan (Henry Darrow) is always fun. The dialogue and overall caliber of acting is quite good on this show, and the San Diego locations in these early S1 episodes adds a welcome unique vibe.




Mr. Lucky – 1.21 “I Bet Your Life”
Someone in Mr. Lucky’s circle of acquaintances has placed a wager, in which they will receive $1,000 every consecutive day that he stays alive despite a hired assassin’s attempts to kill him. Will Lucky’s seemingly infinite supply of good fortune last long enough for him to track down the culprit and save his life? John Vivyan is a solid enough leading man, and is helped immeasurably by being paired with reliable scene stealer Ross Martin as his sidekick, Andamo. Slick and sleek, with well-crafted mystery plots and lush music by Henry Mancini, make this short-lived Blake Edwards joint a winner. Also with R.G. Armstrong, Ross Elliott, Milton Parsons and the supremely sexy Mari Blanchard. Universal sci-fi legend Jack Arnold directed this one, and it's a gas, man.

 
Last edited:

JohnHopper

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
1,915
Real Name
John Hopper
Stoney Burke – 1.10 “The Wanderer”
One of two modern western dramas based around the rodeo circuit that premiered (and ended) in the 1962-1963 TV season. Stoney Burke (Jack Lord) is a skilled bronco rider who travels around the American west in quest of the Golden Buckle championship. Along the way, he gets involved with the lives of assorted troubled souls, ne’er-do-wells and damsels in distress…and since he’s a real stand-up guy, goes out of his way to help them. That’s very much the case in this episode, as Stoney comes to the aid of a pregnant friend (Jacqueline Scott) who’s searching for her itinerant husband (Albert Salmi). Like most episodes of this series, it’s a unique, adult and finely acted drama with lots of real-life rodeo footage and background detail.

Leslie Stevens and the skilled crew of his Daystar Productions company brought a lot of talent to bear on this series, both in front of and behind the camera...and it really shows, from the frequently noirish cinematography (often by Conrad Hall), music by Dominic Frontiere, and an array of heavy-hitter guest stars...not to mention the regular cast (which includes Warren Oates and Bruce Dern, as two of Stoney’s entourage.) Stevens and many of the same personnel from this show would go on to make the much more famous but equally well-produced sci-fi classic, The Outer Limits. This is another gem of a DVD set from the irreplaceable Timeless Media Group, before they were bought out (and closed down) by Shout! Factory.


Stay with us, Stoney!
Excellent episode with a fine cast!

 

Rustifer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
2,133
Location
Carmel, Indiana
Real Name
Russ J.
Episode Commentary
Bat Masterson
"License to Cheat" (S1E17)

In 1958, the Ben Cooper Toy Company decided it would be a swell idea to manufacture authentic plastic Bat Masterson canes. Their target market was the millions of kids fascinated with their Western hero, Bat. Tens of thousands of canes were eagerly bought up for birthday and Christmas presents, and in no time at all--kids all over the country were bashing in each others' heads with the lethal weapon. Society was outraged. Scathing articles were published. Lawsuits were threatened. Sadly, the genuine official Bat Masterson walking sticks were withdrawn from the market. This, of course, made more room for the official William Tell Archery Sets, insuring that eyes would be put out from kids attempting to shoot arrows at apples poised on their friends' heads. The toy industry was never much of a Socratic think tank.

Bat (Gene Barry) is pissed. Seems that all the poker games in Mason City, Kansas are crooked. The proceeds went conveniently to the town's sheriff (Douglas Kennedy)--a bastion of public service and graft. Bat takes it upon himself to run a "clean" poker table, forgoing the "Dealer Protective Association" dues--the designated funnel for the sheriff's take. Not even the alluring saloon vamp Miss Ellie (Allison Hayes) can talk Bat out of such foolishness. You can't hold sway with a man who dresses like the majority stock holder of Brooks Brothers.

1605541647581.png
1605541696050.png
1605541720522.png

Allison Hayes; You cheatin' buzzard!!; Bat's morning routine of picking out his suit for the day.

Poor Bat barely gets through his first game before being hauled off to jail by a jealous sheriff. A guy just can't catch a break in Mason City, Kansas. While in the stony lonesome, Bat demonstrates all the tricks of card cheating to fellow inmate and soon to be acolyte, Red (Moody Blanchard). The sheriff releases Bat upon promise never to play cards in town again, so Bat quickly sets up Red as his dealer. Sitting behind him, Bat taps his cane whenever he spots a cheat. Bat's "clean" game is soon clearing out all the sharks and incensing the sheriff. To put an end to Bat's cane tapping, he sets up a duplicate cane with an explosive charge in the tip. The deadly switcheroo is made and now we wait breathlessly for Bat's next tap of his walking stick. He nearly drops it twice, just to add suspense. At the saloon, Bat orders breakfast from Ellie--Belgian waffles, a half hock of smoked ham, hash browns, toast and an Egg McMuffin. He'll be visiting his tailor soon to let the suit out a bit.

Bat has cane in hand while watching his poker game--and by the sheriff's fidgeting-- soon works out that his stick is booby-trapped. He tosses the deadly weapon at the sheriff, who is immediately spread like pate throughout the saloon. Appetizers on the house.

Notes
The Bat Masterson theme song is accredited to David Rose, famous for the 1962 The Stripper composition, as well as also being married to Martha Raye and Judy Garland, although not at the same time.
 

Rustifer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
2,133
Location
Carmel, Indiana
Real Name
Russ J.
Wagon Train – 1.9 “The Charles Avery Story”
My previous viewings of this show left me with the feeling that it was much more a talky drama than the usual action-based sort of western that I prefer (in other words, there just wasn't enough "western" in this western, for my tastes)...
That's exactly why I never got too deep into this series either, Jeff. Yak yak yak yak to no end. Great for character development, lousy for pure raw cowboy action. I also suspect it was on opposite something else that I preferred more--I think for one season it was against The Aquanauts (which I dearly loved) and later competed with The Virginian (hard to beat the combination of James Drury and Doug McClure).

Wagon Train is being rerun on MeTV, so I may check into an episode or two to see if my opinion has changed.
 

Rustifer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
2,133
Location
Carmel, Indiana
Real Name
Russ J.
Episode Commentary
Wanted: Dead or Alive
"One Mother Too Many" (S3E11)

In this series, imagine Steve McQueen riding into town on some real horsepower--his 1968 Highland green Mustang GT fastback from "Bullitt". Now that would make the townsfolk take notice and recognize he's not a man with which to trifle. The engine noise alone would be enough to send everyone's horse heading to the hills in fright. Bank robbers would abandon their stolen bags of cash. Gunfighters would lay down their six shooters in retreat. Card sharks would take up Pinochle. Yes, if you're a bounty hunter, the Mustang is truly a muscle car.

By request, Josh Randall (Steve McQueen) calls on the widow of his late army buddy. Beth (Joyce Meadows) offers to hire Josh to be her husband. Heretofore, he's had an unwritten rule to keep his gun in his holster, so to speak, around widows no matter how good looking. Beth is fearful that her dead husband's mother Irene (Betty Lou Gerson) will demand custody of her young son Davey (Bryan Russell).
Josh accepts Beth's offer--$4 a day plus food. He plans to invest this money in a stupid little startup called Microsoft in hopes it reaps a dividend down the road. And who knows, maybe engage in a little hanky panky with the widow after a couple shots of redeye.

1605625055565.png
1605625104952.png
1605625118738.png

Josh reveals Davey's hair gel; Beth watches Davey being taken away; Josh respectfully asks the judge where the restroom is

Bitterly stern Irene wants Davey and won't take no for an answer. She has papers. Beth has no recourse but to give up her child to her mother-in-law. "I'm dying on the inside", she cries to Josh. "Yep", he replies, not necessarily known for Shakespearian-level words of comfort. Well, the whole story could end here--but Josh decides to take the case to a judge--who's not initially disposed to help Josh out.

Meanwhile, little Davey is trying to make do under the dour eye of his grandmother. It's tough going, as the old biddy doesn't allow booze, cigarettes or Hustler magazines in the house. How's a kid supposed to grow up correctly in that environment? Worst of all, Irene wants Davey to eventually enroll in the local community college and hopefully grow a career as a garage mechanic.

Josh soon comes to rescue the kid, only to find he's run away. Davey spends the next several days running into character-building adventures that he'll later expand upon while recounting to his grandkids. He's is eventually found by Josh, and with the assistance of the now-helpful judge, is rightfully returned to his mother--despite Irene offering Davey a lifelong subscription to Motor Trend.

With ghastly shortsightedness, Josh swaps his Microsoft stock for the subscription to Motor Trend magazine.
 
Last edited:

Jeff Flugel

Premium
Joined
Jan 7, 1999
Messages
2,327
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
Conagher (1991 TV Movie)
Jacob Teale (Billy Green Bush) brings his teenaged son, young daughter and new wife, Evie (Katherine Ross) to a remote cabin he's built for them in the middle of the prairie. He leaves them a few horses, a shotgun and $50 and heads off to buy some cattle, but along the way, his horse slips and falls, crushing him beneath it, and he dies, dreams unfulfilled, as so many did back in the settling of the west. Evie and the children fend for themselves as best they can, getting a spot of luck when a new stage line comes through and uses their place as a temporary stop, until a new, permanent station is built. Evie enjoys the company and money that operating the stage stop brings, but still pines for the kind of companionship and romance she has not yet experienced in life.

Meanwhile, tough, honorable cowpoke Conn Conagher (Sam Elliott, in a career best performance) takes a job riding herd for an aging rancher (Ken Curtis) and ends up fighting a one-man battle against a gang of outlaw rustlers. Slowly these two lonely people come into each other's orbit, and a gradual romance blooms...But have no fear, western action fans, for though this is a wonderful character study, there are shootouts and punch-ups aplenty (this is Louis L'Amour we're talking about here, after all), not to mention lots of gorgeous Colorado scenery, elegantly captured by cinematographer James R. Bagdonas.

Director Reynaldo Villalobos uses natural light whenever possible, and is patient enough to let scenes play out in as authentic a way as possible, which, along with the low-key performances and dialogue, makes these characters feel like real people at all times. Ms. Ross, 51 years old at the time, is perhaps 20 years too old for the part as written, but her quietly emotive performance and fading but still formidable beauty carries it off with aplomb. And Sam Elliott, with his bushy handlebar moustache, lean, wolfish physique and slow, deep drawl, is letter perfect as Conagher (he's got a great hat, too.) A good cast of character actors rounds out the film, including Barry Corbin as a friendly stagecoach driver, Gavan O'Herlihy, Buck Taylor, Paul Koslo and James Gammon as outlaws, and, in one brief scene, Buck's more famous pa, Dub Taylor.

Back in the '80s and '90s, the cable channel TNT made a number of fine western telefilms, and this one is the best of the bunch, IMO. I've seen it several times over the years, but only recently read the Louis L'Amour novel on which it is based. It's a very good novel, and the TV movie does the wise thing and follows its structure almost to the letter, with most of its dialogue lifted verbatim from the book. Both Sam Elliott and Katherine Ross, married in real life, get a co-writing credit on the screenplay with Jeffrey M. Meyer (Elliott was also a producer on the film), and it's obvious that the movie was a labor of love for everyone involved. The DVD looks OK, perfectly watchable, but this is just such a well-made, well-shot film that it deserves a brand spanking new HD clean-up and Blu-Ray release some day.


 
Last edited:

JohnHopper

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
1,915
Real Name
John Hopper
_______________________________________________________
I’m still exploring the ninth season of Gunsmoke and I’m on my way to dig into the second disc.​
Disc 1 features a gem entitled “Lover Boy” guest starring Ken Curtis as skirt chaser Kyle Kelly​
and he shines during that 50 minutes drama. Highly recommended!​
kelly.png
 

Jack P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
4,923
I went through a set of NBC recordings of the short-lived "Cliffhangers" from 1979 (the unaired in the US last episode comes from a 1981 British TV airing). It has a "watchable" quality that other infamous flops of this year do not have (i.e. "Supertrain" which is hard to take more than once!) but still comes off as very flawed.

Of the three segments, it's obvious that "Curse of Dracula" was the most popular and the most effective. So much so that after the first two episodes, NBC changed the program sequence. Originally, "Stop Susan Williams" with Susan Anton aired first, in keeping with the theme that Anton was the "star" of the series and was getting a LOT of publicity at the time in specials, TV-movies etc. But starting with the third week it was switched so "Dracula" came first instead of third, and "Stop Susan Williams" came third. "Secret Empire" which is by far the weak link of the entire show stayed in the middle.

"Curse of Dracula" comes off best because of Michael Nouri's charismatic presence which tied in to the whole new trend of making Dracula a sex symbol type image that Frank Langella was already doing on Broadway and later in the big-screen movie . It's a big shift away from the old Bela Lugosi/Christopher Lee image of Dracula. But another bonus is Louise Sorel's outstanding performance as Amanda Gibbons, a past victim of Dracula turned vampire who is determined to save her daughter from becoming a victim as well. It's only too bad that Sorel doesn't show up until more than half-way through the storyline because her presence really boosts things.

The rest of the cast of "Dracula" ranges from poor to competent. The reason here is because "Stop Susan Williams" took up so much of the budget casting wise for Susan Anton, a LOT of people who were just minor contract players for Universal ended up getting thrust into large-scale roles for the first and pretty much last time in their careers. When the series starts, we have established as Dracula's pursuers, the grandson of his old nemesis Dr. Van Helsing and his assistant Mary, who as we'll eventually learn is the daughter of Sorel's vampire transformed character and has a revenge motive. They are played by unknowns Stephen Johnson and Carol Baxter (who had a couple bit parts in "Battlestar Galactica" before this). Johnson is simply an ineffectual "hero" lead, coming off as a not-too-bright geek who gets easily duped and can never hold his own in a crisis. This may have been deliberate in order to let Nouri shine more as the charismatic lead, but it hurts the overall production. Baxter fares a little better and is competent once we get into the storyline of her as potential victim for Dracula, but the problem is that this happens much too easily and it's hard to buy the idea that she was a competent investigator before she started to come under his spell. Because Dracula in keeping with the "Cliffhangers" gimmick of starting "mid-stream" begins with "Chapter Six" it's probably a case of us just being supposed to assume the character was more professional in the untold part of the story but combined with the ineffective Johnson as Van Helsing it doesn't come off. That said, both Johnson and Baxter are MUCH better than the college age students who serve as Dracula's minions and compared to the truly awful performances in the "Secret Empire" series their shortcomings are forgivable in that at least they don't take you out of the storyline which is compelling towards the end once Sorel shows up. An alternate ending of the last chapter showing Dracula escaping was used for a later re-editing of the story and supposedly NBC was thinking of a spinoff "Dracula" series with Nouri but this never came off.

"Secret Empire" the remake of a 1930s Gene Autry serial is just awful. The combination western/sci-fi story in which the above-ground western scenes are filmed in a sepia/black and white concoction while the alien world is color just doesn't work nor is it very compelling. It also has some of the worst acting I've ever seen in a TV show. Geoffrey Scott is a likable but bland lead so we don't have the strength of a charismatic lead to hold our attention. It doesn't help when we get better stuff from the villains such as Mark Lenard (as the evil alien leader) and Peter Breck (as a crooked transporter of gold shipments Lenard tries to deal with). Anyone who is a fan of "Night Gallery" will never be able to look at the "Pickman's Model" episode again and be scared to death since the same head is used for a cuddly alien named "Taz". And then there is the sheer surreal campiness of seeing Peter Tomarken, the future host of the game show "Press Your Luck" in his only acting part as a good member of the alien society. His entire delivery shows why his future was as a game show host and every time he talks I keep expecting him to warn Scott to "avoid the Whammy!"

But the real bottom of the barrel in "Secret Empire" that shows how actors who weren't up to the task were being thrust into this comes in the form of Diane Markoff, cast as Lenard's bad princesss daughter. Markoff had a recurring role as the waitress at Danny's bar on "Quincy" but that was a part that just required her to deliver at most one or two lines and look good serving drinks. When they give her dialogue and scenes it's like watching a train wreck. And the powers that be realized that she was in over her head because late in the storyline they actually concocted a story element of her character getting an appearance change makeover (Courtesty of an alien device) so that Markoff now suddenly becomes Stepfanie Kramer, who at least could deliver her lines better. All-in-all, there just isn't much to recommend in this one. "Dracula" despite it's flaws is compelling viewing. "Secret Empire" isn't.

"Stop Susan Williams" which was supposed to be the showcase serial, falls in the middle. As the "Star" of the piece, Susan Anton isn't a disgrace but she's not a standout either, and because the format requires her to get trapped in a peril at the end of each segment it has the effect of making her not seem that bright. The boyfriend she picks up along the way, tough guy Michael Swan, is always calling her "Candy Cane" and "Sweet Cakes" which with his poor delivery will make even the less PC-inclined feel a bit uncomfortable. Albert Paulsen is a good scenery-chewing villain as the mastermind of everything, though the lack of a confrontation between him and Anton doesn't help (though the way things end, had "Cliffhangers" survived as a show, another "Susan Williams" serial pitting her against Paulsen was clearly intended). The international intrigue plot is okay but the show would have IMO benefited from a stronger lead than Anton was.

It'd be nice to see an official release of the show on DVD but I know it will never come. I'm glad at least someone liked the show enough to get all the episodes in their NBC airings AND the unaired last episode. I can tell why the last episode got yanked though in the US because the "Dracula" storyline had ended in the next to last episode necessitating two episodes of "Secret Empire" to finish that up along with the last "Stop Susan Williams" segment. NBC probably figured that without Dracula, the ratings would be even more bad than they already were and no one would have cared! (A re-edited "Susan Williams" telemovie was later made called "The Girl Who Saved The World").
 

Doug Wallen

Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2001
Messages
10,117
Location
Macon, Ga.
Real Name
Doug
Zorro - The Complete Season 2
The Gay Cabellero (2.16) Cesar Romero, Patricia Medina. Diego's uncle arrives and sets the town on edge with his shady dealings. Seems like Romero is having a blast with this character.

Tornado Is Missing (2.17) Cesar Romero, Patricia Medina. Tornado goes missing from his stall, and though Diego, Alejandro, and Bernardo go searching for him, he is found by Estevan, who keeps him and plans to use him to win money in a race, and then to find and collect the reward for Zorro's capture.

Zorro vs. Cupid (2.18) Cesar Romero, Patricia Medina. Estevan announces his engagement to Margarita Cotazar. Knowing that his gold-digger uncle is interested only in her money, Diego determines to stop him, as Zorro.

The Legend Of Zorro (2.19) Cesar Romero, Patricia Medina. Consistently frustrated by Zorro in his attempts to court and marry Margarita, Estevan tells Diego he is giving up and leaving for Spain, but he actually has one final plan left.

Spark of Revenge (2.20) Neil Hamilton, Robert Vaughn. A severe drought has affected ranchers both big and small. Unfortunately, big rancher Don Hilario will not allow smaller ranchers like Miguel Roverto to use water from his ranch, as he has been forced to sell off his own cattle for half price. When Miguel's house burns down because he had no water with which to put it out, he blames Don Hilario for it.

The Missing Father (2.21) Annette Funicello, Penny Santon, Wendell Holmes. Anita Cabrillo comes to Los Angeles looking for her father, whom she has not seen in twelve years. But nobody in town has ever heard of her father or his hacienda. Diego invites Anita to stay at the de la Vega hacienda until the mystery can be solved.

Please Believe Me (2.22) Annette Funicello, Penny Santon, Wendell Holmes. To show she is telling the truth about her claim that her father wrote her from Los Angeles, Anita looks for the letters he wrote, but cannot find them in her bags and claims they were stolen. Diego suspects that somebody has been deliberately deceiving her, and that the attempts to get her to return to Spain are part of an effort to cover up the truth.

The Brooch (2.23) Annette Funicello, Penny Santon, Wendell Holmes. Don Alejandro is about to tell Anita she must return to Spain, until he notices the brooch she is wearing. Anita says her father sent it to her from Los Angeles. Alejandro recognizes it as having belonged to Diego's mother, and remembers giving it to the church for auction after her death. Diego and Alejandro realize that if they can determine who bought the brooch at auction, they can find Anita's father. But Anita is in danger from Ruiz and Jose, who have already found her father, and hold him for ransom until she brings her gold to them in exchange.

Gunsmoke - Season 10 - 12
Taps For Old Jeb (11.5) Ed Begley, Morgan Woodward, Wayne Rogers, Arthur Batanides, Don Keefer. Jeb and his partner make a strike and come to Dodge and the LongBranch to celebrate. Since the strike is so big, Jeb hires a bodyguard who may not be totally honest. Entertaining episode.

Kioga (11.6) Teno Pollick, Neville Brand. A young Pawnee arrives in Dodge to seek his own revenge on a murderer, not trusting in the white man's justice. Excellent episode.

The Bounty Hunter (11.7) Robert Lansing, Wright King, Bert Freed. A rancher lures a bounty hunter (friend of Festus) out of retirement to find his son's killer. The more the hunter investigates, he becomes convinced of the man's innocence which leads to a conflict with the rancher. Another strong episode.

The Reward (11.8) James Whitmore, David Ladd, Peter Whitney. A convicted con man returns to the scene of his crime to convince the townsfolk of Dodge that he was not lying about gold in the mine. A tale of attempted redemption.

Have Gun - Will Travel - Complete Series
The Vigil (5.1) Mary Fickett, George Kennedy. Paladin is hired to transport a nurse to a remote town. Along the way, they encounter some potential killers.

Education Of Sarah Jane (5.2) Duane Eddy, Jena Engstrom, Peggy Rhea. A love story concerning the Darrow and Tyler families (think Hatfield's and McCoy's).

The Revenger (5.3) Anthony Caruso, Rayford Barnes, Harry Carey Jr., Shug Fisher, Tom Conway. Paladin takes a $500 stagecoach ride with an embezzler, a convicted cutthroat, an adulteress and a murderer to collect the other half of that bill. He runs into a Mexican bandit bent on knowing who among them is responsible for the death of the wife of one of his men. Good thing his name is Solomon.

Odds For Big Red (5.4) Hope Holiday, Richard Ney, Robert Karnes. Paladin takes a $500 stagecoach ride with an embezzler, a convicted cutthroat, an adulteress and a murderer to collect the other half of that bill. He runs into a Mexican bandit bent on knowing who among them is responsible for the death of the wife of one of his men. Good thing his name is Solomon.

A Proof Of Love (5.5) Charles Bronson, George Kennedy, Chana Eden. A momma's boy (Charles Bronson) needs help to pursue a mail order bride who settled for a different fellow (George Kennedy).

The Gospel Singer (5.6) Suzi Carnell, John McLiam, Ed Peck, Roy Engel. Paladin encounters Sister Melissa on his way to aid a town with a crime problem. Sister Melissa thinks unilateral disarmament is the answer, even though Paladin knows it is not.

The Race (5.7) Ben Johnson, Michael Pate. Paladin is hired to win a horse race. He is unaware of a substantial side bet. Upon learning the details, Paladin makes some changes.

Rawhide - Season 2 Volume 2
Incident Of The Music Maker (2.29) Peter Whitney, Werner Klemperer. When Gil receives a nasty wound that becomes seriously infected, he is unaware of a Swiss jack-of-all-trades that has totally unarmed his cowboys. The Swiss has a plan for some of the cattle.

Incident Of The Silent Web (2.30) Reba Waters, Don Haggerty, Paul Langton, Charles Maxwell. A young girl is so shocked at her father's murder that she cannot speak. She is taken captive by two escaped convicts.

Incident Of The Last Chance (2.31) John Kerr, Roxanne Berard, John Marley, Jon Lormer, Hank Patterson. Gil takes a protective interest in a stranded tenderfoot couple. Rowdy is interested in the wife.

Incident In The Garden Of Eden (2.32) John Ireland, Debra Paget, J. Pat O'Malley. Rowdy leaves to buy cattle to replenish the herd. He comes to a town of an eccentric English patriarch living with his beautiful daughter. Rowdy doesn't understand why he seems so afraid to sell the cattle without his foreman's permission.

Combat - The Complete Series
The Sniper (1.28) Hans Gudegast (Eric Braeden), Gail Kobe. The squad enters a French village that was recently vacated by the Germans, and receives 48 hours of R&R. A German soldier has remained behind, and is killing the Americans one at a time.

One More For The Road (1.29) Our regulars show their tender side when they find a baby who mother is dead. Naturally the Sgt. is the gruffest soldier who gradually weakens and saves the baby. Interesting wrinkle with the standard trope.

High Named Today (1.31) Dean Stockwell. Hanley, Saunders and their men are worried that the reckless bravery of a reputed one-man death-squad will get them all killed.

No Trumpets, No Drums (1.32) Jean Del Val. Experiencing extreme guilt, Caje neglects his duties to spend time with a young French girl whose father he accidentally killed in an assault on their village.

Daniel Boone - Season 2
The Prisoners (2.21) Warren Stevens, Chris Alcaide, Kelton Garwood. As the execution of Edward Eliot is carried out under the supervision of Colonel Calloway, his brother Matthew Eliot, watching from the stockade where he awaits the same fate, vows revenge. After escaping jail, Eliot, and his confederates, kidnaps Jemima and Israel to force Daniel to bring Calloway to him.

The Fifth Man (2.22) Cameron Mitchell, John McLiam, Shug Fisher, Vic Tayback, John Hoyt. In order to stop the British from taking Fort Cumberland, Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia recruits Daniel to lead a small group of men to blow up a bridge at Stover Station. In order to get there in three days they must travel through dangerous Tuscarora territory with the help of Tuscarora Chief Catahecassa.

Gun-Barrel Highway (2.23) John Kellog, Dennis Cross. Cassady was supposed to build a new road in the wilderness around Shawnee land. But when he decides there isn't enough time before winter to build the longer route, he decides to go straight through Shawnee land and into a possible war.

The Search (2.24) Willard Sage, Red Morgan, Nita Talbot, Michael Ansara. Daniel is taking a boatload of furs to New Orleans when he is jumped and pushed off his boat. When he comes to, he heads to New Orleans to track down the thief. The plot thickens, however, involving a pretty woman, a fight in a hotel lobby, and a search for buried treasure.

Fifty Rifles (2.25) Henry Wilcoxin. An old friend of Daniel's steals some rifles and then sell them to the Indians. Daniel is set on stopping this. An episode that certainly plays on the Robin Hood like nature of Mr. Blunt.

The Avengers - Complete Emma Peel Megaset
Silent Dust (4.14) Jack Watson, Conrad Phillips. When birds begin to fall from branches in flocks, it seems someone is using the banned chemical Silent Dust in the countryside of Cornwall. Steed and Mrs Peel soon find out a that a small group of local landowners is planning to use the deadly dust to blackmail the country by destroying Dorset.

Room Without A View (4.15) A missing scientist returns after having disappeared. He's half-mad and attacks his Asian wife. Steed and Peel find out that seven other scientists have also disappeared - none having returned - but all have one thing in common; they were all booked at the Chessman hotel when they vanished.

Small Game For Big Hunters (4.16) Bill Fraser, Liam Redmond. A man dressed in Safari clothes is found in Hertfortshire with an arrow in his back, and falls into a coma-like state. All clues lead to a delusional Colonel living nearby. Whilst Emma watches over an increasing number of comatose men, Steed's invited into the Colonel's officers club.
 

Jack P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
4,923
The Avengers - Small Game For Big Hunters (4.16) Bill Fraser, Liam Redmond. A man dressed in Safari clothes is found in Hertfortshire with an arrow in his back, and falls into a coma-like state. All clues lead to a delusional Colonel living nearby. Whilst Emma watches over an increasing number of comatose men, Steed's invited into the Colonel's officers club.

And the bonus of seeing Emma Peel in a sarong! :)

 

JohnHopper

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
1,915
Real Name
John Hopper
Gunsmoke - Season 10 - 12
Taps For Old Jeb (11.5) Ed Begley, Morgan Woodward, Wayne Rogers, Arthur Batanides, Don Keefer. Jeb and his partner make a strike and come to Dodge and the LongBranch to celebrate. Since the strike is so big, Jeb hires a bodyguard who may not be totally honest. Entertaining episode.

Kioga (11.6) Teno Pollick, Neville Brand. A young Pawnee arrives in Dodge to seek his own revenge on a murderer, not trusting in the white man's justice. Excellent episode.

The Bounty Hunter (11.7) Robert Lansing, Wright King, Bert Freed. A rancher lures a bounty hunter (friend of Festus) out of retirement to find his son's killer. The more the hunter investigates, he becomes convinced of the man's innocence which leads to a conflict with the rancher. Another strong episode.

The Reward (11.8) James Whitmore, David Ladd, Peter Whitney. A convicted con man returns to the scene of his crime to convince the townsfolk of Dodge that he was not lying about gold in the mine. A tale of attempted redemption.


The cream of the crop remains “The Bounty Hunter”
It’s a dual family affair (Thornton and Jensen’s), a marital dilemma, a good existential drama disguised as a bounty hunter intrigue. Actor Robert Lansing’s performance is impeccable and makes this entry exciting. Don’t miss the intense fight scene between diehard Frazer and his shady client Thornton at the ranch and its wild aftermaths. Festus knows Luke Frazer from way back. During the bath scene, we learn about the true motivations of Frazer. As in most series, the bounty hunter is considered as a harbinger of death and people refuse to cooperate with him. Thad is absent. Actor Wright King looks like Henry Fonda in this episode because he talks and behaves as him in his western feature films: see John Ford’s My Darling Clementine. The majority of the stock music comes from Leon Klatzkin’s “The Storm” and sustains the edgy and tense atmosphere of the drama.


Combat - The Complete Series
The Sniper (1.28) Hans Gudegast (Eric Braeden), Gail Kobe. The squad enters a French village that was recently vacated by the Germans, and receives 48 hours of R&R. A German soldier has remained behind, and is killing the Americans one at a time.

One More For The Road (1.29) Our regulars show their tender side when they find a baby who mother is dead. Naturally the Sgt. is the gruffest soldier who gradually weakens and saves the baby. Interesting wrinkle with the standard trope.

High Named Today (1.31) Dean Stockwell. Hanley, Saunders and their men are worried that the reckless bravery of a reputed one-man death-squad will get them all killed.

No Trumpets, No Drums (1.32) Jean Del Val. Experiencing extreme guilt, Caje neglects his duties to spend time with a young French girl whose father he accidentally killed in an assault on their village.


The best of the bunch remain “The Sniper” because of the performance of Hans Gudegast and the espionage theme of the German infiltrator posing as a local French man which leads to surprises and a complicated love affair.


The Avengers - Complete Emma Peel Megaset
Silent Dust (4.14) Jack Watson, Conrad Phillips. When birds begin to fall from branches in flocks, it seems someone is using the banned chemical Silent Dust in the countryside of Cornwall. Steed and Mrs Peel soon find out a that a small group of local landowners is planning to use the deadly dust to blackmail the country by destroying Dorset.

Room Without A View (4.15) A missing scientist returns after having disappeared. He's half-mad and attacks his Asian wife. Steed and Peel find out that seven other scientists have also disappeared - none having returned - but all have one thing in common; they were all booked at the Chessman hotel when they vanished.

Small Game For Big Hunters (4.16) Bill Fraser, Liam Redmond. A man dressed in Safari clothes is found in Hertfortshire with an arrow in his back, and falls into a coma-like state. All clues lead to a delusional Colonel living nearby. Whilst Emma watches over an increasing number of comatose men, Steed's invited into the Colonel's officers club.


“Room Without A View” is the top one.
Roughly, it exploits one of Mission: Impossible’s cleverest trick: the location con and that’s the main reason why I rank this episode high on my list. It’s not perfect but the ante is high. I like Mrs Peel as a hotel receptionist and the hotel is decorated with a chess game tapestry (sic!). I still wonder if the owner of the restaurant pay and make work real Chinese soldiers. Are they artists or not? The sherry on top of the cake is the fake Room 621 where all the sent customers end up gased down! Nevertheless, the motivation of the restaurant owner is to open a franchise in another country in exchange of British scientists sold to the Soviets. The episode makes a veiled reference not to Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate but to Furie’s The Ipcress File and if you remember agent Palmer ends up in a phony Soviet cell and torture to talk. This is the same framework here. Read the plotline of the film: In London, counter espionage agent Harry Palmer deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
346,012
Messages
4,763,492
Members
141,635
Latest member
JasonJJJ
Top