Bonanza (1959–1973)

TV Series  -   -  Western
7.4
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The adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their ranch while helping the surrounding community.

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Title: Bonanza (1959–1973)

Bonanza (1959–1973) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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This is the continuing saga of the Cartwrights, only none of the original Cartwrights are here anymore but their sons. Ben and Hoss have passed on, and Little Joe is MIA; he went with Teddy... See full summary »

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A man with a grudge against the late Little Joe seeks revenge on the Cartwrights and attempts to take over the Ponderosa.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Ben Johnson, Michael Landon Jr., Emily Warfield
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Ben Cartwright / ... (430 episodes, 1959-1973)
...
 Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright / ... (427 episodes, 1959-1973)
...
 Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright / ... (415 episodes, 1959-1972)
...
 Adam Cartwright (200 episodes, 1959-1965)
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Storyline

The Cartwright's thousand-square-mile Ponderosa Ranch is located near Virginia City, Nevada, site of the Comstock Silver Lode, during and after the Civil War. Each of the sons was born to a different wife of Ben's; none of the mothers is still alive. Adventures are typical western ones, with lots of personal relationships/problems thrown in as well. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponderosa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(430 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the show's early episodes, the writers would typically have the Cartwrights being hostile to visitors to their property. Lorne Greene objected to this, pointing out that with the Ponderosa being as large as it is, the Cartwrights would be an important business interest in the community. Thus visitors would naturally come for economic and political reasons as well as social ones and the Cartwrights would logically welcome them as such. The producers agreed and altered the premise of the characters accordingly. See more »

Goofs

During the first season opening credits, the Cartwrights can be seen galloping on horses on a dirt road that contains an unmistakable set of tire tracks from the truck carrying the camera in front of them. See more »

Quotes

Adam Cartwright: Let's go back to the Ponderosa, Pa. This isn't any of our affair.
Ben Cartwright: We can't ignore the rest of the world. We're the only stabilizing influence in the country.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening and closing credits show a picture on the screen that corresponds with whatever credit is being given ("Music by" is accompanied by a man playing a violin, "Written by" has a Mark Twain-inspired writer type holding a book with "Bonanza" written on its cover, etc.) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: The Homer They Fall (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonanza
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

That All-Important 1959 Pilot!
7 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

I only got onto this show in recent years. Episodes from various seasons would appear at a local video store or on afternoon television. I was not viewing it in production order and I think it needs to be seen in production order as it is a show about a growing family, the Cartwrights! I found it all a bit too studiobound but found the Cartwrights reasonably interesting but nothing that would change my average view of western shows. Then one day I went to a friends place and he got out a copy of the Bonanza pilot of 1959!

A Rose For Lotta (1959, 50 minutes) is a well directed pilot that captures the vast open fields of The Ponderosa, but more importantly, it captures the Cartwrights as we never see them in the series. They fist fight with each other, they fire guns in the air when invaders enter the land, they threaten invaders with murder, this pilot is in my top five western shows (big screen or little screen) of all time!

The pilot story is about powerful silver barons (including Yvonne DeCarlo) appearing on the Ponderosa and taking Joe hostage in return for valuable timber. The acting from the regulars takes on a 1950s theatrical edge instead of the usual sleepwalking acting (best explained this way, think of Chuck Heston in 1959 Ben-Hur compared to Chuck Heston in 1974 Earthquake) and this hour is something you will never forget. Enjoy!


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