Little Joe finds true love in newcomer Alice Harper. Following a courtship, the two are engaged. Unlike most of the Cartwrights' previous girlfriends, Alice makes it to the altar. Joe and Alice are ...
Stories of the journeys of a wagon train as it leaves post-Civil War Missouri on its way to California through the plains, deserts and Rocky Mountains. The first treks were led by gruff, ... See full summary »
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 »
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 »
William F. Claxton
Peter Mark Richman
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
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 »
Bonanza ran for so many years that it's impossible for someone like myself to say anything negative about the show and have credibility, but I'm going to. So many shows start off with an "ensemble" cast and then, because of fan mail to one or two certain actors on the show (usually the younger ones), turn the show around to showcase only those actors.
This happened with Bonanza. Pernell Roberts was the best actor on the series, and Adam Cartwright lent a sense of rationality and calm to the frenetics of Ben, Hoss, and Little Joe. He was so subtle, yet stole each and every scene he was in. He was like cool water to a fever. However, and as always happens with fan mail because only a small demographic segment write it in the first place (primarily young, single women), the character of "Adam" appeared less and less as the series wore on. Bonanza became "The Little Joe Show," and that's when I stopped watching it. At that point, the only "breath of fresh air" on the show was Hop Sing.
Anyway, Bonanza is a classic and is worth watching when Pernell Roberts was still in the show, or if only to see the myriad of great guest stars in each episode.
28 of 47 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?