After being forced to kill a young hood in self defense, Vint rides to the man's sister's ranch, only to find she has already put out a bounty on him for shooting her brother in the back. Since she ...
On Christmas Eve Bonner and the Marshal capture "El Bruto," a super-strong but mute giant of a man accused of murder. The three men seek refuge for the night in a Spanish Mission where the resident ...
The Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming Territory of the 1890s is owned in sequence by Judge Garth, the Grainger brothers, and Col. MacKenzie. It is the setting for a variety of stories, many more ... See full summary »
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 »
It is the 1870s in Wyoming Territory. Slim Sherman and his 14-year-old brother Andy try to hang on to their ranch after their father is shot by a land grabber. They augment their slight ... See full summary »
Cimmaron City is booming due to oil and gold and hopes to become capital of the future state of Oklahoma. Matthew Rockford is the son of the city's founder; he's now mayor and a major cattle rancher. Sheriff Temple must keep law and order.
A late entry in the TV Westerns boom of the late 50s. Shotgun Slade unlike other show hero wasn't a marshal, sheriff or gunfighter for hire, but Slade was a private detective, hired to ... See full summary »
Colonel Mackenzie, commander of the 4th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Clark near Brackettville in Kinney County in southwest Texas, during the 1870's receives secret orders from U.S. President ... See full summary »
The 77 half-hour episodes (all in B&W) of the television western "The Restless Gun" ran from 1957-1959 on NBC. John Payne (best known as the Santa believing attorney in "Miracle on 34th Street") played the title character whose series name was Vint Bonner. There was also a half hour pilot where Payne's character had a different name (Britt Ponset). 23 of these episodes (including the pilot) are on the new DVD release.
"The Restless Gun" was a big deal back in those days. It had its own Dell 4-color comic book and was part of Topps 1958 set of T.V. Western trading cards. This was the first series for "Bonanza" producer David Dotort. Payne was the show's executive producer.
What distinguished Vint Bonner from the legion of televised loners (Johnny Yuma, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Bronco Lane, etc.) who were roaming the range back then was that he was clearly a professional gunfighter (like Paladin) and not just somebody trying to find themselves. He didn't have Paladin's style or fondness for the good life, rather he seemed pretty world weary and disillusioned.
As someone has already mentioned, Bonner carried around a special kit that would extend the effective range of his colt. This involved a detailed assembly sequence in which a barrel extension and a rifle stock were attached to the handgun. The idea of a modified novelty gun soon inspired imitators, "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "The Rifleman" within the western genre. Then "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." as the spy shows proliferated. The U.N.C.L.E. gun was the most like what was featured on "The Restless Gun". The featured gun has been largely forgotten except among toy collectors, as a toy replica was released at the time along with the show's other merchandising programs.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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