A Civil War veteran with a sawed-off rifle as a holstered weapon makes a living as a bounty hunter in the Wild West of the 1870s.
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1961   1960   1959   1958  



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Complete series cast summary:
 Josh Randall (94 episodes, 1958-1961)


A Civil War veteran with a sawed-off rifle as a holstered weapon makes a living as a bounty hunter in the Wild West of the 1870s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 September 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Kopfgeldjäger  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A version of the gun (a Mare's leg) used by McQueen in this series is made by ROSSI. The ROSSI is 24 inches long (12 " barrel) and available in up to .44 magnum caliber. It is legal in the USA as a 'handgun'. The 'mare's leg' style of gun was and is used by ranchers. It typically is sheathed in a holster on a horse's right front leg where the rider can easily reach it for defense of the rider or his live stock. The gun on the show fascinated a 10 year old boy who bought one 57 years later and thinks of 'Josh Randall' every time he uses it. The 'mare's leg is great (ROSSI .44 magnum) for home defense and bears. "Wanted Dead or Alive" introduced a great gun to all of America. See more »


Referenced in Zombieland (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

A good start to an outstanding film career.
6 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Wanted-Dead or Alive" was a half hour western series appearing on CBS television for three seasons from 1958-1961. The series actually got its start as an episode of another popular TV series of the time, "Trackdown", during the second half of the '57-'58 TV season. "Wanted-Dead or Alive" starred Steve McQueen as bounty hunter Josh Randall in what was a very good start to an outstanding acting career in feature films. As played by McQueen, Josh Randall was the most laconic of a broad television landscape of would-be laconic western series heroes.

Josh Randall carried a sawed-off 44/40 Winchester carbine (his "Mare's Leg", as he called it) on his hip instead of the traditional Colt 45 pistol. This of course played into the TV "cool factor" as his weapon made a much louder, more devastating sound when fired and of course had much more "stopping power" upon impact with the intended victim. Cool! Although "Wanted-Dead or Alive" was truly nothing out of the ordinary in terms of content or quality compared to other like fare of the period but Steve McQueen as Josh Randall and his unique weapon made this a "must watch" series. Only Paladin was better and "cooler" than Josh.

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