The series was developed from a 1959 episode of "Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre" written and directed by Sam Peckinpah titled "Trouble at Tres Cruces". See more »
[a Mexican bandito bars Dave way out of town]
[the gunslinger nods]
Sure you do, you miserable hind end of a coyote. Just tryin' to be agreeable. Now look here what I got for you
[Dave unsheathes his rifle]
See? Ain't it purdy? How'd you like to have that, you bushwhackin' hamstringer?
[as the gunslinger reaches for the rifle Dave smacks him with the rifle butt]
See more »
a lonesome cowboy (brian keith) travels the old west
Sam Peckinpah had been active on such early TV adult westerns as Gunsmoke and The Rifleman, but he hoped to and dreamed of creating the most authentic TV cowboy show of all. Originally to have been titled "The Lone Westerner," it finally reached network TV in the fall of 1960, and lasted maybe thirteen weeks before being unceremoniously canceled. Meanwhile, Bonanza - the most stupid and least realistic western of all time - was allowed to continue even though it didn't initially score in the ratings. But I'm off track. The Westerner was every bit as good as Peckinpah (who wrote some episodes, directed others) wanted it to be. Attention to historic detail was fabulous, and it had the kind of grim, no-nonsense qualities that made Gunsmoke so terrific during its first three seasons - when it was, briefly, the High Noon of TV westerns rather than the corny folksy show it all too quickly degenerated into. Keith had a John Wayne kind of quality that served the show admirably while that underrated character actor John Dehner played his sometimes sidekick, Burgundy Smith. Throw in the dog from Old Yeller (here called Brown, which was his real name) and some intriguingly anecdotal tales, all very anti-heroic, and you had a show that captured the escapades of an ordinary saddle tramp in a way that no other did. Tom Gries, who later mounted the magnificent western movie Will Penny, tried out some of the plots and characters of that 1968 film here. Look for such later Peckinpah stock company members as Warren Oates in the varied casts.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?