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List of Heroes (and 1 Heroine)
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Wales (Hal Taliaferro)
Wayne ... in the 1930s
'Lone Ranger' Powell
Houston ... The Lone Rider
& Al Hoxie
Roy & Hoppy
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'Big Boy' Williams
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Ryder in Films, TV & Comics
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B-Western Goes To War!
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Daniels/Chief Thunder Cloud
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Stunt Men & Women
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Scott's Wild West Show
Search Of ... (Obits, Death Records, Soc Security, Burial Locations)
Magers' Best & Worst of the West Film Reviews (2000+ film reviews)
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Ramblings and Writings - Click Below:
Film & WW2 Paratrooper Yell
Buell Midgets-THE TERROR OF TINY TOWN
Ken & Tex in the MARSHAL OF WINDY HOLLOW
Adams Remembers Alan G. Barbour
of the Trail (B-western bites the dust)
Jones & the Cocoanut Grove Fire
Row & the B Western Producer
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the Scenes ...
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Have Gun -- Will
was an American actor
who starred in over fifty films.
Boone was born in
California. He worked in several
odd jobs, including boxing
before serving in World War II
in the US Navy.
He later studied acting in New York,
and in 1950,
Boone made his screen debut as a Marine
in Halls of Montezuma. He starred in three movies with
Richard Boone starred in The Medic television show,
receiving an Emmy
nomination for Best Actor Starring in a Regular Series in 1955.
However, it was
his second show that Boone became a national star with his Paladin
Have Gun, Will
Travel. The show ran from 1957
with Boone receiving two more Emmy nominations in 1959
During the 1960s
Boone also appeared regularly on other television
programs. For example, he did stints as both a guest panelist and as one
of the What's My Line?
Mystery Guests on the popular
Sunday Night CBS-TV
After Have Gun,
Will Travel, Boone had his own anthology television show called The
Richard Boone Show. Even though it only aired from 1963 to 1964, he
received his fourth Emmy nomination in 1964.
Along with The Danny Kaye
Show and The Dick Van
Dyke Show, The Richard Boone Show
won a Golden Globe
for Best Show in 1964.
He continued to
star in many more movies, commonly as villains, with his pock-marked face,
tobacco-fuelled bass voice and sullen demeanor a gift to directors of his
most notable films,
Man Without a
The Tall T
The War Lord
he won the third place Laurel Award for Action Performance (Sean
Connery won first place with
won second place with The Train).
In his final role,
Matthew Perry in
He died soon afterward of throat cancer
in St. Augustine,
Have Gun, Will Travel
transplanted the chivalric myth to television's post-Civil War west. The
hit CBS series aired from 1957 to 1963 and was centered on Paladin, an
educated knight-errant gunslinger who, upon payment of $1,000, would leave
his well-appointed suite in San Francisco's Hotel Carlton to pursue
whatever mission of mercy or justice a well-heeled client commissioned.
Paladin was played by Richard Boone, an actor who had risen to TV fame in
1954 with his intense portrayal of Dr. Konrad Styner, the host/narrator of
the reality-based hospital drama, Medic.
Have Gun was created
by Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow, two innovative ex-radio writers who had been
tipped that CBS was in the market for a cowboy show with a "different"
twist. They thereupon fashioned the first truly adult TV western--a story
centered on a cultured gunfighter who had named himself Paladin after the
legendary officers of Charlemagne's medieval court. A gourmet and
connoisseur of fine wine, fine women, and Ming Dynasty artifacts, Paladin
would quote Keats, Shelley, and Shakespeare with the same self-assurance
that he brought to the subjugation of frontier evildoers.
Because the entire concept
revolved around Paladin, its success hinged on the ability of his
portraying actor to, in creator Rolfe's words, "'play a high-IQ gunslinger
and get away with it.'" (Edson, 1960). When western movie icon Randolph
Scott (the first choice for the role) was unavailable, the producers
turned to Richard Boone who, they were overjoyed to find, actually could
ride a horse. Boone's intimidating growl, prominent nose and pock-marked
visage physically distanced him from the standard fresh-faced cowboy hero
in the same way that his character's cultured background distinguished him
from those prairie-tutored rustics. After watching Paladin muse about
Pliny and Aristotle, one television critic marveled, "'Where else can you
see a gun fight and absorb a classical education at the same time?'" (Edson,
The show's identifying
graphic was Paladin's calling card--bearing an image of the white knight
chess piece and the inscription, "Have Gun, Will Travel . . . Wire
Paladin, San Francisco." The responses that these cards generated were
brought to Paladin by the show's only other continuing character--an
Oriental hotel minion named Hey Boy (Hey Girl in 1960-61 when actress Lisa
Lu temporarily replaced actor Kam Tong who had moved to another series).
Without an ensemble cast, the entire weight of the series rested on
Richard Boone's shoulders. Paladin's mannerisms and motivations had to be
what propelled and interlocked the show's episodes from week to week and
season to season.
A genuine descendent of
Kentucky frontiersman Daniel Boone, method actor Richard successfully met
this challenge both on camera and off, directing several dozen of the
later episodes himself. The sophisticated elegance of his character also
brought him more loyal feminine fan mail than was received by any of his
more photogenic cowboy contemporaries. The show's off-beat quality was
further enhanced by its practice of using mainly new writers who had not
been drilled in conventional saddlesoap story lines. Have Gun became an immediate hit, ranking among the top five shows in its first
season and was the consistent number three program from 1958-61. But by
early 1962, Boone was growing weary of the project and felt it had run its
course. "Every time you go to the well, it's a little further down," he
lamented. "It's sad, like seeing a (Sugar) Ray Robinson after his best
days are past. You wish he wouldn't fight any more, and you could just
keep your memories" (Newsweek, 1962).
distinctive inverting of the television horse opera provided many memories
to keep. In virtually every episode, Paladin would be seen in ruffled
shirt, sipping a brandy or smoking a fifty-eight-cent cigar before or
after embarking on his latest paid-in-advance assignment to the
hinterland. Like Captain Marlowe from Conrad's Heart of Darkness,
he was always the brooding observer as well as the valiant if somewhat
vexed participant. Unlike the archetypal western hero, Paladin wore black
rather than white, complete with an ebony hat embellished by a band of
silver conches and a holster embossed with a silver chess knight. He
sported a villain's mustache and wasn't enamored of his horse; declining
even to justify its existence with an appealing name. And he seemed to
relish the adventures of the mind--his chess matches and library--far more
than the frontier confrontations from which he drew his livelihood.
As articulator of Have
Gun's central premise, its theme song, The Ballad of Paladin,
became a success in its own right. Sung by the aptly-named Johnny Western
and written jointly by Western, Boone and series creator Rolfe, the tune
was a hit single in the early 1960s. The first words of the lyric
encapsulated both the show's motivating graphic and the chivalric roots of
its central character:
Have gun, will travel reads the
card of a man A knight without armor in a savage land.
Occasionally, this unshielded
self-sufficiency would cause Paladin (again like Conrad's Marlowe) to turn
on his employers when he determined them to be the unjust party. For a
nation that, in 1957, was just becoming politically aware of cowering
conformity's injustices, this may have been Have Gun's most potent,
if most understated, element.
Dillon is a fictional character featured on both the radio
Dillon is the
of Dodge City,
who works to preserve law and order in the western frontier of the 1870's.
On radio, Dillon
was portrayed by
whose booming voice helped to project a larger than life presence.
In the opening of
most radio episodes, the announcer would describe the show as "the story
of the violence that moved west with young America, and the story of a man
who moved with it." Matt Dillon would take over, saying, "I'm that man,
the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It's a chancy
job, and it makes a man watchful . . . and a little lonely." Dillon
narrated many of the radio episodes, and in radio and to a lesser extent
on television, he often struggled with the dangers and reality of his job
and the tragic results of most situations. In both versions, too, his
closest friends were his deputy Chester, physician Doc Adams,
and Miss Kitty Russell, the saloon girl. On radio, Marshal Dillon often
referred to his good friend
In a 1949 audition
show (or pilot)
for the radio series, the character was named "Mark Dillon," but by 1952,
when the regular series aired, he had become Matt Dillon. When the program
came to television in 1955,
was given the role, and would play it for the next twenty years.
(originally Aurness) (born May 26,
Minnesota) is an
best known for portraying
for 20 years, a record length for prime time shows that is shared with
portrayal of Dr. Frasier
Crane. Arness's parents were Rolf
Cirkler Aurness and Ruth Duesler, descendants of German
immigrants. Arness is the older brother of actor
He was the tallest actor ever to play a lead role, standing 6' 7" (2.01
identified with Westerns,
he also is remembered for appearing in two science fiction
The Thing from
Another World and
served in the United States
Army during World War II
and was severely wounded at the Battle of Anzio.
He was a close personal friend of
and co-starred in a film with him called Big Jim McClain. In fact,
Wayne recommended Arness for the role of Matt Dillon.
ended, Arness has continued to perform primarily in western-themed movies
and television series, including
How the West Was
Won, and five
made-for-television Gunsmoke reunion movies between 1987 and 1994.
A notable exception was a brief turn as a big city policeman in the
short-lived 1981 series,
contribution to the television industry, James Arness has a star on the Hollywood Walk
of Fame at 1751 Vine Street. In
1981, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Gunsmoke was a
and television Western
drama program set in
during the settlement of the American West.
It was created by director
Macdonnell and writer
show first aired on
and ran until
on the CBS radio network.
The series starred
as Doc Charles Adams,
as Kitty Russell, and
as Deputy Chester Proudfoot. Doc's first name and Chester's last name were
changed for the television program.
Gunsmoke was notable for its
critically acclaimed cast and writing, and is commonly regarded as one of
old time radio
Some listeners (such as old time radio
have argued that the radio version of Gunsmoke was far more
realistic than the television program. Episodes were aimed at adults, and
featured some of the most explicit content of the day: there were violent
massacres and opium
addicts. Miss Kitty's occupation as a
was made far more obvious on the radio version than on television. Many
episodes ended on a down-note, and villains often got away with their
The television show ran from
to September 1,
for 635 episodes. To this day it is the longest run of any single
entertainment series with continuing characters in prime-time TV in the
Conrad was the first choice to play
Dillon on television, having established the role, but his increasing
led to more photogenic actors being considered; losing the role he'd
created embittered Conrad for many years to come.
was considered, but he too was seen as too heavyset for the part. Rumors
that the part was offered to
have been largely debunked.
The primary roles were recast, and
Macdonnell had nothing to do with the television version of Gunsmoke,
but Meston stayed on as head writer.
Dillon throughout its 20-year run, the longest
uninterrupted period any actor has played the same role in the same show
in prime time.
Grammer has since tied the role-playing record as
but that role spanned two different shows, Cheers
Actors possibly asked to play Matt Dillon on TV before Arness included
who recommended Arness for the part, and "The Duke" also introduced the
first episode of the series.
Dillon's assistant/deputy was at first
Chester Goode, played by
then Festus Haggen, played by
Other important ongoing characters were the town doctor, Doc Adams (Milburn
Stone) and the saloon girl, later saloon owner, Miss
Blake). While Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty clearly had a
close personal relationship, viewers were seldom offered a deep look into
that side of Dodge City life.
There were character differences between
the radio and TV characters. The radio series Doc was acerbic, somewhat
mercenary, and at times, came close to being alcoholic. The television
Doc, though crusty, was in many ways softer and warmer. Another difference
in characters was Miss Kitty, who in the radio series was just a saloon
girl, not the owner, and it was often hinted that she did more than serve
MacDonnell put it bluntly in an interview with Time
magazine: "We never say it, but Kitty is a prostitute, plain and simple."
On television, if the Long Branch did house prostitutes, the show put a
good spin on Miss Kitty and viewers were never made privy to what exactly
she did besides run the Long Branch saloon.
Gunsmoke was a half-hour show. It then went to an hour-long format
for the rest of its long run. From 1955 to
it was in
black and white,
then in color from 1966 to
In the early 1960s,
older episodes of the series were rebroadcast under the title Marshal
the show's twelfth season, CBS planned to cancel the series, but
widespread viewer response it was even mentioned in Congress along
with domestic pressure on the CBS head of programming by his wife,
convinced them to continue it in the early evening on Mondays instead of
Saturday nights. This seemingly minor change led to a spike in ratings
that saw the series once again reach the top 20 in the
before fading again before its cancellation in 1975. Gunsmoke was
the show that ushered in the age of the adult western, which brought about
and literally a hundred others. Ironically, it also was the last western
still airing when it was cancelled.
were the only 2 original series regulars to remain with the series for the
entire duration of its 20-season run.
many of the original cast reunited for the made-for-television film,
to Dodge, which was filmed in
This was a huge ratings success and led to four more reunion films being
filmed in the U.S.:
Last Apache (1990),
Gunsmoke: To the
Last Man (1992),
Long Ride (1993),
Man's Justice (1994).
The series also inspired a Gunsmoke video game
produced for the NES
As of the start of
two American series are aiming at matching or beating Gunsmoke's
20-year record. The
sitcom The Simpsons,
now in its 17th season, has been renewed through its 20th season, whilst
drama Law & Order,
now in its 16th year, is also expected to be a possible 20-year survivor.
claims to have aired more shows than Gunsmoke as of a July 25th airing;
this claim has yet to be conclusively validated and RAW is
considered a sports, rather than dramatic or comedic, series.
In syndication, the entire 20-year run
of Gunsmoke is separated into three packages by CBS Paramount Television:
- 1955-1961 half-hour episodes: These
episodes are sometimes aired in their original aired format, and
sometimes in the Marshal Dillon format. These ceased general syndication
in the 1980s, but do air from time to time on cable TV.
- 1961-1966 one-hour Black and White
episodes: These episodes have not been widely seen in regular
syndication since the 1980s. Currently the one hour episodes are aired
on the Encore Westerns channel.
- 1966-1975 one-hour Color episodes:
These are the most widely syndicated episodes of the entire series' run,
and are still aired on many television stations in addition to its run
on the TV Land cable channel.
Regular Cast, Major Characters
Regular Cast, Minor Characters
- Clem (bartender; 1959-61): Clem
- Sam (bartender; 1961-73):
- Rudy (bartender; 1965-67): Rudy
- Floyd (bartender; 1974-75): Robert
- Quint Asper (blacksmith; 1962-1965):
- "Thad" - Deputy Clayton Thaddeus
Greenwood (1965-1967): Roger Ewing
- Newly O'Brien (gunsmith; 1967-1975):
- Wilbur Jonas (storekeeper, 1955-63):
- Howie Uzzell (hotel clerk, 1955-75):
- Moss Grimmick (stableman; 1955-63):
- Jim Buck (stagecoach driver;
1957-62): Robert Brubaker
- Louie Pheeters (town drunk; 1961-70):
- Ma Smalley (boardinghouse owner;
1961-72): Sarah Selby
- Hank Miller (stableman; 1963-75):
- Mr. Bodkin (banker; 1963-70):
- Barney Danches (telegraph agent;
1965-74): Charles Seel
- Roy (townsperson; 1965-69): Roy
- Halligan (rancher; 1966-75): Charles
- Mr. Lathrop (storekeeper; 1966-75):
- Nathan Burke (freight agent;
1966-75): Ted Jordan
- Percy Crump (undertaker; 1968-72):
- Ed O'Connor (rancher; 1968-72): Tom
- Judge Brooker (1970-75):
- Dr. John Chapman (1971):
- Miss Hannah (saloon owner; 1974-75):
Bonanza on the cover of
TV Guide magazine.
From Wikipedia, the free
The Bonanza logo was
superimposed upon a map of a
west frontier area.
Bonanza was an American
program, the first regularly broadcast American television program to be
It aired on NBC
From 1961 to 1972 it aired on Sunday
nights. This timeslot was crucial to the success of the show: from 1964
until 1967, the show was #1 in the yearly
ratings. In terms of longevity, the show was the
second-most popular western in the history of television, behind
Bonanza got its name from the
which was "an exceptionally large and rich mineral deposit" of
was founded directly over the lode and was
for 19 years. Ponderosa was an alternative title of
the series, often used for the broadcast of
in the 1970s
The show chronicled the weekly
adventures of the Cartwright family, headed by widowed patriarch Ben
Cartwright (played by
He had three sons, each by a different wife: Joseph or "Little Joe" (Michael
Landon); Adam (Pernell
Roberts); and Eric, better known to viewers by his
nickname of "Hoss" (Dan
Blocker). The family's cook was the
Hop Sing (Victor
Sen Yung). The family lived on a thousand-square-mile
ranch called "The Ponderosa", on the shore of
the name refers to the
common in the West. The nearest town to the Ponderosa was Virginia City,
where the Cartwrights would go to converse with Sheriff
Roy Coffee (played by veteran
actor Ray Teal).
Greene, Roberts, Blocker, and Landon were equal stars. The opening
credits rotated among four versions, with each of the four being shown
first in one version (in the order above).
which also occurs in the TV western
The Big Valley,
was that every time one of the Cartwright sons became seriously involved
with a woman, as soon as he was married, she was killed off or died
gruesomely in the same episode. This also occurred in the case of the
patriarch, Ben Cartwright, whose sons were each born to a different
wife, and when shown in flashback episodes, each wife died in the same
episode, except for the wife who gave birth to Hoss who lasted two
The cast was very popular with
viewers, and Lorne Greene recorded several
in character as Ben Cartwright, scoring a #1 hit with his dramatic
spoken word performance of "Ringo".
The show slowly lost its original
Roberts left the series in 1965 after a dispute with
the show's writers. The show still drew high viewing figures with just
two Cartwright brothers, but it slowly dropped out of the number-one
spot that it had held for so long. When the show's creator, David
Dortort, named himself executive
producer in 1967, handing production duties to
and removing himself from the day-to-day running of the show in order to
spend more time producing the series
Chaparral, the show's popularity waned even more.
joined the cast as Candy Canaday, a drifting cowboy-turned-ranch
foreman; a popular addition to the cast, he left in 1970 due to a
In 1970, 14-year-old
joined the series as Jamie Hunter, the orphaned son of a rainmaker. Ben
adopted Jamie in a 1971 episode, and once again Ben had three sons; this
was not to last.
In 1972, after the sudden death of
the show was moved to Tuesday nights. Both moves signaled the end of the
program. Canary returned to his former role of Candy (to make up for
Blocker's absence), and a new character named Griff King (played by
was added. Griff was a one-time outlaw who was paroled into Ben's
custody and got a job as a ranch hand; several episodes were built
around his character, one Matheson never had a chance to fully develop
before the show's sudden demise in January 1973.
During the latter years of the series,
Michael Landon began writing and directing episodes of Bonanza.
For 14 years the Cartwrights were the
premier western family on American television and are still immensely
popular on networks such as TV Land
Following the program's cancellation
it was brought back as several made-for-television movies. These include
Bonanza: The Movie (1988), Back to Bonanza (1993),
Bonanza: The Return (1993), Bonanza: Under Attack (1995), and
Bonanza: The Next Generation (1995).
In 2001 there was an attempt to revive
the series' ideas with a
Ponderosa, with a pilot directed by
Dobson and filmed in
Covering the time when the Cartwrights first arrived at the Ponderosa,
it lasted 20 episodes.
Bonanza also featured a
that is often
Lorne Greene and the cast recorded versions of the song with lyrics.
Although the Bonanza theme is one of the best known pieces of
made-for-television music, it was not used for the entire run of the
series. A new theme song was written in 1970 and replaced the
oft-remembered tune that fall.
The program's Nevada set, the
Ranch, operated as an
from 1967 until September 2004, remaining a popular attraction for a
considerable period after the program's cancellation.
(1975 film)) directed some episodes of the show.
Aloysius Connors, better known by his professional name of Chuck Connors (April
was an American actor
and professional basketball
heritage, Connors was the son of Allan and Marcella (nee Lundrigan)
Connors of Placentia Bay,
who emigrated to Brooklyn, New
York in 1920. Connors grew up with
a sister named Gloria. He attended a private high school
and later attended Seton Hall
University in South Orange,
New Jersey. He then dropped out in
to join the
at Camp Campbell,
and next went to West Point.
After his military
discharge in 1946,
he joined the newly formed Boston Celtics
of the Basketball
Association of America, but left
the team for spring training with Major League
Baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers.
He played for numerous minor league teams before joining the Dodgers in
for a few weeks. Later, in 1951
he also played for the Chicago Cubs.
He was then sent to the minor leagues again, in 1952,
to the Cubs' top farm team at the time, the Los Angeles
Angels. Playing baseball near
Hollywood proved to be fortuitous. He was spotted by an MGM casting director
and cast in the upcoming Tracy-Hepburn film Pat and Mike,
in which he played a state police captain.
Connors was best
known for his television work. He appeared in a 1954 episode of The Adventures
of Superman titled Flight
to the North, in which he played a good-natured (and very strong)
backwoods fellow named Sylvester J. Superman.
He starred in the
(1965-1966), as well as the 1967 Cowboy in Africa TV series,
he hosted a television series called
He had a key role as a slaveowner in the famous 1977 miniseries
In 1991, he was
inducted into the
Performers Hall of Fame at the
& Western Heritage Museum in
Connors was frequently a supporter of the Republican Party, and attended a
few fundraisers for campaigns of President
who reportedly was a fan of Connors.
Chuck Connors died
of lung cancer
in 1992 at the age of 71 in Los Angeles,
- "Chuck Connors"
is also a character in O. Henry's
short story "Sisters of the Golden Circle" which says that he led reform
in New York in O. Henry's time.
The Rifleman was a
program that ran from 1958 to 1963. The
as Lucas McCain, a widower and Union veteran of the Civil War. McCain and
his son Mark (Johnny
Crawford) lived on a ranch just outside the fictitious
town of North Fork, New Mexico Territory. Regulars on the program included
Sheriff Micah Torrance (Paul
Fix), Sweeney the bartender, and a half-dozen other
denizens of North Fork.
According to network publicists, the series was set in the late 1880s.
Unfortunately for historical accuracy, McCain seemed too young to have
served in the Army 25 years earlier, as did guest stars who also portrayed
veterans of America's Bloodiest War. Further complicating the issue, the
famous rifle carried by McCain was made in the 1890s, yet had obviously
seen years of use, and been the source of the nickname by which he was
known far and wide.
Westerns were extremely popular when The
Rifleman premiered, forcing television producers to find gimmicks to
distinguish one show from another. The Rifleman's gimmick was a modified
with a trigger mechanism allowing for rapid-fire shots. Connors
demonstrated its rapid-fire action during the opening credits as McCain
dispatched an unseen bad guy on North Fork's main drag. Although the rifle
may have appeared in every episode, it was not always fired, as some plots
did not lend themselves to violent solutions, e.g., a cruel teacher at
Mark's one-room school.
The various episodes of The Rifleman
promote fair play toward one's opponents, neighborliness, equal rights,
and the need to use violence in a highly controlled manner ("A man doesn't
run from a fight, Mark," McCain tells his son, "But that doesn't mean you
go looking to run TO one!"). In other words, the program's villains tend
to be those who cheat, who refuse to help people down on their luck, who
hold bigoted attitudes, and who see violence as a first resort rather than
the final option. Indeed, a curious aspect of the program is that when
they meet African-Americans, the people of North Fork are truly
The Most Amazing
Man, a black man (played by
Sammy Davis, Jr.)
checks into the only hotel in town; for the entire show, no one notices
his race. Not only is this noteworthy for the 1880s setting, it was
radical for Hollywood of the early 1960s. While the message was clear, it
was neither heavy-handed nor universal. A certain amount of xenophobia
drifts around North Fork, however, forcing McCain to defend the right of a
Chinese immigrant to open a laundry (The
Queue) and the right of an Argentine family to buy a
Gaucho). This racial liberalism does not extend to
villains, however. The Mexicans in
are indolent, dangerous, and speak in the way of most Mexican outlaws in
Westerns of the time.
Another fundamental value of the series
is that people deserve a second chance. Sheriff Micah Torrance is a
recovering alcoholic and McCain once gave an ex-con a job on his ranch
appeared as a former Confederate soldier, given a job on the McCain ranch,
who encounters the Union soldier who had cost him his arm in battle. The
soldier, now a general, arranges for medical care for the wounded former
foe, quoting Abraham Lincoln's orders to "Bind up the Nation's wounds."
In retrospect, The Rifleman holds up
better than most Westerns of its era, partly because Connors fit so well
into the role (his gravestone reads "The Rifleman") and partly because the
father-son interactions between Connors and Crawford seem genuine. And the
Lucas McCain character has an angry, vindictive streak that makes him more
human. Finally, the lighting and camera angles give the program a mildly
artistic look. A young
developed the series and wrote the scripts for several episodes. The
excellent musical score for the series was composed by
The Residents of North Fork:
Mark McCain.......................................Johnny Crawford
Marshal Micah Torrance...................Paul Fix
Sweeney, the bartender....................Bill Quinn
May Sweeney, the bartender's wife.Helen Beverly
Charlie Willard, storekeeper............Russell Collins
Hattie Denton (1958-1960)..............Hope Summers
Miss Milly Scott (1960-1962)...........Joan Taylor
Lou Mallory (1962-1963)..................Patricia Blair
Eddie Holstead, The Hotel Clerk...John Harmon
Nels Svenson, the blacksmith.......Joe Higgins
Nels Svenson, the blacksmith.......John Dierkes
Dr. Jay Burrage..................................Edgar Buchanan
Dr. Jay Burrage..................................Jack Kruschner
Dr. Jay Burrage..................................Ralph Moody
Angus Evans, the gunsmith............Eddie Quinlan
Ruth, a hotel waitress......................Amanda Ames
John Hamilton, the banker..............Harlan Warde
Miss Aggie Hamilton........................Sarah Selby
Josh Moore, Hardware Store..........Charles Tannen
Toomey, the undertaker...................Robert Foulk
Freddy Toomey, undertaker's son..Robert Crawford
Come along to North Fork and see how Lucas
struggles to build a ranch and make a home for his son on this newly settled
land. He teaches his son to appreciate the wild and beautiful country that
surrounds him...to know the meaning of bravery and courage...the necessity
of tolerance and understanding...the wisdom behind justice...and the
physical skills for a youngster living in an untamed land. To believe and
trust in the Lord and to use violence as a last resort.
Keep movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them dogies movin', Rawhide.
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope 'em, throw
and brand 'em.
Soon we'll be livin' high
My heart's calculatin',
My true love will be waitin',
Be waitin' at the end of my ride.
Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em on,
Move 'em on, head 'em up, Rawhide!
Head 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, let 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in, Rawhide!
Keep rollin', rollin', rollin',
Though the streams are swollen,
Keep them dogies rollin', Rawhide.
Through rain and wind and weather,
Hell bent for leather,
Wishin' my gal was by my side.
All the things I'm missin',
Good vittles, love and kissin',
Are waiting at the end of my ride.
Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em on,
Move 'em on, head 'em up, Rawhide!
Head 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, let 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in, Rawhide!
A brief synopsis
Clint Eastwood played
Rowdy Yates for 7 years on T.V.'s Rawhide. Here are a few things you may
not have known about young Rowdy.
Did you know...
Rowdy went to war at the
age of 16 (Incident at Poco Tiempo, 1960).
In Rio Salado (1961),
Rowdy meets up with his drunken lout of a father Dan Yates. It seems he
ran out on Rowdy and his mother some years before, cites wanderlust as his
justification. Not the noble fellow his son turned out to be, as is
evidenced by his willingness to shoot a fellow (admittedly a bandit, but a
nice bandit) in the back in the episode. He's killed in the end by the
dead man's friends.
Mother was not happy
about Rowdy becoming a drover (Incident near the Promised Land, 1960).
In Clash at Broken
Bluff, 1965, Rowdy claims that he had a stepmother. So does that mean that
Dan Yates got married again after running out on his family? What's the
|Long before his days as an accomplished
leading actor and acclaimed director, before his sleek portrayals of
Dirty Harry Callahan and The Man With No Name made him an instant star,
Clint Eastwood was another Hollywood contract player trying to make ends
meet appearing in small unmemorable roles in Hollywood B-movies.
However, in 1959 that was all about to change.
When 'Rawhide' made it's
television premier on January 9th, Eastwood's career took off. The
series went on to become a major hit giving Eastwood the experience and
knowledge of a business that he would ultimately master.
The year was 1958 and in America the
tubes were saturated with westerns. The public's appetite was
insatiable. Every night, people were glued to the likes of 'Cheyenne', 'Maverick', 'Bronco', 'Lawman', 'Gunsmoke', 'The Rifleman',
'Wyatt Earp', 'Sugarfoot', 'Have Gun Will Travel' and the real
biggie of the time 'Wagon Train' with Ward Bond.
Amidst all this was Charles Marquis
Warren, writer, producer, director, especially of Westerns. He had been
instrumental in adapting 'Gunlaw' (which became 'Gunsmoke')
from radio to television in 1955. Warren had just finished working on
the western film "Cattle Empire" with Joel McCrea when C.B.S.
was looking for an answer to 'Wagon Train'.
Warren was approached and asked to
come up with an idea for a Western series to capture the public's
imagination. This of course was a major obstacle in itself, just about
every conceivable sort of Western show had been done, or at least was
being done right now! However Warren had enjoyed "Cattle Empire"
and decided he would depict a show that centered around a long,
hazardous cattle drive, featuring the drovers and their daily problems,
plus of course, the many characters they would meet along the way.
You could easily see a comparison to
'Wagon Train', but whereas that show would often degenerate
into a glorified soap opera, 'Rawhide' would generally retain a
gritty edge and sustain realism, seldom seen on the televisions of that
Actually, 'Rawhide' had three
sources aside from Warren's contribution. Warren obviously took from the
film "Cattle Empire", but for inspiration, he had a diary
written by George C Duffield, who had been a drover in 1866, on a drive
from San Antonio to Sedalia. This diary was a major aspect of 'Rawhide', especially during Warren's seasons. In these episodes,
Gil Favor (Eric Fleming) would be seen at the beginning of each episode
introducing himself, with what could easily be notes from his own diary.
The next source, was Borden Chase's
novel The Chisholm Trail, which in itself inspired the final source and
the one most closely associated with 'Rawhide'. "Red River"
was an epic Western with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. To a certain
extent (and with some embellishments), Eric Fleming took on the Wayne
role and Clint Eastwood, the Clift role.
Neither of these actors were well
known at the time. Despite having played the lead in several films, Eric
had still not hit the big time, and apart from "Conquest of Space"
most of these films were low budget quickies. Clint had been the support
or just in brief walk-ons, so at this time the two actors were delighted
at the prospect at being the leads in a prime-time show.
Finally C.B.S. gave the go-ahead to
film ten episodes and here is where we come to one of the 'Rawhide'
myths. I will dispel all of these in this article.
Three episodes have been designated as
the pilot. The most often quoted is 'Incident West of Lano' and
this is totally incorrect. In actual fact this was the first episode
filmed to have location footage. The next episode has been called the
pilot because it was the first one to air but in fact it was not the
first one filmed. The episode first to air was 'Incident of the
Tumbleweed Wagon'. Warren picked this one to air first because the
real pilot, 'Incident at Barker Springs' was disappointingly
ponderous. 'Barker Springs' is however interesting because in
the original filmed episode, Robert Carricart appears as Wishbone. He
however was quickly replaced and his scenes refilmed with Paul Brinegar
taking over the role. Both versions of the pilot are available in the
One cannot help but feel sorry for
poor Carricart, he really missed his opportunity. C.B.S. wanted a comedy
actor and Warren felt that Brinegar filled the part, he had been in
Warren's film "Cattle Empire" as a cook. Previous to
'Rawhide' he had been a regular in 'Wyatt Earp' for a
An interesting note to "Cattle
Empire" is the fact that a good observer could spot Steve Raines
(Jim Quince), Rocky Shahan (Joe Scarlet), and Robert Cabal (Jesus).
Another interesting fact about the original version of the pilot is that
there is no Frankie Laine song, just a basic theme which resurfaced over
the end credits of 'Rawhide's' last season.
Originally the show was to be titled
"Cattle Drive" but wisely Warren amended this to 'Rawhide'.
The rest of the cast aside from Eric Fleming, Clint Eastwood and Paul
Brinegar consisted of Sheb Wooley as Pete Nolan, Rocky Shahan as Joe
Scarlet, Steve Raines as Jim Quince, James Murdock as Mushy and
occasionally John Erwin as Teddy, Don C. Harvey as Collins and John Cole
as Bailey, (in fact John Cole can be seen in several other episodes as
an Indian, rustler etc.). Robert Cabal as Hey Soos only appeared
sporadically at first, his part grew later in the series. Later in the
series others were to appear and this will be discussed later.
After ten episodes, C.B.S. got cold
feet and decided there were too many westerns on the tube so 'Rawhide' was shelved. Naturally disappointed Eric and Clint moved
on to other things. Clint appeared in a humorous 'Maverick'
episode. Then just a month or two later C.B.S. reconsidered, 'Rawhide' would after all go ahead.
Warren himself had created one of the
most famous lines in television history. "Head 'em up, move 'em out"
became the catch phrase of the early sixties. Warren also had a hand in
creating some of the positions worked by drovers on the herd, although
most of these such as ramrod, drag and trail boss, were authentic.
Warren then set about casting for his
show and quickly selected Eric Fleming after a screen test. He was the
perfect choice for the part, as the rough trail boss. Tall, handsome and
possessing a remarkable deep voice, he certainly had all the qualities
required for the part. The second lead, of course, was to be Clint, and
after a screen test with Eric, Warren decided they worked extremely well
It would be a mid-season replacement
and would air on January 9th 1959. It's popularity was slow to come, it
struggled for most of the first season however some excellent episodes
in the second season ensured a rapid gain in popularity. It reached the
number one slot several times in Britain and in the States it achieved a
way high sixth during the 1960-61 season. Even the critics seemed to be
During the show's first three seasons
Charles Marquis Warren remained at the helm and he set out to provide a
rigid format, gritty realism, great characters, great stories, nearly
all centered around the cattle drive. From the beginning there was no
doubt Eric was the lead as the tough, taciturn trail boss. He possessed
an awesome inner strength that came out in the character of Gil Favor.
In fact as the seasons progresses his character was to toughen up even
Second in command was Rowdy. Clint's
role matured from the hot headed punk who originally was not featured
much, but became an integral part of many story lines. Actually, some of
Clint's finest moments on film can be seen in some of these shows.
Sheb Wooley also proved adept and
featured prominently until 1962 when he left to purse his music career.
He was sorely missed and did return for a short while during the 1964-65
season as well as an appearance or two in between years. He was replaced
for some time by Charles Gray as Clay Forrester who never inspired the
affection one felt for Pete Nolan.
Several years later when producer
Warren left the show it was to signal the beginning of many changes.
Some of the feel of authenticity was to be left behind. For example no
more readings from Gil Favor's diary. However there was still many good
episodes, some of them rather violent and some outrageous comedy. Endre
Bohem was to take over as producer. It was promotion really, as he had
been working with Warren on the show for some years. Therefore the
characters remained much the same. However, the writing, storyline, and
scheduling did not.
Clint eventually went on to become
trail boss and the leading star of the series. Clint 's salary improved,
reaching the neighborhood of about $100,000 a year toward the end of the
run. C.B.S. even offered to defer part of his salary, which he took them
up on. It saved taxes, and the money accrued interest while the network
held it for his. Yet Clint has been quoted as saying that towards the
end, he grew tired of portraying Rowdy Yates due to the fact that he
never got to play a character with him that he wanted. There was no
darkness in him, not even some odd quirks.
When the series was finally officially
cancelled in 1966, Clint was ready for change - any change. Little did
he know at the time that a small budgeted Italian western he had made
during 'Rawhides' offseason was about to launch him into
superstardom. That film of course,