Bonanza (1959–1973)

TV Series  -   -  Western
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,032 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 21 critic

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

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 06 Nov 2010
 
a list of 30 titles
created 05 Jul 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 13 May 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 08 Mar 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Bonanza" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Bonanza (1959–1973)

Bonanza (1959–1973) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Bonanza.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



14   13   12   11   10   9   8   7   6   … See all »
1973   1972   1971   1970   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.

Stars: James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake
The Big Valley (1965–1969)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Wild West adventures of the residents and staff of Barkley Ranch in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Stars: Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors
Trapper John, M.D. (1979–1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Korean War MASH unit veteran operates as Chief Surgeon in a major city hospital with his colleagues.

Stars: Pernell Roberts, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Charles Siebert
Bonanza: Under Attack (TV Movie 1995)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Mark Tinker
Stars: Ben Johnson, Michael Landon Jr., Emily Warfield
The Wild Wild West (1965–1969)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Two Secret Services agents, equipped with a wide array of gizmos, work for the government in the Old West.

Stars: Robert Conrad, Ross Martin, Whitey Hughes
Rawhide (1959–1965)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Gil Favor is trail boss of a continuous cattle drive; he is assisted by Rowdy Yates. The crew runs into characters and adventures along the way.

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Paul Brinegar, Steve Raines
The High Chaparral (1967–1971)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in 1870s. Big John wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck and son... See full summary »

Stars: Leif Erickson, Cameron Mitchell, Henry Darrow
Bonanza: The Return (TV Movie 1993)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

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
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: William F. Claxton
Stars: Robert Fuller, John Ireland, Peter Mark Richman
Bonanza (TV Series 2000)
Documentary | Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Dirk Blocker, Conor Connery, Michael Landon Jr.
Edit

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)
Edit

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

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 September 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponderosa  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(430 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

For most of its 430 episode run, the main sponsor of Bonanza was Chevrolet and the stars occasionally appeared in commercials endorsing Chevrolet automobiles. 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

[running gag]
Ben Cartwright: Hey, Joe, do you know the difference between a table and an ottoman?
Joseph 'Little Joe' Cartwright: Sure I do.
Ben Cartwright: Then take your feet off the table!
[Hoss rolls his eyes]
Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright: He'll never learn to do that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening sequence, when the actors ride on their horses towards the camera and are introduced, the order in which they are introduced is never consistent - this was most likely done to prevent a single actor from becoming the "main" star of the show. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Outside Providence (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonanza
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Magnificent classic western features noble, close knit family
29 April 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I grew up on this classic western series, and as a child always considered it a treat being allowed to stay up late on Sunday evenings to watch it. Bonanza is still infinitely re watchable in re runs.

The series chronicles the adventures of the Cartwright family, who live on a ranch near Virginia City, Nevada around the Civil War era. Their ranch (called the Ponderosa) is run and defended by the widowed father, Ben, and his unmarried three sons, Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe. These three brothers have different mothers, all of whom have passed away years earlier.

The Cartwrights are a hard working, prosperous, and honourable family, highly respected in those parts. The Ponderosa is large so reaching its extremities requires a lot of horseback riding. Also, trips away are often necessary in order to buy or sell cattle and so forth. Needless to say, few of these excursions pass uneventfully. Although hospitable, much of the Cartwrights' energy must be spent defending their ranch from interlopers, or protecting themselves from townsfolk jealous of their prosperity and stellar reputation. The Cartwrights do a fair bit of firing their guns up in the air and such, but only shoot to kill when deemed absolutely necessary. They are involved in various town affairs, even the political life of the Nevada territory.

One of the main assets of the series is the underlying warmth that is always present (despite occasional disagreements) between Ben and his three sons, and (despite frequent disagreements) between the three brothers. Now, one brother might beat up another every now and then, but generally has a good reason for it at the time and his anger never lasts long! The characters are all very well drawn. Ben is portrayed as a successful and noble man of great integrity. The oldest son, Adam, the most rational and suave of the brothers, left midway through the series. The middle brother, Hoss, is a gentle giant of a teddy bear, who has an insatiable appetite for food and is a little shy around the ladies. The youngest, Little Joe, is a hot headed, handsome charmer who, by contrast, has quite a way with women. This trio of brothers enjoy various romances but their love interests are typically killed off by the end of the episode or else marriage proves impossible, for whatever reason.

The actors are all stellar in their roles, including Pernell Roberts (Adam), Dan Blocker (Hoss), Michael Landon (Little Joe), and of course Lorne Greene as the principled family patriarch, Ben. I also love the ranch cook, Hop Sing, played by Victor Sen Yung.

This is a wonderful action packed western with great values. The Cartwrights are always the noble heroes and most of the bad guys quite villainous. If only there were more programs like this vintage western on TV these days!


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Adam's Mother nelsoncruz582
How many Cartwright love interests really were killed off? rbecker28
the Ponderosa Map clevieevans
An ineffective apologia for slavery liching1
I'm sorry to ask this question... Barefootconsevative
Did anybody find Adam slightly arrogant? chesterprynne
Discuss Bonanza (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page