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Sundance, a reformed gunslinger just released from prison, drifts into the town of Georgetown, CO. A tangle with the town villain ends up with Sundance being forced to shoot him, resulting in his being made town marshal. He takes a shine to two French sisters who own the town's most elegant hotel, The Hotel du Paree--especially the young, pretty one. Written by
sundance (earl holliman) befriends the widow and daughter of the man he once killed.
Here was an attempt to do something truly original amid the formulaic westerns that dominated TV in the late fifties. Ordinarily, the hero would be a stellar person, out to do the right thing. In the opening episode of Hotel de Paree, the Sundance Kid (Earl Holliman) is released from jail after serving three years for killing the man who owned the title establishment in Colorado. He returns to that town as soon as he's released, planning to harass the widow and daughter of the man. Not exactly your normal opener, right? Then he did come to like them both and, instead of killing them, stuck around to protect them from the wild boys who roamed through this section of the west. Sundance became close friends with Aaron (Strother Martin), an eccentric storekeeper and a preview of the many characters Martin would play in Sam Peckinpah movies. Always, there was the hint that Sundance was romantically involved with either the attractive mother (Jeanette Nolan) or her budding daughter Judi Meredith), though the writers wisely chose to leave that up to our imagination - or even allow us to think, if we wished, that he was engaged in a menage-a-trois with BOTH of them! The whole thing was far too brilliantly weird for TV viewers of the time, so NBC toyed with stripping away everything that was most interesting about the show, renaming it The Sundance Kid for its second season, and having Holliman roam the west pretty much like every other TV cowboy hero. Supposedly, that was all set - but at the last moment the show was canceled. Perhaps we ought to consider that a blessing - because we can at least remember the unique show this really was rather than have to recall the routine one it might have become.
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