In Branded, Chuck Connors plays the part of part of Captain Jason McCord, West Point graduate and decorated Cavalry officer. As the sole survivor of the Battle at Bitter Creek, an Apache Indian massacre, he is judged to ha... more »ve deserted the field of battle and is stripped of his rank. He is branded a coward and a disgrace in the eyes of the world. Branded is a true Western classic and Chuck Connors as Jason McCord is the epitome of the American spirit; rugged and courageous. He is unafraid to take on any task and through his strength and will, he is able to overcome whatever odds are placed before him.« less
"With the relative small number of western television programs available on DVD, I held great hope for this set. I had never heard of Marathon Music & Video (don't know why Amazon has it listed as released by "On Deck"), but thought this purchase was a reasonable risk, as it IS the entire first season, and not just a packaging of some random episodes. Wrong. I guess I should have been smarter, based on the poor packaging.
The transfers are VHS quality. These are also edited versions of the episodes, as their total running time is only 22 minutes. Best guess would be that these are the syndicated versions of the program, rather than the original broadcasts.
Sound is on a par with the video, meaning, the volume control must be turned up, and hiss is ever present.
Worst of all, and basically salt in the wounds, is the appearance of that one item that is dreaded most by DVD collectors....the "bug" in the bottom right corner with an "MM&V" logo. There is no excuse for this on ANY release. This is why the consumer buys DVD's...to get away from this nuisance which has become the bane of cable television.
Oh well....another lesson learned. Add Marathon Movie & Video to the list of companies to avoid, along with Madacy, Platinum, Alpha Video, Vintage, and VCI.
EDITED , CUT episodes. Buyer Beware!
S. Phillips | Las Vegas, NV United States | 01/05/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The shows have been edited by about 3-4 minutes each, these are the cut versions seen in syndication. Unacceptable. I wouldn't accept my paycheck missing 15-18% of my money, I'd be unhappy if I bought a book and found that 15% of the pages had been ripped out, so why should I pay $$$ for a DVD missing 15-18% of the footage? Avoid this set and spend your money elsewhere. The same company also released edited GUNS OF WILL SONNET shows, so buyer beware."
Great Series (for its time) - Poor DVD Transfer
Ian Mitchell | East Sussex United Kingdom | 06/16/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What a shame. The company that transfered these episodes to DVD should be "Branded" for doing such a poor job. The sound is bodged into a strange 5.1 effect and on my DVD player the episodes show no run time or chapters (except bonus items which have a onscreen DOG (Digital Onscreen Graphic)). Episodes seem cut and even a part of the end credits is cut from every episode (near credits end). Bonus episode of Rifleman is cut badly at the point a chicken is killed."
Well Worth a Full DVD Release
E. Hornaday | Lawrenceville, NJ United States | 04/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I disagree with a reviewer who basically criticized this TV western for being dated. To me, it's a fresh and original today as it was when it aired in 1965-1966.The star, Chuck Connors (best known for his riveting portrayal of Lucas McCain in "The Rifleman,") gives an equally compelling performance here as Captain Jason McCord.McCord, a West Point graduate, is the sole survivor of an Indian battle at Bitter Creek in the 1800s. Court-martialed as a coward who ran, he was forever "branded" with that stigma and thrown out of the Army, his rank insignia ripped off and his Cavalry sabre broken in two in a military ceremony casting him out of the fort. The humiliating scene was replayed as the opening clip of each episode as a moving western ballad "Branded" was sung over the images.McCord, who is actually a man of deep conviction and principle, pleaded innocent but refused to testify in his own defense. As the series progresses, we learn that he did so to protect the memory of the honorable General Reid whose eventual senility resulted in what actually occured at Bitter Creek, and also to protect a peace treaty with the Indians. McCord believes that if those politicians who did not want peace learned that General Reid, who had negotiated the treaty, was unfit, they would nullify the document and resume the Indian war.Thus, McCord accepts his cruel label and fate, forced to live a nomadic life moving from survey job to job (a skill he learned in the military) because of the hatred people have for him. As far as the general public is concerned, McCord ran off to save his life, abandoning those under his command to all die at Bitter Creek.Remarkably, the series is able to explore in a sophisticated manner the true meaning of bravery and right and wrong as McCord seeks to help those in trouble whom he encounters. Everyone who deals with McCord ends up understanding that the coward's label pinned on him is far from correct, and that he is a man of grit, bravery and honor.In some ways, the themes of this series are similar to those explored in Kung Fu almost a decade later: lessons of morality, spirituality, honesty, bravery and the fundamental meaning of right and wrong and personal responsibility presented through the accessible medium of a western.This show's unforgettable ballad, music by Dominic Frontiere, lyrics by Alan Alch, entones in part: "All but one man died there at Bitter Creek, and they say he ran away... Not a single charge was true... Branded, marked with a coward's shame, what do you do when you're branded, will you fight to clear your name?"Sixteen of the 48 half-hour episodes produced are released in this three-disc set. I hope the others are forthcoming."
BRANDED TO BE HAD!
Bobb Chappelear | Columbus, Ohio United States | 04/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a nice collection. A good western from the sixties starring Chuck Connors. As far as quality goes...it's good, but not as good as some. It's very watchable and very worth the price. Watching it makes you feel more like you're watching an old 50's tv show and not from 1965, that's the reason I give it only four stars. It's 3 disc and has 3 special extras, one on each disc. It's a Marathon Music and Video release by KingWorld. For those of you that love old tv westerns, this DVD set is for you. This is a show that's not seen much anymore and I was surprised to see it out on DVD. It's black and white with some color episodes. The shows all run a little over 22 minutes long, the Four star playhouse runs over 25 minutes and the short bio runs 5 minutes and 50 seconds. I love watching these for they bring back great memories of the sixties. The following is the list of episodes and the special extras. You won't be sorry in buying this set...trust me. I found it on Amazon only. I couldn't find it anywhere else.
FIRST SEASON DVD SET:
#2."The vindicator" 1/31/1965
#3."The test" 2/7/1965
#4."Rules of the game" 2/14/1965
#5."The bounty" 2/21/1965
The rifleman: "Day of the hunter" 1/5/1960
#6."Leap upon mountains" 2/28/1965
#7."Coward steps aside" 3/7/1965
#8."The mission" pt. 1 color 3/14/1965
#9."The mission" pt. 2 color 3/21/1965
#10."The mission" pt. 3 color 3/28/1965
Four Star playhouse: "Vote of confidence" 1955
#11."The first kill" 4/4/1965
#12."Very few heroes" 4/11/1965
#13."One way out" 4/18/1965
#14."That the brave endure" 4/25/1965
#15."A taste of poison" 5/2/1965
#16."Price of a name" 5/23/1965
Chuck Connors' Biography b/w & color"