Western stories and legends based, and filmed, in and around Death Valley, CA. One of the longest-running Western series, originating on radio in the 1930s. The continuing sponsor was "20 Mule Team" Borax, a product mined in Death Valley.

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18   17   16   15   14   13   12   11   10   … See all »
1970   1969   1968   1967   1966   1965   … See all »
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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 Old Ranger / ... (296 episodes, 1952-1964)
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Storyline

Western stories and legends based, and filmed, in and around Death Valley, CA. One of the longest-running Western series, originating on radio in the 1930s. The continuing sponsor was "20 Mule Team" Borax, a product mined in Death Valley.

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Western

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Release Date:

6 March 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Call of the West  »

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(532 episodes)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald Reagan's stint as host in the mid-'60s was his final acting job before entering state and national politics. See more »

Goofs

The social norms and attitudes expressed during the series often did not match those of its 1850 to early 1870s settings. Most of the values expressed were those of its 1950s and 1960s filming period. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Eegah (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
And Now Death Valley Days
7 September 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

One of my favorite shows on early TV was "Death Valley Days" featuring The Old Ranger (Stanley Andrews). Being a child, the only problem was the time schedule. On KARK, Channel 4, out of Little Rock, Akansas, the syndicated "Death Valley Days" came on just before sign-off but at least it was on a weekend night so I didn't have to worry about school the next day.

Sleepy-eyed, I would watch the 20-mule team pull the borax wagons across the sands as Josef Bonime's enchanting "Bugle Theme" sounded me awake. The moving picture of the team transformed into a picture on the wall as the camera panned down to The Old Ranger seated at his desk. He spoke as he slowly rose to greet the viewers:

"Howdy, I'm The Old Ranger and Death Valley is my stamping ground. Many's a tale of adventure I'm going to tell about Death Valley country. True stories, mind you...I can vouch for that...on behalf of these two products, 20-Mule Team Borax and Boraxo. And now here's Rosemary DeCamp to tell you about it."

The stories were good one with many a veteran character actor appearing in various episodes. At times the story would be built around the sponsor's product. One such episode I saw recently was entitled "The Big Team Rolls," starring Judd Holdren of Commando Cody fame. The seasoned character actor, Tom London, was featured as the muleskinner, Sandy McPherson.

Judd Holdren as Dana Emerson plays a tenderfoot from Boston who comes to Death Valley to be near his sweetheart (Lucille Barkley) whose father operates the borax works that transport the borax across the mountains and desert to Mojave, California, twenty miles round trip. Dana is tested by being assigned the swamper job. To complicate the novice's first trip, a disgruntled employee attempts to sabotage the journey and steal the payroll brought back from Mojave. Dana must prove his worth to himself, to his dearly beloved and to her father.

Gene Autry's Flying A Productions produced the program. Many of the actors, including Stanley Andrews (The Old Ranger), were part of Gene's stock company of Thespians. Andrews appeared on several of the Gene Autry Show episodes as did many of the other featured players on Death Valley Days.

As with any anthology-type series, the quality of the shows varied from week to week, but each one was entertaining and at times educational. Fans of TV westerns should enjoy Death Valley Days.


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