IMDb > "Best of the West" (1981)

"Best of the West" (1981) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1981-1982


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7.9/10   153 votes »
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Release Date:
10 September 1981 (USA) See more »
The Wild West misadventures of a mild-mannered store owner turned town marshal. Full summary »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
West is best See more (7 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 7 of 12)

Joel Higgins ... Marshal Sam Best (22 episodes, 1981-1982)
Carlene Watkins ... Elvira Best (22 episodes, 1981-1982)

Meeno Peluce ... Daniel Best (22 episodes, 1981-1982)

Valri Bromfield ... Laney Gibbs (22 episodes, 1981-1982)

Tom Ewell ... Doc Kullens (22 episodes, 1981-1982)

Leonard Frey ... Parker Tillman (22 episodes, 1981-1982)

Tracey Walter ... Frog Rothchild Jr. (21 episodes, 1981-1982)

Series Directed by
Howard Storm (6 episodes, 1981-1982)
Stan Daniels (3 episodes, 1981-1982)
James Burrows (3 episodes, 1981)
Jeff Chambers (3 episodes, 1981)
Ed. Weinberger (2 episodes, 1981-1982)
Michael Lessac (2 episodes, 1982)
Will Mackenzie (1 episode, 1981)
Series Writing credits
Earl Pomerantz (22 episodes, 1981-1982)
Michael Leeson (3 episodes, 1981)
David Lloyd (3 episodes, 1982)
Mitch Markowitz (2 episodes, 1981)
Sy Rosen (1 episode, 1981)
Sam Simon (1 episode, 1981)

Series Produced by
David Lloyd .... producer (3 episodes, 1981-1982)
Ronald E. Frazier .... producer (3 episodes, 1981)
Earl Pomerantz .... executive producer (2 episodes, 1981)

Greg Nierman .... assistant producer (unknown episodes)
Series Original Music by
Roger Steinman (2 episodes, 1981)
Series Cinematography by
Kenneth Peach (1 episode, 1981)
Leonard J. South (1 episode, 1981)
Series Film Editing by
M. Pam Blumenthal (1 episode, 1981)
Douglas Hines (1 episode, 1981)

Ronald Sinclair (unknown episodes)
Series Casting by
Melinda Gartzman (2 episodes, 1981)
Series Art Direction by
James F. Claytor Sr. (1 episode, 1981)
Kenneth A. Reid (1 episode, 1981)

Tommy Goetz (unknown episodes)
Series Set Decoration by
Charles E. Tycer (1 episode, 1981)
Fred S. Winston (1 episode, 1981)
Series Makeup Department
Silvia Abascal .... assistant hair stylist / hair stylist (10 episodes, 1981-1982)
Robert Ryan .... makeup artist (2 episodes, 1981)
Series Production Management
Gregg Peters .... unit production manager (2 episodes, 1981)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Brian James Ellis .... second assistant director (21 episodes, 1981-1982)

Randy Carter .... first assistant director (unknown episodes)
Series Art Department
Frank Bellina .... property master (21 episodes, 1981-1982)
Series Sound Department
James R. Wright .... production mixer (2 episodes, 1981)
Series Special Effects by
Ken Speed .... special effects assistant (unknown episodes)
Series Casting Department
Gretchen Rennell .... casting: New York (1 episode, 1981)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert L. Tanella .... costumer (2 episodes, 1981)
Series Editorial Department
Jeff Cahn .... assistant editor (1 episode, 1981)
Series Music Department
Rex Allen .... singer: theme song (1 episode, 1981)
Earl Pomerantz .... composer: theme music (1 episode, 1981)
Series Other crew
Gil Clasen .... technical coordinator (2 episodes, 1981)
Tommy Goetz .... technical consultant (2 episodes, 1981)
Richard Sakai .... title visualization (2 episodes, 1981)
Mitch Markowitz .... executive story editor (1 episode, 1981)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
30 min (22 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Best of the WestSee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
West is best, 14 December 2014
Author: jc-osms from United Kingdom

So pleased to track down this James Burrows-directed, Earl Pomerantz-scripted spoof Western comedy from the early 80's. For some reason, unlike their other ventures "Taxi" and "Cheers", this series didn't take off, got cancelled and has remained a distant but happy memory ever since.

I can't think why it failed. Even in the pilot, which I've just watched, there are laughs a plenty, as we're introduced to former Yankee soldier Sam Best, his dispossessed dim-but-dotty Southern wife Elvira and his (not her) bratty son as they relocate from civilised Philadelphia to the wild west where they encounter a motley crew of local townsfolk and a whole different outlook on life.

Best, played by Joel Higgins, is the central character, the typical honest, law-abiding citizen, a new-to-town shop-owner pressed into the vacant town-marshal job by dint of standing up to the town's big-shot kingpin, the disdainful and vaguely foppish Tilman, the latter with a wonderful line in sardonic put-downs. The laughs indeed mostly come from the eccentrics gathered around straight-arrow Best, especially Leonard Frey as Tilman, but also Carlene Watkins as Best's wife and Tom Ewell as the town's drunken doctor. The great Christopher Lloyd also moonlights from "Taxi" in this episode as a slow-witted hired gun.

The writing is sharp and funny, turning old-style Western clichés and stereotypes into humorous situations and likable characters. I'll certainly be moseying on down to view all the episodes I can, confident they'll all be as funny as this hilarious taster.

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