Hotel de Paree (TV Series 1959–1960) Poster


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Had Its Own Comic Book Dell FC1126
aimless-4629 November 2006
"Hotel de Paree" a/k/a "Sundance" ran for a full television season back in 1959-60, 33 thirty minute episodes. Needing something to distinguish it from the many 30 and 60 minute western series which flooded the airwaves at that time, the producers hit on the idea of having the main character (Sundance played by Earl Holliman-later to do "Police Woman") wear a black hat, with a hat band made out of shiny silver dollars.

He was called "Sundance", not the Sundance Kid and he did not wear mirrors on his hat. Apparently the mirror myth grew up because with their little black and white televisions and the show's cheap production values (mostly wide master shots) many viewers never got a close look at his hat's band. In at least one episode, reflections off the silver coins aid him in a gunfight. Not that he really needs any help as he is a faster gun, a better shot, and handier in a fist fight than anyone he ever comes up against.

The series begins with "Sundance" returning to Georgetown, Colorado after his release from prison for killing a man named Deveraux. He goes into the hotel business with the wife (Jeanette Nolan) and daughter of the man he killed; eventually becoming half owner of the Hotel de Paree, starts a stage line to Denver, and acquires a half share in a silver mine. The two women have outrageous French accents. The mother is secretly in love with Sundance and charms him with her cooking. The daughter is brazenly in love with Sundance and charms him with her more obvious assets.

Some comic relief is provided by the two parrots and by a shaggy dog named Useless. The English-speaking parrot is named Patsy and it tries to teach the French-speaking parrot English.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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A little bit of everything
jeffclinthill14 March 2004
I remember Hotel de Paree as having a little bit of everything. It ripped off "Gunsmoke" and "Have Gun Will Travel." It was the precursor of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Andy Griffith Show. It was the coolest role that Earl Holiman ever played. His co-stars were his mirror rimmed hat and his pistol with the mirror on the hand-grip where Paladin's pistol had a knight chess piece. In so many of the other television westerns of the time such as Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Bronco, and Maverick, the main character would drift into town, get unfairly accused of some crime the villain had done, expose the villain, kill the villain in a shoot out, and then mosey out of town despite the pleas of the townsfolk, including the pleas of the luscious daughter of the richest cattleman in town that he "stay on. We need you."

But in Hotel de Paree, Earl Holiman drifts into town without a cent to his name, and helped by his mirror rimmed hat, kills the bad guy in a high noon show down, and takes over ownership of the town hotel that is run by two French damsels. For the rest of the series he plays a character that is a cross between Matt Dillion and Rob Petrie.
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Strangely watchable.
laroche-319 June 2007
"Hotel De Paree" was a half hour western that ran on CBS during the '59-'60 television season. It was another of the "gimmick" westerns running during that time as westerns were slowly but surely fading from the television landscape and relying on gimmicks to keep audience interest. This one had one of the strangest gimmicks of all as the gimmick was a hatband!!! worn by the hero, Sundance, made up of a series of brightly polished metal discs and used to temporarily blind an opponent during a gunfight as the bright sun reflected off the hatband. Honestly, this is too strange to make up! Played by Earl Holliman, Sundance is an ex-convict who inherits partnership in the hotel of the title and shares ownership (and perhaps more?) with the co-owner, Mrs. Devereaux (played by Jeannette Nolan), and her beautiful young niece Monique. Veteran character actor Strother Martin portrayed storekeeper Aaron, Sundance's best friend.

Everything about this series was slightly strange. Beginning with the unlikely title of the program, to the gimmicky shiny hatband, right down to Sundance's strange (almost bizarre) relationship with BOTH Mrs. Devereaux AND Mrs. Deveraux's niece. Despite it all, this was a strangely watchable series and should have merited a second season.
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sundance (earl holliman) befriends the widow and daughter of the man he once killed.
dougbrode22 March 2006
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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