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"The Americans" (1961) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1961-


Overview

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Seasons:
1
Release Date:
23 January 1961 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Inspired by James Warner Bellah's "The Valiant Virginians," a 1953 book that had previously been serialized... See more »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Brother Against Brother See more (22 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast Summary - 3 of 8)

Darryl Hickman ... Cpl. Ben Canfield, USA (12 episodes, 1961)
Richard Davalos ... Cpl. Jeff Canfield, CSA (11 episodes, 1961)

John McIntire ... Pa Canfield (5 episodes, 1961)
(more)

Series Directed by
Lamont Johnson (2 episodes, 1961)
 
Series Writing credits
James Warner Bellah (3 episodes, 1961)
William D. Gordon (3 episodes, 1961)
Andy Lewis (2 episodes, 1961)

Series Produced by
Frank Telford .... producer (17 episodes, 1961)
Lewis E. Ciannelli .... associate producer (2 episodes, 1961)
Andy Lewis .... associate producer (2 episodes, 1961)
 
Series Original Music by
Jeff Alexander (1 episode, 1961)
Van Alexander (1 episode, 1961)
Bernard Herrmann (1 episode, 1961)
 
Series Cinematography by
Harkness Smith (2 episodes, 1961)
 
Series Film Editing by
Henry Berman (1 episode, 1961)
Jack Kampschroer (1 episode, 1961)
 
Series Casting by
Jane Murray (2 episodes, 1961)
 
Series Art Direction by
George W. Davis (2 episodes, 1961)
William Ferrari (2 episodes, 1961)
 
Series Set Decoration by
Henry Grace (2 episodes, 1961)
Don Greenwood Jr. (2 episodes, 1961)
 
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hal W. Polaire .... assistant director (1 episode, 1961)
Maurice Vaccarino .... assistant director (1 episode, 1961)
 
Series Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... sound (2 episodes, 1961)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
James V. King .... camera operator (unknown episodes)
Bunny Levitt .... assistant camera (unknown episodes)
James Williamson .... assistant camera (unknown episodes)
 
Series Music Department
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: theme music (17 episodes, 1961)
 
Series Other crew
John S. Peters .... technical adviser / technical advisor (2 episodes, 1961)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Runtime:
60 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

FAQ

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Brother Against Brother, 1 July 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

I still remember as a kid seeing this shortlived, but highly acclaimed series that didn't find an audience.

The premise was the two Canfield Brothers, living in a border state, having an opposite political view of the issues that were shortly to divide America. When their father, John McIntire, is killed. Darryl Hickman responds to Father Abraham's call for men while Richard Davalos opts for the newly formed Confederacy.

It was like that in a whole lot of families back then. The famous Kentucky statesman John Crittenden saw two of his sons become generals in the opposing armies. Though Ben and Jeff Canfield never got to be higher than corporal in the series short run, the idea is the same. Each week the story alternated with a Union story involving Ben and a Confederate story involving Jeff. Kind of like the Maverick brothers.

This was obviously planned for a long term run, though not as long as MASH which lasted three times as long as the actual Korean War itself. It also treated the issues and incidents of the time with seriousness.

Those thirteen episodes dealt with some of the events and people of 1861. Dick Davalos got himself involved with the notorious Confederate spy, Rose Greenhow in an episode. Darryl Hickman did a stretch in Libby Prison when he was captured.

Besides the pilot the episode I remember best was the last where Ben Canfield testifies at a Congressional hearing. The Radical Republicans had a committee that oversaw Lincoln's conduct of the war and his critics in Congress used it as a vehicle for their own ambitions. It concerned the Battle of Ball's Bluff where a personal friend of Lincoln's, Edward Baker was killed leading his men in a charge. Robert Middleton played Senator Ben Wade of Ohio who has not come down in history with a sterling reputation. In fact Wade almost became president when Andrew Johnson fell one vote shy of impeachment. But that's another story.

Had this gone on for five years, The Americans would have been a remarkable educational tool and been frequently revived. Think of all the Civil War history that could have been made comprehensible and entertaining for the young. We had to wait 30 years for Ken Burns.

As with so many flop series, good and bad, The Americans if the tapes of the shows still exist is gathering dust somewhere. Pity.

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