Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hopalong Cassidy TV Collection 1|
Actors: William Boyd, Edgar Buchanan
Genres: Westerns, Television
Studio: E1 Entertainment Release Date: 07/17/2007
THE HOPALONG CASSIDY TV SERIES
C. M. Street | Edgware, Middx United Kingdom | 10/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first of two sets containing the Hopalong Cassidy TV series from the early 50's.(Season 1).
William Boyd had played Hopalong in 66 films beginning in 1935,the last 12 of which he produced himself. Boyd had purchased all the rights to the character, nearly bankrupting himself in the process. In the early 50's he sold the original features to television which was sorely in need of programming.The films proved tremendously popular and set off a merchandising spree for Hoppy products which made Boyd a very rich man.
After a couple of years the films were looking a little stale & Boyd decided to go back into the studio & make a series strictly designed for television.For the first series of 26 episodes he took the last 12 films he had made which all ran approx 60 minutes, cut them down to half an hour and added voice over commentary to cover gaps in the plot.
These last films had generally not been up to the standard of his previous pictures with limited budgets & plots that were often slow and meandering.
The actual cutting,though not ideal, did sharpen the pace somewhat.
He then filmed a further 14 brand new episodes with Edgar Buchanan as Red Conners joining him as a sidekick.
Boyd was getting along in years by this time, so fast action was a little limited , particularly fights which were usually reserved to one blow where Cassidy hits the villain and another where the villain hits the floor! Boyd though, had contracted many of the people who worked on his features & the series did maintain good scenic values and locations.
The series proved popular & a further 26 new episodes were filmed for a season 2 (Recently released also though not on Amazon yet).
The entire Cassidy franchise was eventually purchased by a company called the US Television Office who released all 66 features & several TV episodes on video.The good news here is that they remastered the whole canon from original uncut elements so they look very nice indeed.
Many of the films are now available on DVD with this set being the first official release of the TV series.
Although lacking a little in pacing the series is no worse than similar product of the period.Buchanan ,whilst no Gabby Hayes or even Andy Clyde, does his best in the comedy sidekick role & Boyd does have a reassuring and authorative presence as Hopalong.
As mentioned the remastered prints look sharp & clean & probably better than the original broadcasts. The episodes are grouped on 4 discs each in a slimline case in an outer box.Also included is the Western Channel documentary hosted by Dennis Weaver detailing the Hoppy phenomana with contributions by Boyd's widow & Leonard Maltin.
If you are a Hoppy or B western fan you will know what to expect, a good opportunity to see an American icon. I think you will enjoy.