Operating their skydiving service company "Ripcord", Jim Buckley and Ted McKeever are able to get to places that others can't and get there much faster. This leads them on many exciting ... See full summary »
Operating their skydiving service company "Ripcord", Jim Buckley and Ted McKeever are able to get to places that others can't and get there much faster. This leads them on many exciting adventures from chasing bad guys to performing daring rescues. This series inspired the first widespread interest in parachuting as a sport. Written by
Wayne Coleman <email@example.com>
The series included several spectacular skydiving scenes. In one episode, there was a fist fight between two characters in midair. The scene was shot by a cameraman who was in free fall with the actors. See more »
[first lines of each episode]
This is skydiving, controlled flight without wings - even for experts, the most dangerous game going. This jump, like every jump you will see on this series, is made by a highly trained man who is playing the game for the highest stakes there are - his own life. He has one, and only one, safety device at his command... his parachute and its ripcord.
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The Ripcord series fit into a cunning and largely appreciated black and white 1960's TV niche. It was situated somewhere between the hybrid "Lassie" genre (which used formula after formula to keep the series going---with middling success, but without a comfortable continuity of characters and situations)...and Whirley Birds which recycled some of the stars and characters from the "Park Ranger Lassies". These Lassies became a real ordeal to watch even for kids.
Ripcord, proffering a welcomed outline--- bereft of non-western and non-private eye predictability--- mixed action, drama, mystery, humor and, well--- swagger to bring a fascinating weekly episode about the infant sport of skydiving to its dedicated viewer-ship of all age groups.
The adventures were of a compelling and happy-ending ilk. The dialog was cleverly written. It pretty much had to be. It was born of the necessity of familiarizing viewers with the intricacies and dangers attendant to a burgeoning sport...and, at the same time, putting forth a fresh plot which could be understood amid the defining of an interesting-if-unfamiliar activity.
The co-main character, Ken Curtis, who went on to play the ubiquitous and well-meaning bumpkin/buffoon on Gunsmoke did well in Ripcord---and, ultimately became an American "Prairie Trash" icon of the small screen---leaving small, grinding parts to follow for his counterpart, Larry Pennell. Pennell subsequently and interminably showed up in just about every type part that had to be auditioned for. See: Dash Riprock's character of The Beverly Hillbillies. A pity, as his talent and visage were quite worthy for their time.
How many within sight or hollering' distance of this piece know that in 1950, Larry "Bud" Pennell was the slick fielding and power hitting first baseman for the Jackson(MS)Senators. Well, he was. And, his exciting play filled-up the rickety green painted board seats of dilapidated League Park...at the fairgrounds...in my hometown. I was then a ten year old bat boy whose crew cut head Pennell rubbed for good luck prior to an at-bat. The Senators folded their tent upon completion of the season of 1950, by the way.
Pennell could hit a baseball farther than you could point. Would that his acting career had been such fodder for excitement. Bud Pennell could play, guys. Buddy Buchanan/Jackson,MS
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