The most celebrated lawman of the Old West rides again in this first-ever collection of thrilling episodes from the popular TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. Hugh O'Brian stars as the famed marshal whose exploit... more »s with Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, and the Clanton Gang are boldly brought to life in episodes based on actual events. With his signature "Buntline Special" in hand, Wyatt Earp held posts in a series of increasingly lawless towns and battled dangerous men in his efforts to keep the peace. Through Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Tombstone, Earp's reputation as a just and formidable marshal grew, culminating in a storied gunfight that would seal his legend.« less
Robert Huggins | Suburban Philadelphia, PA United States | 09/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" was significant in television history as it, "Cheyenne," and "Gunsmoke" were among the very first of the so called "adult Westerns" to be broadcast on network television. Prospective buyers of this DVD set should be aware that this 2005 release is not a season 1 release, but rather a "best of" collection of episodes that arrived with very little fanfare. For some fans of the series, that might be enough to put them off but, frankly, this is a "best of" DVD release with a difference. There is an attempt to present the 26 episodes in this collection in chronological order and focus on the historical events in the life of Wyatt Earp (at least as much as a weekly, non-documentary TV series allows), right up through the climactic gunfight at the O.K. Corral. There are also present day interviews with star Hugh O'Brian and Mason Dinehart III, who played Bat Masterson in the early years of the series, plus a historical timeline about the real Wyatt Earp and other members of the Earp family. For a series that began broadcasts in 1955, it was somewhat surprising to see this welcome bonus material included and one has to credit the independent releasing company, Rhino Home Video, with delivering one of the better vintage TV-on-DVD packages in recent memory.
As might be expected for a 50 year old television series, there are occasional film specks and grain present on the episodes, at least on the sampling of episodes that I've watched on disc 1. But, for the most part, the episodes look fairly crisp, and the slight imperfections found shouldn't deter anyone interested in this series; it's a worthwhile release for fans of "Wyatt Earp" and classic TV Westerns, in general. "
Excellent Release from Rhino
C. M. Street | Edgware, Middx United Kingdom | 10/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The TV Western fan has been poorly served in DVD releases generally, although with the release of season sets for 'Have Gun Will Travel' & season 1 of 'Wanted Dead or Alive' recently and the forthcoming 'Gunsmoke' DVD companies may have perhaps realised there is a market for these old series. I think most fans would prefer a season by season release rather than a 'best of' collection however we probably have to take what we can get. I was surprised and delighted that Rhino have picked up on 'The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp'an excellent example of the genre. Although this is basically a 'best of' collection some thought has obviously gone into it.Rather than random episodes they have structured it to cover Earps career from Ellswoth to Tombstone. Disc 1 includes the very first episode and chronicles Wyatts decision to become a marshal and his subsequent move to Wichita.Discs 2 & 3 follow his moves to Dodge City & Tombstone whilst Disc 4 is composed of the last 5 episodes in the series which dealt with the build-up and gunfight at the OK Corral and its aftermath. There are also interviews with Hugh O'Brian & Mason Dinehart(who played Bat Masterson), a timeline of Earps career and information about the executive producer as extras. Picture quality is very good with nice sharp prints and sound. It is nicely packaged in a slip-case with fold out interior that has some colour photos of O'Brian in the role. Overall this is an excellent release,congratulations to Rhino for taking some time and trouble to make it an interesting package. If you are a TV western fan I would highly recommend you obtain this."
From My "Growing Up" Years
Kay's Husband | Virginia, U.S.A. | 11/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I was around 10 years of age when this series ran on TV, and though I'm sure I did not see every episode I know I saw many of them. I'm glad that many DVDs are now coming out for us 'ole' TV western fans.
When I grew up in the fifties, 10-cent Saturday matinees abounded; with serials running in 12 parts or so. See one or two this Saturday and come back to the local Bijou next Saturday to see a couple more installments. After a couple of these on any given Saturday the theatre would then run a couple Rocky Lane, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, or Durango Kid feature westerns to round out your western Saturday late morning and early afternoon. It sure offered great babysitting for mom, too!
Now with the Western Channel and release of such DVDs as this one on Wyatt Earp we can get all we want, and relive 'those thrilling days of yesteryear." And wasn't Hugh O'Brien just born to play this role; can anyone think of anyone else doing better than this man did week-after-week-after-week?
Seriously this is a very well put together production, with only a couple flaws: One being the continual singing by the Ken Darby group, it gets inappropriate at times, and the other being only a selection of the entire shows. In one program on the first disc when Wyatt goes to Wichita you can tell at the end of the program that next week will be a followup, but the DVD doesn't have the next week, it skips forward to others. These are very minor complaints because for me just to have these DVDs are more than I ever hoped for.
So load up the ole Buntline special, saddle the horses, and join Wyatt's posse to rid the range of rapscallions, western style.
Hugh O' Brien and Wyatt
David Levin | USA | 04/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great dvd set. The best part is the recent interview with Hugh O'Brien. Except for some sun damage from probably spending too much time outdoors, Hugh looks absolutely terrific. For a recently married man of 82, he looks at least 20 years younger. Hugh discusses his career, his intense preparation for the role, his experience as the youngest drill instructor in the history of the marine corp, and other bits of information. The clarity of each episode is terrific. I only hope that other golden western dvd and detective shows are also soon released while the stars of these shows are still alive. Having them appear to introduce the dvd is a great touch."
Only-A-Child | 03/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 226 half-hour episodes of the western series "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" were originally broadcast on ABC from 1955-1961. This DVD set contains a selection of 26 episodes from throughout the run of the series. Thus the secondary title "From Ellsworth to Tombstone".
The series is somewhat obscure relative to that era's lineup of adult westerns although it was the most realistic of the group and even managed a surprising degree of historical accuracy. It is loosely based on the career of the real-life Wyatt Earp (played by Hugh O'Brian) and sequentially follows the assorted career moves and location changes of this lawman/saloonkeeper. It also featured arguably the most memorable theme song lyrics (see below).
As in his real life, the series starts with Wyatt's entry into law enforcement as he becomes the marshal of Ellsworth, Kansas. The third episode on the DVD finds him with a similar position in Wichita. A few episodes later he moves to Dodge City (shades of "Gunsmoke's" Marshall Dillon). The last two seasons take place in Tombstone, Arizona and feature the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral (which is included in this DVD set).
O'Brian's acting in the series is a vast improvement over his performance in "Rocketship X-M" a few years earlier. He plays Earp as a strong and rugged character but with a nice touch of humanness and wry charm. Many sidekicks come and go over the course of the series but none rise to the level of a Chester or Festus from "Gunsmoke" or even a Pat Brady from "Roy Rogers". Two actors play Doc Holliday (Douglas Fowley and Myron Healey) and Mason Alan Dinehart plays Bat Masterson. Interviews with O'Brien and Dinehart are included on one of the DVD's.
Because the episodes were only a half-hour and because no cast member other than O'Brian really caught on the reputation of the series has suffered in comparison to other examples of the genre. But it features some quality western action without the fluff and philosophy of the longer shows. And it is fair to say that it had considerable influence on development of the adult western series.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
"I'll tell you a story a real true life story. A tale of the Western frontier. The West, it was lawless, but one man was flawless, And his is the story you'll hear.
Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp, brave courageous and bold. Long live his fame and long live his glory, and long may his story be told.
Well he cleaned up the country, the old wild west country. He made law and order prevail. and none can deny it The legend of Wyatt forever will live on the trail.
Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp, brave courageous and bold. Long live his fame and long life his glory and long may his story be told.""