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The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in 1870s. Big John wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck and son Billy Blue. When Blue's mother was killed (in the first episode) John united his family with the powerful Montoyas by marrying their daughter Victoria (whose brother Manolito now lives with them as well). Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Some of the finest viewing that television has ever offered.
This television series originally aired on NBC on Friday nights from 7:30 to 8:30 PM for almost its entire run. It ran right before another one of television's greatest programs, "The Name of the Game." I used to wonder if the reason I remembered this show with such admiration was due to the age that I was when the show originally ran, but recently seeing it again, I have to say that it stayed with me so long because it's just a fantastic show.
The show is centered around the character of John Cannon, played flawlessly by Leif (pronounced "Life") Erickson, and his brother Buck, played by Cameron Mitchell. Also in the cast were Linda Cristal as John's wife Victoria, Henry Darrow as Victoria's brother Manolito, and Mark Slade playing John's son Billy Blue Cannon.
When I was just a kid in grade school, my cousins and others I knew were tuned in to ABC's Friday night line-up, which was quite popular at the time. I couldn't tear myself away from this show though, and it's difficult to explain why without revealing too much about it. Let's just say that the stories were impeccably written and directed, doing much the same thing as Bonanza would do, alternating between high drama and humor. A good example of this is an episode entitled "The Firing Wall." If you ever get to see this series, keep an eye out for that episode. My personal favorite is an episode called "Champion of the Western World." Fun episode! The casting was perfect. Every regular cast member really seemed to like the characters they were portraying. Henry Darrow was outstanding in giving his character real depth and range of emotion. Cameron Mitchell also did some really fine work in this series. In fact, when you get right down to it, they all did!
I could go on about this show by using all the known adjectives, stupendous!, wonderful!, ect..., but if you're reading this, then you probably already share a certain amount of the same enthusiasm that I have for this show. If you're reading just out of curiosity however, then if you ever get the opportunity to do so, by all means, treat yourself to one of the finest programs that television has ever offered.
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