Classic TV Westerns- Discussion (Archive)

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  • Howdy Folks,

    Like a lot of us here, I'm a lifelong western fan and I have seen alot of books and magazine stories written about the great movie westerns, but I've seen very little written about the TV western. I believe there have been about 150 since television began So my question is..what are your favorites? Here's my "Top Ten' looking forward to seeing yours:

    1. The Wild Wild West
    2.The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr.
    3.The Lone Ranger
    4. Wagon Train
    5. The High Chaparral
    6. Maverick
    7.Have Gun, Will Travel
    8. The Westerner
    9.Wanted: Dead Or Alive
    10. Lonesome Dove (the mini-series)

    They'd never forget the day,the stranger rode into town

  • Here's mine:

    1. Gunsmoke
    2. Bonanza
    3. The Big Valley
    4. Wild, Wild West
    5. The Rifleman
    6. Branded
    7. The Virginian
    8. Wagon Train
    9. The Lone Ranger
    10. F Troup

    Cheers B)


    "When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it"

    - John Wayne quote

  • My favorites were:
    1. Bonanza
    2. Gunsmoke
    3. Maverick
    4. Rifleman
    5. Cheyenne
    6. High Chaparral
    7. Laramie
    8. Rawhide
    9. Stoney Burke
    10. Virginian

    De gustibus non est disputandum

  • I forgot to mention "Wanted: Dead or Alive" with Steve McQueen, which I also liked real well. I believe it was on in the late Fifties or early Sixties, which was well before most of your times.

    De gustibus non est disputandum

  • Hi

    I liked the old westerns

    The Range Rider
    Wagon Train
    Boots and Saddles

    as well as the more modern
    The Virginian and the later spin offs
    The High Chapparel



    Walk Tall - Talk Low

  • hi phantom

    we didn't watch much telly as a child, in fact didn't have a telly in the house till i was 7 yrs old but the ones that i can remember were

    f troop
    lone ranger
    ringo and the cisco kid
    and origan (sorry if spelt wrong) trail

    but i do remember playing cowboys and indians from watching movies in the local movie house, i was always the indian as i was the slowest and they would catch me and tie me up to the gum tree, then nick off for afternoon tree leaving me tied there :angry::(

    cheers smokey

    " its not all black and white, but different shades of grey"

  • :cowboy: Heres a few of the ones I remember.

    Wagon Train (The ones w/ Ward Bond in them)
    Gunsmoke (The olders ones)
    Texas Rangers.
    The Lone Ranger.
    The Cisco Kid.
    Rin Tin Tin.
    Sky Kiing.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • "Little House" was one of my favorite series, Jen. I thought Laura, when she was a little girl, was one of the most endearing characters ever to appear on television.

    De gustibus non est disputandum

  • Well, just thinking about some of these older TV Westerns brings back a lot of memories. I remember as a young kid watching many of them. In particular -

    Hopalong Cassidy
    The Lone Ranger
    The Cisco Kid
    Sky King
    (and his daughter, Penny)
    Rin Tin Tin
    The Rifleman
    (having not seen any John Wayne movies at that time, thinking the big loop on the rifle was quite a new invention)
    Have Gun, Will Travel

    Anything newer than 1966 I pretty much missed out on, as I was riding around in a little gray boat in the western Pacific, and when I got back in 1970, I wasn't into westerns at the time.

    The Mrs. remembers specifically watching and enjoying Sky King and Rin Tin Tin.

    Hm-m-m-m, does Dallas count? The two of us definitely watched that in the 80s. I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Kanaly (played Ray Krebs in the show) while at the Dean Smith Rodeo last month.

    Chester :newyear:

  • :cowboy: Dean Smith...Dean Smith...Why is that name so familiar? Was he the guy who played "Bidey LaCombody" in Rio Lobo? or am I going around the bend on this one?

    Best regards--TRK.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • You're right, Stumpy. The thing I loved about "Little House" was the fact that they all loved each other but they weren't perfect. They made a lot of mistakes and they were always realistic about what the consequences for those mistakes could be. And Laura was great - cute and sweet but not too much of either.

    The show could be schmaltzy from time to time, but I don't care. It had a sense of humor, too.

    The only bone I have to pick with it now as I watch it is an adult is in the portrayal of Pa. He was a wonderful father and sometimes I find that very real and heartfelt. Other times he comes off as a little too heroic; I'm surprised they never show him walking on water. I guess Michael Landon was prone to ego trips the same as any other Hollywood type.

  • Maybe Little House should be called a mid-western. :P I agree that this is a western since it takes place in the mid late 1800's and west of the Mississippi. Maybe not the shoot-em-up as with some of the other westerns styles, but still considered a western. There is a lot of horses, and sometimes shootings. Anyway while growing up I watched this series after Gunsmoke went off the air. The show came on Mondays at the same time as Gunsmoke, just on a different network.

    Cheers B)


    "When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it"

    - John Wayne quote

  • :cowboy: Thank you Arthur. I KNEW I had heard his name from somewhere before. I guess he was that Confederate Lance Corporal Bidey in Rio Lobo. I had not known he was in The Alamo though. I wonder what part he played?

    Best regards-TRK.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • Yeah, a Midwestern might be a good way to describe LHotP. B) Michael Landon had spent all those years on Bonanza, after all. And there were some episodes that were flat-out Western in nature - complete with tin-pan pianos and saloon girls and poker and bad guys in black hats and everything else.

    I see no one has mentioned that goofy series called "Wild Wild West" from the '60s with Robert Conrad. Not really a western, huh?

  • Jen; In the 1800s anything West of the East Coast was thought to be the West. Only Today do we say the East , Midwest, Southwest and the Far West! I think you could call "Little House" a Western because of the time that it took place!!! Chilibill :cowboy:

  • Hi Jen & Chilibill -

    I would have to agree - though the stories took place in a local that was already tamed, the area was just on the fringes of explored territory for the time portrayed. The series was generally topnotch, with high moral values and lessons incorporated into the story lines.


    Cheers - Jay:beer:
    "Not hardly!!!"

  • Quote

    I see no one has mentioned that goofy series called "Wild Wild West" from the '60s with Robert Conrad. Not really a western, huh?


    Actually Jen, I put "The Wild Wild West" as my #1 favorite western. It's not quite a "pure" western, but it's my favorite.

    They'd never forget the day,the stranger rode into town

  • Here they are!

    1) GUNSMOKE- Longest running and with good reason, it was the best! Matt, Doc, Kitty, Chester/Festus are great characters.
    2) BONANZA- The Pernell Roberts years were best ('59-'65) but it was still pretty strong until Dan Blocker (Hoss) died.
    3) ALIAS SMITH & JONES- If you've never seen it, you will become a fan after you catch the Western Channel's Jan 1 marathon!
    4) WILD, WILD WEST- James Bond meets the Old West. Love this show!
    5) MAVERICK- Only the episodes with James Garner are essential. Jack Kelly is bland.
    6) CIMARRON STRIP- Very few episodes, but a well-made show all around. Stuart Whitman riding in the opening is unforgettable.
    7) HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL- Richard Boone was one helluva an actor and he and this show were great!
    8) WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE- Steve McQueen and his "Mare's Leg" will make criminals dead!
    9) THE RIFLEMAN- Chuck Connors and his rifle will make criminals dead, only his son Mark will learn a lesson from it! :D
    10) DANIEL BOONE- It's a pioneer Western, but it counts. No one played buckskin wearers better than Fess Parker. "Daniel Boone was a man/was a BIG man!"

    "Day off?"
    "Off day."