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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
DANIEL BOONE My Brother's Keeper 1964
This is the third episode of the long running 1964-70 series about the life of American frontiersman and explorer, Daniel Boone. The lead is played by Fess Parker. Also in the mix are Albert Salmi, Ed Ames, Patricia Blair, Veronica Cartwright and Darby Hinton.
Scout Albert Salmi is out doing a spot of trading with some Cherokee warriors. Suddenly, a group of Creek warriors led by Mingo (Ed Ames) of all people set upon the group. The Cherokee are slaughtered and Salmi left for dead. A short time later Salmi is found and brought back to Fort Boonesborough.
It takes a couple of days before Salmi is well enough to speak. He tells Parker and the locals that it was their supposed friend, Ames who had led the attack. Parker finds this rather hard to believe. He grabs his rifle and heads off to find him. He does and brings him back to the fort. Salmi repeats his story to a rather puzzled Ames. The townspeople are all for stringing up Ames from the nearest tree. Ames is not the least enthused with this idea, and makes a successful dash for freedom.
Parker again sets off to capture his friend. Parker soon comes up on the remains of a small Cherokee village. The village has been burned out and the residents slaughtered.
Parker soon runs into a group of Cherokee warriors also looking for Ames and his bunch. The chief, Ford Rainey, knows Parker is a friend of Ames. Rainey figures a spot of torture might help Parker lead them to Ames. Parker makes a deal with the Chief to find and settle the problem one way or the other.
To cut to the quick, what we have here is the twin brother of Ames doing the nasty. The evil brother wants revenge on Ames for a dispute from the past. Ames and Parker soon hook up and pursue the less than friendly brother. Needless to say, knives, tomahawks, rifles and finally bull-whips are needed before the problem is sorted out.
Long-time b film director, John English, knew how to keep the action moving having cut his teeth directing many serials for Republic Pictures. These would include, THE LONE RANGER, FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS, DICK TRACY RETURNS, ZORRO'S FIGHTING LEGIONS, DICK TRACY'S G-MEN and a good half dozen others.
What really impresses me so far in the series is the excellent writing, with more than a few twists and turns involved in each story.
Watching this series is a very enjoyable way to kill 50 minutes.
Season One of Daniel Boone is amazing. It's thoughtful and the
characters are complex. Perhaps too complex for TV at that time because
with each subsequent season, the characters became sillier and sillier,
until it was just a show about teenagers and such.
But Season One demonstrates what this series COULD have been. The episodes build on one another, similar to the best series of today, such as The Sopranos or Breaking Bad. The episode, My Brother's Keeper, for instance, explored the character Mingo and his complex relationship with Daniel.
I don't know what happened after season one that changed the series. Too bad. Few episodes of the following seasons are worth watching, especially after Ed Ames left. The chemistry between Fess Parker and Ed Ames was great.
The amazing 3rd episode of the first season, "My Brothers Keeper", is
excellent. Filmed in black and white. The friendship between Daniel and
Mingo is expanded upon. The Mingo character is expanded upon. While
later seasons continued the series, they were reduced to a few plot
formulas used over and over again. Some of the original cast left the
series after a couple seasons.
Mingo is hunted after he is accused of leading a Creek war party raiding the area. Daniel Boone must bring him back and save his life while risking his own. In this episode we find out more about Daniel's friend Mingo.
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