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Rustlers, bank robbers, and their own wild schemes: a band of Texas Rangers keeps getting in and out of trouble, under the jaundiced eye of Captain Parmalee. Written by
One of television's most lighthearted looks at the Old West was the series Laredo. It involved three Texas Rangers who to use the description of John Wayne in Fort Apache, would fight over cards and women and liquor, but would share the last drop of water in their canteens on a desert. They also shared a common trait of always trying to put one over on their captain who was played by Philip Carey.
Our three heroes were played by Neville Brand, William Smith, and Peter Brown. Brand who played many a villain on the big screen and was probably best known before Laredo for playing Al Capone in Robert Stack's The Untouchables discovered his vein for comedy. His career took a similar turn to his fellow character actor Jack Elam in that way. Brand as Reese was loud, brawling, and braggadocious. William Smith who later on played some really nasty villains was the brawny one who was raised among the Indians. Peter Brown who had already had one TV western under his belt with Lawman, played the good looking one in the cast to attract a few women to this testosterone driven western.
Later on Claude Akins and Robert Wolders joined the cast as the brawling and the handsome one, but it was not the same without the original three. Laredo only lasted two seasons with public tastes changing from westerns and cast changes as well. But the episodes which were done with a heavy comic flavor are fondly remembered.
If you like such things as John Wayne's McLintock and the Cheyenne Social Club with James Stewart and Henry Fonda, you'll find Laredo to your taste. Don't expect any sophisticated dialog here, just a lot of belly laughs as outlaws meet justice at the end of every episode.
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