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Maverick (1957–1962)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy, Western
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,421 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 14 critic

Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (5 card draw) is ... See full summary »


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5   4   3   2   1  
1962   1961   1960   1959   1958   1957  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Bart Maverick / ... (83 episodes, 1957-1962)
 Bret Maverick / ... (60 episodes, 1957-1962)


Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (5 card draw) is their favorite but they've been known to play such odd card games as Three-toed Sloth on occasion. The show would occasionally feature both or all three Mavericks, but usually would rotate the central character from week to week. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Western


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Release Date:

22 September 1957 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(124 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


During season one, Bret competes in a boxing match, and uses the "rope-a-dope" strategy (letting the other fighter tire himself out and them coming back to beat him), several years before Muhammad Ali made it famous. See more »


Bret Maverick: As my old pappy used to say, a man does what he has to do - if he can't get out of it.
See more »


Referenced in Bachelor Father: Gold in Them Hills (1962) See more »


Music by David Buttolph
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
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User Reviews

The Prime Directive
7 August 2005 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

I've heard Bret Maverick described as a "coward" and the show described as a western spoof that gets its humor from the cowardice of the hero. I think this is totally wrong.

A decade before Star Trek introduced its "Prime Directive"- that they shouldn't interfere with the development of the civilizations they encounter, a rule they had to repeatedly break if there was to be any story, Bret Maverick was exercising his own "Prime Directive". All that advice from his "Pappy" adds up to one thing: mind your own business and if everyone else minds their own business, you'll be fine. When Maverick is at a gaming table, he's fine. He knows what's going on and can manipulate things to his advantage. When he gets involved in other things, he has the tread water just to keep up.

He's no coward. He can get angry and be aggressive, (especially in the early episodes, when Roy Huggins was still doing much of the writing). He just doesn't want his life to get too messy and would rather use his wits to resolve his problems rather than tactics that are likely to get somebody hurt. He saw too many people get hurt in the war and wasn't impressed.

But, as with "The Prime Directive", if Bret, (or Bart), was allowed to stick to this, there would be no story. So the writers had to come up with something to him involved in other people's business- or them in his.

The first option was to invoke rule #2: Bret doesn't let anybody cross him. If he gets cheated or conned, he will go far out of his way and bend all other rules, if necessary, to get what's coming to him and make sure the cheaters get what's coming to them. The second option was to introduce an attractive female- who may or may not be trustworthy and have her, intentionally or not, seduce Maverick into helping her solve her problems. Then, there's always money. Everybody has to bend rules when they are broke and a gambler frequently finds his luck running against him and will be willing to take a job- even a dangerous- one in such circumstances. Finally, there are occasions when, against his-and Pappy's better judgment, Maverick just has to do the right thing. These weaknesses and inconvenient strengths endear the character to the audience.

So does Maverick's generally sunny disposition. When he's minding his own business, he figures things will work out. Even when he's in trouble, he somehow always seems to figure he will get out of it somehow and takes temporary defeats in stride. Someone said that "Maverick" is "The Rockford Files" out west. Of course, "Maverick" came first. There are similarities. But Rockford is more world-weary, lest trustful of what the future may bring. A stretch in jail will do that do you. With him, avoiding complications is even more important. He does detective work because it's what he knows but he really just wants to make enough money to go fishing with his Pappy. Maverick stills see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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