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Old TV Westerns

Posted: April 17th, 2007, 9:19 pm
by mrsl
Most of you know I love Westerns by now. I thought I'd start this thread for anyone who watches the old series like I do.

The Rifleman: Today was a good one. It was a two-part run back to back today. Lucas, Mark, and Micah were all caught by some really wierdo bandits and their method of escape was quite different. Seeing Lucas without his rifle was different to say the least. One of the bandits told Mark to toss the rifle down, and Lucas said to go ahead. Mark looks at him and says "But Pa, ON THE GROUND?!?! Heaven forbid the icon be treated so badly!!! I'm still having a ball watching these shows. Someone showed me a link to a site devoted to Lucas and the North Fork crew, and that has been a joy for me to read and try my luck at the trivia.


Posted: April 17th, 2007, 10:05 pm
by cinemalover
Ah, mrsl, we meet again. I know you love the Rifleman and since we all have a chance to see it now that it is running daily on the Western Channel I thought I'd import some of my previous episode write-ups to your new thread. I am actually watching a disc with 6 episodes tonight so I'll have new thouights to add tomorrow. It just amazes me at how high the quality bar remains for this show, episode after episode.

Date watched: 3/26/2007
Title: The Rifleman TV Show Made: 1958-1963
Genre: Western
Format: DVD-R Source: Western Channel
# of times viewed: This is the first time since childhood
I watched episodes #79-84(I record them 6 to a disc, so I generally watch the whole disc once I start)
Stars: Chuck Connors (Lucas McCain), Johnny Crawford (Mark), Paul Fix (the Marshall) and a ton of familiar guest stars

#79 Seven A prison wagon filled with seven prisoners on their way to Yuma to be hang stops in North Fork for supplies. The prisoners break free and hold the bartender captive. Lucas to the rescue!
#80 The Pitchman In a more humorous episode Speed Sullivan and his son Swifty are con artists/medicine men and they visit the McCain ranch. In addition to elixir they sell lightning rods, with the intention of collecting payment and sending their man to install it later, yeah right. Swifty tries to con Mark out of what he thinks is a gold strike, only to be tricked into doing Mark's chores himself.
#81 Strange Town Claude Akins (using a thick accent so that you won't recall that he was just in episode #74 as a completely different character) is Bletch Droshek, who along with his father, run their own town, their own way. Lucas is sent to track him down because he shot a couple of "flatlanders" and wounded Micah as well. Also guest-starring Peter Whitney (one of those faces you've seen thousands of times but probably don't know his name) and William Schallert, veteran of hundreds of TV appearances.
#82 Baranca Lucas finds himself forced to defend the rights of a man that he knows is guilty of murder against a Baranca (one tough hombre) lead group of Mexican gunman determined to seek mob justice. Baranca (nicely played by Cesare Danova) and Lucas compete in a game of alternate chin-punches to determine the outcome. In the end, the scum always settles to the bottom.
#83 The Martinet A calvary Captain (John Hoyt) travels to North Fork to find out how his son was killed. It happens that his son had forced Lucas into a gunfight and was killed. The Captain, a stern disciplinarian, thinks that Lucas must be punished. The Captain's other son is a minister and attempts to intervene.
#84 Miss Milly A new owner of the general store causes problems and creates resentment when she tries to collect on debts. Guest starring Warren Oates, Joan Taylor and Richard Devon.

Episode after episode maintain the high standards of the show. With episode #84 I am now half way through the 168 episode run of the series.
8* (out of 10)

TV Westerns

Posted: April 18th, 2007, 12:31 pm
by ken123
Gunsmoke, any comments. I have wondered for years what was Matt's cut in " Miss Kitty's Place ". He sure spent alot of time in that...saloon. :wink:

Posted: April 18th, 2007, 1:31 pm
by cinemalover
Here is the latest batch of Rifleman episodes that I watched last night. I already posted them on my other thread. I am only up to episode #90, so still 78 more to go. This is an incredible series that never takes a week off from quality.

Date watched: 4/17/2007
Title: The Rifleman TV Show Made: 1958-1963
Genre: Western
Format: DVD-R Source: Western Channel
# of times viewed: This is the first time since childhood
I watched episodes #85-90 (I record them 6 to a disc, so I generally watch the whole disc once I start)
Stars: Chuck Connors (Lucas McCain), Johnny Crawford (Mark), Paul Fix (the Marshall) and a ton of familiar guest stars

#85 Dead Cold Cash
Sara Caruthers voices a threat aimed at Lucas on her deathbed. She swears that Lucas will die within 7 days of her passing because Lucas shot and killed her husband (in the line of duty while deputized). Additionally, Sara's will states that all of her fortune ($100,000) will be divided equally amongst every resident of North fork if Lucs is dead within 7 days. Another complication is that Micah believes that the money may of come from a bank robbery a few years back that her husband could have been involved in. Why was Sara so confident that Lucas was going to die? Guest star: Stevan Darrell

#86 The Schoolmaster

Steven Griswald (Arnold Moss) is the new schoolmaster, and he is harshly strict. Mark gets on his bad side by coming to school unprepared one day. Mark is told that he will stay after school for one hour...every day. Griswald infers that Lucas is not helping the boy concentrate on school. Later, it appears that Mark may have defaced one of the teacher's books, when he was really only trying to stop his friend Billy (Jimmy Fields). Mark gets spanked with a switch. Mark and Billy decide that this teacher is not for them and they play hooky. While playing around in a mine, the ceiling collapses and traps Mark. Will Billy find help in time?

#87 The Promoter
Reuben Miles (Denny Miller) is a slow-witted man-child, but he's as strong as an ox and lightning quick with a six-shooter. Jack Scully (Dabbs Greer) is his manager pretending to be his friend. He uses Reuben's skills for his own profit. They are in Northfork for a shooting competition and Scully plans on winning himself a fortune. He gets Reuben riled up by telling him that Lucas is bad-mouthing him behind his back. The finale is well set up. Rats always Scully...I mean scurry, away from the light.

#88 The Illustrator
Hannah Shaw (Midge Ware) met an artist, Jeremiah Crowley (Richard Whorf), while visiting New York and was infatuated with him. When she returns to Northfork she convinces her well-to-do father to hire Crowley and bring him to Northfork to paint her portrait. Hannah's beau, Ben Travis (Ed Nelson) doesn't appreciate Hannah's interest in Crowley. When Crowley arrives on the stage he is falling down drunk. Subsequent actions make it appear as though he may have murdered a shopkeeper while inebriated. Leave it to Lucas to sort out justiice.

#89 The Silent Knife
Mark meets a mute man also named Mark (Brad Weston) in town. Mute Mark is an expert knife thrower. Mark McCain offers to teach Mark how to write if he'll show Mark M. how to throw the knife. Town resident Macowan (Richard Devon) gets into it with mute Mark because he thinks he's ignoring him, not realizing that he can't speak. The two fight and mute Mark runs off. He proceeds to rob $500 from an incoming stage. Lucas attempts to straighten everything out.

#90 Miss Bertie
Miss Bertie (Alberta Hokum, played by the wonderful Agnes Moorehead) has come from Philadelphia and follows the careers of outlaws. She is a lonely woman and has decided that she needs $2,000 so she can get into Happy Acres to live happily with other seniors and not be lonely. To get the money she has decided to be a pacifist bounty hunter. She will attempt to talk outlaws into giving themselves up, so that she can collect the reward.She targets outlaw Duke Jennings (Richard Anderson). When she is not successful talking him into surrendering she has other tricks up her sleeve.

Another outstanding set of episodes. Did this show ever fire blanks? I've yet to see any.
8* (out of 10) for the series.
9* (out of 10) for Episode #90 Miss Bertie. Very original and the always entertaining Agnes Moorehead holds court.

Posted: April 18th, 2007, 5:41 pm
by Mr. Arkadin
What about "Bronco", "Sugarfoot", or "Cheyenne"?

Bronco, Sugarfood & Cheyenne

Posted: April 18th, 2007, 5:55 pm
by Dewey1960
It's been decades since any of them have seen the light in syndication, sadly enough. I liked Sugarfoot (Will Hutchins) the best as a kid (it had the coolest theme song and rarely strayed from its tongue-in-cheek formula). Cheyenne had Clint Walker who was pretty great in his tight-lipped way but Bronco (Ty Hardin) is a blur to me. They were all Warner Bros shows and they rotated with one another on a weekly basis. I'd really love it if the Western Channel brought these shows back!

Posted: April 18th, 2007, 5:59 pm
by ken123
Maverick was the best of the Warner Brothers TV Westerns from the 1950's. :wink:

Posted: April 18th, 2007, 6:34 pm
by SSO Admins
"Have Gun Will Travel" was far and away my favorite. Intelligent and thought-provoking, it's for my money the most interesting tv western ever made.

Posted: April 19th, 2007, 10:25 pm
by mrsl
I loved ALL of those Warner Bros. westerns. Mr. L used to love Cheyenne until he took his shirt off, which he seemed to find occasion to do in every episode! That man had shoulders almost as big as some football players in full padding, and a waist smaller than a lot of women. It's no wonder he lived through having a ski pole plunged though his chest.

Today, for the first time ever, I saw the original episode of The Big Valley. I don't know how I missed it the first time around unless I had to decide between it and something else for a premier show. I've always tried to see all of them.

What a change in Barbara Stanwyck! In this show she had her hair in a bun, and rode around in a wagon all the time. I'm waiting to see how long it takes until she changes to the short hair and rides a horse like I'm used to seeing her. This one introduced Heath as the unknown illegitamite son and how he ingratiates himself into the family. I'm surprised they didn't make it a two parter to go a little more in depth into his character, and his background. Of course Nick (the hothead), refused to even listen to him, but Mom came through with acceptance so the rest had to follow. There was also a much younger son, younger than Audra who apparently was written out. Waiting to see about that too. Audra, also, was more headstrong and kind of a 'would be bad girl'. Hmmmm.


James T. West and Artemus Gordon

Posted: April 20th, 2007, 2:59 pm
by benwhowell
My family never missed "Bonanza" and "Gunsmoke." I don't have the Western channel, but TV Land has both those shows.
I wish they had "The Big Valley" and "The Wild Wild West-"an exciting and strange sci fi/spy/western. It had a lot of great guest stars...Agnes Moorehead even won an Emmy for her episode, "Night Of The Vicious Valentine." And Michael Dunn, as Miguelito Loveless, was wonderful! (Dunn also received an Oscar nomination for "Ship Of Fools.")

Posted: April 20th, 2007, 3:11 pm
by movieman1957
Thanks Ben. I've been trying to remember Dr. Loveless' real name ever since "cinemalover" strated talking about WWW a few weeks ago.

He was one of those great bad guys who seem all the more bad because he was so well educated and are cultured.

Do you think they relied too much on him (i.e. he was on too often) once his character got going?

"The Little Wizard"

Posted: April 20th, 2007, 4:01 pm
by benwhowell
I don't think so. I wish he'd had more episodes! His episodes were the best ones. BTW, his middle name was Quixote. (I read that on IMDb.)


Posted: April 21st, 2007, 12:38 am
by Sue Sue Applegate
Loveless was a great character. I think he appeared more than others because he acted the challenge so well to the protagonists, and when you have a good villain, people just nacherly wanna tune in to see the train wreck.....Plus I loved the iconic artwork that always let you know what act
was coming up next...

Posted: April 21st, 2007, 1:03 am
by Lzcutter
I grew up with parents who loved Westerns (big surprise there, huh?).

Anyways, I remember when Gunsmoke was on at 10:00 on Saturday nights, in black and white and Miss Kitty ran more than a hotel upstairs above the bar. At least that's what my dad said she ran.

Bonanza was a must every Sunday night. We bought our first color tv so we could watch Bonanza. Mom said it was never the same once Pernell Roberts left.

Mom loved Maverick, dad loved Cheyenne and The Rifleman and they both loved The Virginian. Dad worked swing shift so he didn't get to see much of it. Mom got to see it only when she had Wednesdays off. Me, I watched it for them both.

I loved the Virginian because of Clu Gulager and Doug McClure (being an impressionable young girl, you know). Lee J. Cobb the first couple of seasons made a great father figure. Hollywood legends like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford guest starred and anybody who was anybody on the way up from Lee Marvin, Strother Martin, Robert Redford,etc all guest starred.

Randy Boone and for about five years LQ Jones were the main ranch hands. Though Boone got more screen time.

I also really loved Hec Ramsey and Have Gun Wil Travel because Richard Boone had such a great voice.