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1955  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Dee Aaker ...
 Russell the Muscle (26 episodes, 1955)
...
 Spin Evans (6 episodes, 1955)
...
 (Martin) Marty Markham (6 episodes, 1955)
...
 Col. Logan (6 episodes, 1955)
...
 Bill Burnett (6 episodes, 1955)
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Release Date:

4 November 1955 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$573,480 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The budget for this series was $513,480. The series came in about $60,000 over budget, mostly due to a strike by the Screen Actors' Guild. See more »

Quotes

Bill Burnett: We get a kid every year who's afraid of the horses. Last year was a boy named Spin Evans.
Marty Markham: Spin Evans!
See more »

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User Reviews

The First Season Was Great
3 July 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"The Adventures of Spin and Marty" title refers to the first season (1955-56) of the show; the second and third seasons were given a modified title. When originally broadcast the total running time of 275 minutes was broken into 25 episodes and shown as part of the first year "Mickey Mouse Club". The show was broadcast Monday-Friday from 5Pm-6PM. The serials were structured in a mild cliffhanger format with a teaser at the end enticing viewers to watch the next episode for a resolution. When they were shown a few years ago on "Vault Disney" the episodes were paired up to provide a 22-23 minute running time.

If you grew up with the original MMC you already know that serials like this were the most anticipated part of the show and that "Spin and Marty" was by far the most popular. The reason for their popularity was no mystery, they were the only kid's shows in those days that featured kids instead of puppets or animation.

If you were not around for the "Spin and Marty" phenomenon, think of it as a 1950's version of "The Saddle Club", both featured kids getting to spend all their time with horses. But instead of girls hanging out at the Pine Hollow stables, here it's boys living in bunk houses at "The Triple R", a dude ranch summer camp. And who wouldn't like spending an entire summer at a ranch, riding horses far away from parental supervision?

The first season's story was adapted from the novel "Marty Markham" by Lawrence Watkin. The show went rapidly downhill after the first season so it is no great tragedy that only season one is out on DVD. Mostly this was because the writers were never able to duplicate the charm of the first season's premise. But the show also fell victim to the Kevin Corcoran curse. Corcoran was a terminally precocious little actor that Disney tried to make a star by inserting him into this popular show at the start of the second season. Corcoran was an unbearably bad actor and the damage was compounded by Disney's insistence on manipulative showcasing of his terminal cuteness; an especially bad fit for a show whose first season appeal had been its naturalness and the understated performances of the cast.

Like "Saddle Club's" first season, it revolves around a new kid who has difficulty fitting in at the ranch. Marty Markham (David Stollery) is an overprotected orphaned rich kid who arrives in his grandmother's chauffeured limousine with his own butler (Perkins-J. Pat O'Malley-who is detailed to help the ranch's cook) and immediately manages to offend all the boys by calling the Triple-R Ranch "a smelly old farm".

A rivalry soon develops with Spin Evans (Tim Considine), a popular boy who has to work all year to pay the attendance costs. Marty is afraid of horses but lies about being a polo player. Considine and Stollery are both convincing although Stollery has the more difficult part. The supporting cast of boys have appropriate nicknames; the lazy "Ambitious", the freckled "Speckle" and the chunky "Russell the Muscle".

Special effects are a bit weak (like the woodchuck chase scene where you have to accept that a ball of fur pulled though the field on a string is a woodchuck) and the campfire scenes are obvious day for night shooting.

Harry Carey Jr. and Roy Barcroft provide sympathetic and concerned authority figures but my favorite is insightful horse trainer Ollie (Leonard Geer) who always seemed to have about nine days worth of stubble and repeatedly said: "Well I'll be a blue-nosed gopher".

Predictably Marty learns to love horses and to get along with the other boys. He breaks his arm but Perkins is able to keep the news from his grandmother so that he is not sent home early. There are all the great summer camp elements from bears to ghost stories.

The two-disc DVD set has a photo gallery, interviews, and a little feature called "The Return to the Triple-R"; which includes the adult Considine and Stollery visiting the ranch where most of the show was filmed.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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