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 ...
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.
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 »
Lawman is the story of Marshal Dan Troop of Laramie, Wyoming and his deputy Johnny McKay, an orphan Troop took under his wing. In the second season Lily Merrill opens The Birdcage Saloon ... See full summary »
The Deputy is Clay McCord, a storekeeper in 1880's Silver City, Arizona Territories, who is an expert shot, but refuses to use his gun because he believes they are the major cause of ... See full summary »
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... See full summary »
Sam Buckhart was an Apache Indian who had saved the life of a U.S. Cavalry officer after an Indian ambush. When the officer died, he left Sam money that was used for an education at private... See full summary »
The basis for the series was the 1953- 54 radio series "The Six Shooter", starring James Stewart and created by Frank Burt. Many of the series' first-season episodes were adapted from episodes aired on radio. See more »
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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