Little Joe is blinded by an explosion and wallows in self-pity as he struggles to come to grips with his condition, which may be temporary or permanent. Ben hires a teacher from the Institute for the...
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 »
Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (5 card draw) is ... See full summary »
The Shiloh Ranch in Wyoming Territory of the 1890s is owned in sequence by Judge Garth, the Grainger brothers, and Col. MacKenzie. It is the setting for a variety of stories, many more ... See full summary »
The Cartwright's one-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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For a long time producer David Dortort refused to allow Michael Landon to write scripts for the show. It took many failed attempts by Landon before he eventually submitted a script that Dortort thought good enough to make. After this he became a regular writer for the series and later would re-work many of his scripts for new episodes of Little House on the Prairie (1974). 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.
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