Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bonanza - Under Attack|
Actors: Leonard Nimoy, Dennis Farina, Michael Landon Jr., Ben Johnson, Richard Roundtree
Director: Mark Tinker
Genres: Westerns, Television
Return once again to the Ponderosa when a notorious outlaw comes to the ranch, sending the Cartwrights into a showdown with the law. Frank James, brother of the infamous Jesse James has turned his back on the outlaw life, ... more »
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Honor Above All
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"It's 1905, Ben and the boys are long gone but the Ponderosa carries on. It's now run by Bronc Evans (Ben Johnson), one of Ben Cartwright's old hired hands. His grandkids are there, too. One's a smart alecky squirt who's also a lawyer, another's a good natured big guy, and the other was last seen crawling out of a second story window at his "intended's" house. Guess which young'un belonged to which pa.
The peacock network slipped three Bonanza The Next Generation made-for-tv movies in under my radar between 1988-1995. BONANZA:UNDER ATTACK is the last of them, and it's a decidedly mixed bag.
The core story is engaging enough. A rogue Pinkerton agent (Dennis Farina) has been chasing the outlaw Frank James (Leonard Nimoy) for years, and has him cornered somewhere on the 1000-square mile Ponderosa ranch. Adam's son Adam (Jeff Phillips) finds the wounded James and defends him at the point of a gun from the swarming Pinkertons. It's a temporary reprieve, of course, and the bulk of the movie is dedicated to saving James from the murderous Pinkertons. BUA works well when it's takes itself outside under the tall pines.
The trouble comes from the side-stories involving the young Cartwrights. Michael Landon, Jr. plays Little Joe's son Ben Cartwright and, well, he simply isn't an accomplished actor. (Dan Blocker's son Dirk, a better actor, also appears as a newspaper reporter.) Adam's sidebar love story is more distracting than anything. The 75-year-old Ben Johnson, a fine actor in his day, is simply too old for the role. Jack Elam is wasted as the grouchy cook Buckshot.
On the other hand, Nimoy is good as the wounded and played out Frank James, and Dennis Farina adds an appropriately menacing air to the maniacal Pinkerton agent. And the movie does begin with the burning map intro, not always available on video releases of the original series.
If you're a fan of the original "Bonanza" series you won't miss much if you pass on this one.