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Essential TV Western 150 Episodes
Essential TV Western 150 Episodes
Actor: Bob Denver
Genres: Westerns, Television
NR     2008     67hr 16min


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Movie Details

Actor: Bob Denver
Genres: Westerns, Television
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Television
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 05/06/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 67hr 16min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 12
SwapaDVD Credits: 12
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A bonanza from western TV's golden age
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 05/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"ESSENTIAL TV WESTERNS is a most interesting mix of 150 episodes of mostly 1950s and '60s television. Among the 18 series represented are the expected programs, like BONANZA, ROY ROGERS or ANNIE OAKLEY. Of especial interest are the shows that came and went with little fanfare, such as 26 MEN, RANGO, OUTLAWS, COWBOY G-MEN and TATE. Some, like "Outlaws" featured many famous guest stars during their brief run. "Rango" was a comedy starring Tim Conway and Guy Marks (he sang the spoof song, "Loving You Has Made Me Bananas"). "Tate" is a Civil War vet who lost part of his left arm. When he can't find work, Tate becomes a gunslinger. "26 Men" is based on the actual files of the Arizona Rangers. "Cowboy G-Men" stars Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester in "The Addams Family") as a government agent.

The dozen DVDs in this collection are stored in gloss-coated heavy paper sleeves that are housed in a sturdy easy-access box. Transfer quality, although primarily dependent on source material, is uniformly good. For variety alone, this third edition of MILL CREEK's 150 episode box sets may be superior to its two fine predecessors. And that's no yarn, Pard!

To complete your western TV show collection, all you'll need is CLASSIC TV WESTERNS, also from MILL CREEK ENTERTAINMENT. This amazing mega box contains the previously issued ULTIMATE TV WESTERNS and WESTERN TV CLASSICS. That's a grand total of 300 episodes for one low price.


ADVENTURES OF JIM BOWIE-- On ABC-TV from 9/7/56 to 5/23/58. Cast: Jim Davis/Minerva Urecal/Peter Hansen

ADVENTURES OF KIT CARSON-- Syndicated from 8/11/51 to 9/1/55. Cast: Bill Williams/Don Diamond/Hank Patterson

ANNIE OAKLEY-- Aired in syndication from 1/2/54 to 2/1/57. Cast: Gail Davis/Brad Johnson/Jimmy Hawkins

BONANZA-- An NBC-TV superstar from 9/12/59 to 1/16/73. Cast: Lorne Greene/Pernell Roberts/Michael Landon/Dan Blocker

COWBOY G-MEN-- Syndicated from 9/13/52 to 6/13/53. Cast: Jackie Coogan/Russell Hayden/Phil Arnold/John L. Cason

DUSTY'S TRAILS-- In syndication from 9/11/73 to 3/12/74. Cast: Bob Denver/Forrest Tucker/Lori Saunders/Jeannine Riley/Ivor Francis/Lynn Wood/William Cort

THE GABBY HAYES SHOW-- On NBC-TV from 12/11/50 to 1/1/54. George 'Gabby' Hayes hosted this series.

JUDGE ROY BEAN-- Syndicated from 9/1/55 to 9/1/56. Cast: Edgar Buchanan/Russell Hayden/Jack Buetel/Jackie Loughery

NORTHWEST PASSAGE-- Aired on NBC-TV from 9/14/58 to 3/13/59. Cast: Buddy Ebsen/Keith Larsen/Don Burnette/Philip Tonge

OUTLAWS-- On NBC-TV from 9/29/60 to 5/10/62. Cast: Barton MacLane/Slim Pickens/Don Collier

PISTOLS 'N PETTICOATS-- Aired on CBS-TV from 9/17/66 to 3/11/67. Cast: Ann Sheriden/Douglas Fowley/Ruth McDevitt/Gary Vinson/Carole Wells/Robert Lowery

THE RANGE RIDER-- Syndicated from 4/5/51 to 9/1/53. Cast: Jock Mahoney/Dickie Jones

RANGO-- On ABC-TV from 1/13/67 to 9/9/67. Cast: Tim Conway/Guy Marks/Norman Alden

THE ROY ROGERS SHOW-- Popular NBC-TV series ran from 12/30/51 to 6/23/57. Cast: Roy Rogers/Dale Evans/Pat Brady

STORIES OF THE CENTURY-- Syndicated from 1/1/54 to 3/1/55. Cast: Jim Davis/Mary Castle/Kristine Miller

TATE-- Summer replacement on NBC-TV from 6/8/60 to 9/21/60. Starred David McLean as Tate.

26 MEN-- In syndication from 11/1/57 to 10/1/60. Cast: Tristram Coffin/Kelo Henderson

U.S. MARSHAL-- Syndicated from 10/1/58 to 3/26/60. Cast: John Bromfield/James Griffith/Stan Jones

Not much new here, but still plenty of bang for the buck
David Bassler | Richmond, VA USA | 06/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Essential TV Westerns 150 Episode Pack may not have many surprises - most of these shows have been available for some time - but if you're just starting you're collection, you can't beat the price. The videos are mostly in good shape (the night scenes are pretty murky, but that's a minor caveat IMHO) and you get a nice mix of programs.

The Adventures of Jim Bowie (1956) - this show, starring Scott Forbes, ran two years and was set in 1830s New Orleans before the title character moved to San Antonio - and his date with destiny. As such, it's really more of a "southern" than a "western", but the unusual setting is what sets it apart from other contemporary offerings - that, and the protagonist's primary weapon, his nine-inch long Bowie knife. Episodes included in this set are: Gone to Texas, Jackson's Assassination, Jim Bowie Comes Home, Monsieur Francois, Osceola, Outlaw Kingdom and The Select Females.

The Adventures of Kit Carson (1951) - In this early western series Kit Carson (Bill Williams) and his Mexican friend El Toro (Don Diamond) roamed the frontier in the 1880s looking for adventure. Plot lines and dialogue were pretty advanced for a show aimed at the kiddies and Williams made a likeable hero. Diamond's El Toro character was also unusual because, unlike most sidekicks, he frequently offered sage advice and was an effective fighter when the going got tough, while still having enough rough edges to serve as an effective foil for the lead character. The series ran for four years. Episodes included in this set are: Bad Men of Marysville, The Baron of Black Springs, Border City, Border Corsairs, Danger Hill, Devil of Angel's Camp, The Hero of Hermosa, Road to Destiny, Road to Monterey, Singing Wires, Thunder over Inyo and Trouble in Tuscarora.

Annie Oakley (1954) - Gail Davis starred as the titular sharp-shootin' pigtailed frontier heroine, who always managed to rescue her lawman boyfriend from the hands of notorious owlhoots who threatened their small desert community. The kid's series, produced by Gene Autry's Flying `A' production company, ran for three years and is represented by these episodes: Ambush Canyon, Annie and the Leprechauns, Annie and the Lily Maid, Annie Calls Her Shots, Annie Finds Strange Treasure, Annie Gets Her Man, Annie Trusts a Convict, Bull's Eye, Dilemma at Diablo, The Dude Stagecoach, Gunplay, The Hardrock Trail, Justice Guns, Shadow of Sonoma and Sharpshooting Annie.

Bonanza (1959) - This landmark western series, one of the first to be shot entirely in color, struggled to find an audience at first, but when the program finally hit its stride it spent most of its 14 seasons in the Nielsen Top-10. Episodes include: The Abduction, The Avenger, Blood on the Land, Breed of Violence, The Courtship, Death at Dawn, Escape to Ponderosa, The Fear Merchants, The Mission, Showdown, The Stranger and The Trail Gang.

Cowboy G-Men (1952) - Russell Hayden and Jackie Coogan starred as undercover federal officers operating in the American West in this series that ran for but a single season (39 episodes). Episodes included in this set are: Beware - No Trespassing, Gypsy Traders, Hush Money, Mysterious Decoy, Rawhiders, Sawdust Swindle, The Secret Mission and The Woman Mayor.

Dusty's Trail (1973) - Think Gilligan's Island set on the frontier. Due to the ineptitude of an assistant scout (Bob Denver), two wagons become separated from the rest of the train and blunder around the West while trying to reach California. Any similarity between the characters in this series and those from "Island" are purely intentional. That fact, and the extremely annoying laugh track, caused this viewer to wonder why this show wasn't put out of its misery after the pilot was lensed. Episodes foisted on the buyer by this set include: Brookhaven USA, The Cavalry Is Coming, Duel in Disguise, Half Moon, Here Comes the Grooms, Horse of Another Color, John J. Callahan, Love Means Bananas, Magician, Nothing to Crow About, Phoney Express, Then There Were Seven, Treasure of C. Harry Motley and Witch's Trail.

The Gabby Hayes Show (1950) - Gabby frames heavily edited 1940s PRC westerns with his tall-tale spinning asides. The six episodes included in this set have no splash frame identifying the episode title, but most feature Eddie Dean.

Judge Roy Bean (1956) - For thirty nine episodes, Edgar Buchanan played the titular self-appointed jurist of Langtry, Texas, who claimed to be "the law west of the Pecos." Episodes included in this set are: Ah Sid Cowboy, Border Raiders, Citizen Romero, Connie Comes to Town, Judge of Pecos Valley, Letty Leaves Home, Slightly Prodigal, Spirit of the Law, The Travelers and Vinegarone.

Northwest Passage (1958) - If "The Adventures of Jim Bowie" was a `southern' than this series was a `northwestern'. Major Robert Rogers (Keith Larsen) and his fellow explorers (Buddy Ebsen and Don Burnett) search for the titular trade route while battling foreign troops and their Native American allies during the French and Indian War. The series, based on characters created by novelist Kenneth Roberts, ran for one year. Episodes included in this set are: The Deserter, The Hostage, The Secret of the Cliff, Surprise Attack, The Vulture and War Sign

Outlaws (1960) - This unusual Western told its stories mostly from the criminals' vantage point. The series ran for two years and fifty episodes; included in this set are Beat the Drum Slowly and Thirty a Month.

Pistols `n' Petticoats (1966) - Ann Sheridan, Ruth McDevitt and Douglas Fowley played three mild-mannered gunslingers who used their hidden talents to aid the incompetent town sheriff keep law and order in their small town of Wretched, Colorado. The comedy series, which ran for only twenty-six episodes, was fatally wounded when series star Sheridan suddenly succumbed to cancer midway through the first season. Included in this set are: The Golden Fleece, Harold's Double and A Wagonload of Wives.

The Range Rider (1951) - This juvenile western from Gene Autry's Flying `A' Productions starred Jock Mahoney has the title character, ably assisted by his young, hotheaded sidekick played by Dick Jones. The series ran for three years. Episodes in this set are: Bad Men of Rimrock, The Crooked Fork, Old Timer's Trail, Outlaw Territory, Rustler's Range and Western Edition.

Rango (1967) - Tim Conway was much more effective as a second banana than a lead performer and this short-lived comedy western series was a pretty good indication why. In this series, Conway played an inept Texas Ranger who always got his man, despite his sheer ineptitude. Episodes include: Diamond Look Better Around Your Neck Than a Rope, In a Little Mexican Town, It Ain't the Principle It's the Money and The Spy Who Was Out in the Cold.

The Roy Rogers Show (1951) - After Roy Rogers left Republic Pictures, he quickly started production of a popular Saturday morning series set in the semi-modern west where the horse and the jeep shared the town streets. Rogers' popular series spanned six years and a hundred episodes. Episodes included in this set include: Bullets and a Burro, Doc Stevens' Traveling Store, The Doublecrosser and Stranger.

The Sheriff of Cochise (1956)/U.S. Marshal (1958) - John Bromfield played Frank Morgan, initially the sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, and two years later, a federal marshal. Both series were contemporary cop shows set in the desert southwest. Two episodes from Sheriff of Cochise are included: Bank Robbery and The Lynching Party. From U.S. Marshal, episodes included are: Armored Car, The Champ, Deer Hunt, The Fence, Ghost Town, My Sons, the Promise, Sentenced to Death, Trigger Happy and The Triple Cross.

Stories of the Century (1954) - Jim Davis played railroad detective Matt Clark in this western. He was ably assisted by female detectives - in the first season, his partner was played by Mary Castle, in the second, by Kristine Miller. During the show's two seasons the detectives were pitted against just about every famous outlaw that ever tried to turn a dishonest dollar in the late 19th Century. Episodes included are: Augustine Chacon, Ben Thompson, Bill Longley, Burt Alford, Harry Tracy, Jim Courtright, Joaquin Murietta, L.H. Musgrove, Milt Sharp and Sontag and Evans.

Tate (1960) - David McLean played Tate, a crippled Civil War veteran who kept his useless arm in a sling. Reduced to one good hand, our hero made a living the only way left to him - as a gunslinger for hire in the Old West. This series ran for 13 episodes as a summer replacement series. Episode included are Before Sunup, The Bounty Hunter, Comanche Scalps, The Gunfighters, Home Town, The Mary Hardin Story, Quiet after the Storm, The Reckoning and Stopover.

26 Men (1957) - The title of this turn-of-the 20th century western described the number of men hired to serve as Arizona Rangers, the first territorial police force. The organization by headed by Captain Tom Rynning (Tris Coffin), whose right hand man was Ranger Clint Travis (Kelo Henderson). The series ran for 78 episodes over a two year span. Episodes included are: The Bells of St. Thomas, The Big Rope, Dead Man in Tucson, Incident in Yuma, Man on the Run, The Recruit, The Slater Brothers, Trade Me Deadly, Trail of Darkness and Trouble at Pinnacle Peak."
Flogging a dead horse?
Peter Sykes | Airlie Beach, Australia | 05/30/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The third of Mill Creek's 150 episode western packs is a bit of a disappointment. On the upside we get more episodes of Northwest Passage, Kit Carson and Jim Bowie. But with only 18 series featured the overall quality suffers from way too many Boot Hill occupants. The three sitcoms on offer are all pretty lame, especially the post-Gilligan Bob Denver vehicle Dusty's Trail which takes up a whole disc. Also scraping the bottom of the barrel is a full disc of Sheriff of Cochise - a 'contemporary' cop show that isn't really a western at all.

Bonanza nostalgics get another dozen early episodes, although as in the past the magnificent theme music is substituted for copyright reasons. The obscure gems include nine episodes of Tate featuring a one-armed gunslinger and a couple of episodes of Outlaws which gives us the baddie perspective as well.

Unlike previous sets, the discs in the pack I received are single-sided. A couple of them 'buzzed' in my (fairly new) DVD player - a problem I have not encountered with the double-sided discs. If you deadset loved the two earlier collections and are fanging for more this might do the trick. Don't start with this one though, as the others are much better."
150 Western TV Episodes of Public Domain Goodness
Charles J. Rector | Woodstock, IL United States | 07/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Essential TV Westerns is a collection of 150 episodes from 18 different Western TV shows from the days when Hollywood knew how to make great Westerns on both the big and small screens. I paid $21.99 for my set and considering that you can pay $5 and higher for just 4 episodes of one of these shows, you cannot complain about the price. The reason why you can get so many episodes for such a low price is that all of these shows are in the public domain. The quality of the prints used in this collection vary, but overall you will get a fairly decent picture on your screen.

The really great thing about this collection is that it is not limited to the usual suspects, that is shows such as Annie Oakley, Bonanza, Jim Bowie, Judge Roy Bean and Stories of the Century that are quite easy to find and obtain. The collection also includes such shows as Cowboy G-Men, The Gabby Hayes Show, Pistols & Petticoats, Rango and Tate that are fairly hard to find on DVD."