Marshal Earp keeps the law, first in Kansas and later in Arizona, using his over-sized pistols and a variety of sidekicks. Most of the saga is based loosely on fact, with historical badguys...
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Marshal Earp keeps the law, first in Kansas and later in Arizona, using his over-sized pistols and a variety of sidekicks. Most of the saga is based loosely on fact, with historical badguys and good guys, ending up with the famous shootout at the O.K. corral. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This show, along with Gunsmoke (1955) helped launch a great era of the TV western. Westerns became so popular on TV that by the end of the 1950s, there would be as many as 40 Westerns in prime time. See more »
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.
The series starts with Wyatt becoming the marshal of Ellsworth, Kansas. 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 life 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.
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