Will I Like Wanted Dead orv Alive

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Dave Scarpa, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I bought Have Gun will Travel and loved that Sight unseen, do you thin k I'll like this Steve Mcqueen Series coming June 7th? It's a nice loooking set and should be available for around $29.95 OR SO.
     
  2. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    Far be it from me to predict what one might like, but I think "Wanted: Dead or Alive" was a pretty solid series. Not quite up to the level of "Have Gun, Will Travel" or the half-hour "Gunsmoke," but all in all, rather nice. Fans of Steve McQueen (of which I'm not particularly) would undoubtedly give it more points. I'll definately be getting the set, as there are many episodes I haven't seen. Really good news to hear about this coming out.
     
  3. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    I'm glad to see this and I'm also glad I didn't get too far on my transfers. I had just started running this off to DVD from the uncut run from Encore in the late 90s. Now I can move on to other series. Only thing I'm curious about though is with the bonuses is why they aren't including the pilot, which was an episode of Trackdown. Both series were produced by Four Star which I believe would make them property of Fox now.
     
  4. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Wanted: Dead or Alive was an OK half-hour western series that aired on CBS from 1958 to 1961. It was after Steve McQueen had already been in a Paul Newman film and during Steve's rise to movie stardom, because he had made a few lesser films (such as the ultra low-budget docudrama "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery" and the hit western "The Magnificent Seven") in between seasons of his series.

    McQueen was allowed to ride his motorcycle around the studio lot during breaks. Perhaps no performer as famous as he would get that honor again until Dan Aykroyd rode his Harley into the hallways of Rockefeller Plaza at NBC during his 4 years on Saturday Night Live in the 1970s.

    McQueen played a macho bounty hunter named Josh Randall, who basically roams the 1870s West the same way Paladin did in Have Gun, Will Travel. One major difference is that Josh is not as intelligent as Paladin, and certainly not as cultured. In one change of pace comedic episode, an embarassed Randall gets tricked into an assignment to protect a herd of sheep!! Another difference is that while Paladin prefers a handgun (and an occasional rifle), Josh Randall has a sawed-off shotgun.

    There were 94 episodes of Wanted: Dead or Alive. I saw them all in 1980s reruns on the USA Network.

    During the second season, Wright King became a semi-regular as Deputy Sheriff Jason Nichols, but was seen in only a handful of episodes. I think they brought him in just in case, McQueen ever decided to quit the series (which didn't happen).
    The familiar opening of Josh walking down a street and ripping a wanted posted off a wall was re-filmed for the third season.

    Some of the the episodes were colorized during the 1980s computer colorization craze that is fortunately now a thing of the past for TV shows, and those were released on VHS. Obviously the DVDs will be in black & white as they were filmed.
     
  5. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Actually the set will include 3 or 4 of the colorized episodes as Bonuses. The original B&W versions will also be included. It's a 4 disk set, 4 double sided disks.
     
  6. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I put lots of historical detail about how McQueen got the role and where he went from there in my news story, which includes disc-by-disc detail about episodes and extras, including which colorized episodes are included as bonuses. I daresay this is probably the most thorough news story about the release you're likely to find in the mainstream. That was my goal, anyway...McQueen's not one of my personal faves, mind you, but he IS a Hollywood legend and deserves no less!
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Preach on, Dave!

    That was a very good story by the way. And it cleared up a number of questions for me. Thanks![​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Why would a few of the colorized episodes of Wanted: Dead or Alive be included as extras? If Steve McQueen lived to see that had been done to his only TV series, I believe he would have been highly offended.
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I don't particularly care one way or the other (since I'm not going to watch the colorized ones) but instead of those, why not put in the episode of Trackdown that was the pilot for the series?
     
  10. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I'm surprised Robert Culp hasn't tried to get his Trackdown series released on DVD. The way he talked about it on the audio commentary on one of the I SPY discs, he was also proud of his work on that show.

    Trackdown lasted 2 years in the late 1950s, and for a time alternated with The Jack Benny Program. Steve McQueen guest starred as Josh Randall in the first season story called "The Brothers". I saw an episode of Trackdown that I got from tape trading with someone I knew 20 years ago, but that wasn't the one. The only thing that hurt the show was the narration, which might have been because Trackdown was based on true 19 century case files of the Texas Rangers.
     
  11. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Watch the first Episode of 'Wanted: Dead or Alive' last night. Good contrast, clean image. But it's an obvious conversion from a PAL source. Ghosting and horrible aliasing. That's probably all Studio Canal would give them.
     
  12. Tom.W

    Tom.W Stunt Coordinator

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    Wanted: D/A was well produced, visually impressive, and had lots of interesting guest stars. I wouldn't put in the category of Have Gun or Gunsmoke, though. I've been watching episodes I taped off Encore Western in 1998. The writing is fairly routine, plot details are handled in a predictable manner. But that shouldn't lesson the show's appeal to fans of McQueen or the genre. There's enough action and guest stars to warrant dvd season sets.
     

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