Yuma stops at a bar where a bounty hunter is holding the wife of the outlaw he hopes to collect on. Seeing Yuma's descriptive resemblance to the outlaw, the bounty hunter decides upon an alternative ...
Yuma is in a town where the people's failure to accept the war's outcome encourages a boy to seek revenge for his father's death by killing General Grant. To dissuade the boy, Yuma relates a tale of ...
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 »
Combat!, a one-hour WWII drama series on television, followed a frontline American infantry squad as they battled their way across Europe. With mud-splattered realism, the show offered ... 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 »
In the 1880s Jason McCord travels the country trying to prove he's no coward. He needs to do this because the military career of this West point graduate came to an end when he was thrown out of the army after being accused of cowardice.
Marshal Earp keeps the law, first in Kansas and later in Arizona, using his over-sized pistols and a variety of sidekicks. Most of the saga is based loosely on fact, with historical badguys... 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 »
Johnny Yuma is an angry young former Confederate Army soldier drifting through an apparently meaningless existence in the 1860's Wild West. While in search of his identity, he defends people from hostile Indians, crooked land developers, and evil ranchers. Written by
In spite of being cast as a former Confederate soldier, Nick Adams never made any attempt to speak with a southern accent or even to moderate his natural and rather pronounced New England accent. See more »
THERE SEEMS TO be a nearly eternal popularity deeply entrenched into the very fiber of the stories dealing with "rebels." Be they authentic guerrilla type fighters or those representing restless and idealistic (and often very naïve)individuals. We need only look at some of our most popular movies of the day.
IN GOINGH BACK some years (being ever since WWII), we have had many films with this particular theme. Often categorized as the "Anti-hero", the characters and their stories have had such appeal as we've been talking. Consider: Marlon Brando in THE WILD ONE, Paul Newman in COOL HAND Luke, Tom Laughlin in BILLY JACK and the premier candidate, James Dean in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.
AND SPEAKING OF Mr.Dean, it was his meteoric rise and tragic demise that added to both his own personal legend; as well as to the desire to have "rebellious" movie themes. In typical Hollywood fashion, there was a frantic scurrying about in hopes of finding the "New James Dean"; or at least someone who resembles him and could fill the void.
THIS EXHAUSTIVE SEARCH by "Talent Scouts" did manage to bring forth a number of talented individuals; although none really did the impossible by replacing the fallen Star. Among those who were thought to be viable candidates were: Robert Conrad, Martin Sheen, Ty Hardin, Rip Taylor* and Nick Adams.
SO IN THE casting of the youthful Mr. Adams as the lead in THE REBEL TV Series, the producers essentially fulfilled both rebel types. The character of Johnny Yuma was both young and full of blank and vinegar and was also a veteran of the defeated Army of the Confederate States of America. Indeed, what a coup de tat this was for the producers in "killing two birds with one stone", so to speak.
THE SERIES, WHICH did make it successfully through two seasons of brutal ratings wars of its own, traced the adventures lived by the young veteran former foot soldier. We follow his meandering through the Post-Bellum Western United States. He always has to prove himself to somebody; both as a man (because of his young age) and because he is a former "Johnny Reb".
NO MATTER WHERE Yuma 'wandered', the locals were sure to be able to size him up instantly as a Reb. Why, you ask? Well it was probably because he always wore his Gray uniform and rebel flat-topped brimmed cap; being a dead give away.
AS WAS THE custom, the central character in these 1950s 'Horse Operas' had special weapons. Much like Josh Randall (Steve McQueen) on WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, Johnny's weapon of choice was sawed off. But rather than its being a cut down carbine rifle, This Rebel had a surgically shortened shotgun. OUCH!!!
WE HAVE JUST discovered that in addition to being in front of the camera, Nick Adams was both the co-creator and sometimes writer to the series. He also did own some piece of the series. (Good for you, Nick!)
WHEN ONRE WATCHES one of the episodes of THE REBEL today, there is something very different. The original theme song and signature song, "The Ballad of Johnny Yuma" is not present on these modern day prints. It was very well known and sung by every kid in our neighborhood. It was recorded for the series by a singer named Johnny Cash. It has been replaced on the soundtrack by an instrumental instead. Once again, why you asked?
WELL THIS IS only a guess, but it's probably over either the rights to the song or because it may well require payments of healthy residuals to the Estate of the Late Mr. Cash; a practice abhorred by just about any Hollywood producer.
CAN YOU SAY "bottom line", Schultz?
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