Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
I always liked horses and cowboys as a kid, so I thought this show ruled simply because it had a talking cartoon horse in it. Years later, I began to appreciate it even more for the background music and the clever humor in the show. I don't know just who or what person or character Hanna and Barbara patterned Quick Draw after, but I know Baba Looey was envisioned to be some kind of cross between the Cisco Kid's sidekick and Desi Arnaz (that's where Baba gets the 'thin' theeng from!). Like a lot of people I've met here in the Southern United States (and hey, I can say that, I'm FROM here!)Queeks Draw is often long on mouth and short on brains but Baba and the rest of us tend to look over that and enjoy him anyway. The Hoyt Curtin background music in the Quick Draw cartoons is good (a lot of it came from Columbia Pictures music library music off old Columbia cartoons) and the animation is often so quirky and crude that it's cute. "Bad Guys Disguise" is my favorite QD toon of all time, it's the quintessential Quick Draw toon. Daws Butler, Don Messick, and Jean Vanderpyl do great voice work on these early toons, too. The humor's good, fresh, and fun, and Butler really hams it up in a silly was as Quick Draw's voice... I didn't really care for Augie Dogie, even as a kid, because I never was much of a Jimmy Durante fan and it's pretty obvious who they were trying to pattern Doggie Daddy after...but Snooper and Blabber cartoons were fun to watch. I haven't seen one in years and I miss them. I like the 1959 to 1960 toons best of all, before Quick Draw got the Flintstoney music and visuals, but you can't go wrong with a QD toon...and "do-oh-ohn't yew fergiht ITTT!"
There's a sleigh of hand in the very title of this show. Note that the name of the show is "The Deputy". This conveniently allowed Fonda to not have to be a major player in all the episodes. Fonda appears in some episodes throughout the show but more likely than not you'll see him only at the beginning and end (usually this is explained by Fonda's Simon Fry character being "out of town")...and I've even seen a few episodes where Fonda doesn't appear at all! Really, the show's more about Allen Case than Fonda, but the Fonda name was there to draw viewers. Other than Fonda's needing money, I doubt there was any reason he'd do TV...particularly in a stock Western like this one. Don't get me wrong: the show's pleasant in a Revue Studios crank-em-out-cookie-cutter way (guess who produced the show?) and the jazz guitar that's going on in the background (sounds like Barney Kessel! cool!) is nice, but the plots are pretty clichéd and you've been there before. I wouldn't call it on the level of Wagon Train, Laramie, Gunsmoke, or The Rifleman, but it's a pleasant show. Just don't expect to see a lot of Fonda in it.
I first saw this show as a 6-year-old kid and didn't think too much of it at first but once I got a few years older, I really started to appreciate it and now I consider it one of my all-time favorites...not so much as a replication of authentic Western living (I recall Chuck Connors' quote during the show's run: "We offer relaxing entertainment. If you want period realism, go read a book")as it was an interesting show with GREAT background music by Herschel Burke Gilbert, one of my all-time favorite TV composers. I've noticed that people usually have pretty strong opinions about the show....they either really like it or they hate it...usually those who hate the show focus on the violence (they claim Lucas would kill over nothing, which certainly never happened in any episode)...and those who love the show tend to focus on...well, the violence! I've heard comments like, "If there were N number of Rifleman episodes, the body count during the show's run would be >N"...a funny quote, to be sure, but simply not true. In fact, there were episodes where a bad guy would draw on Lucas, he'd sense it, and fire near him to show that "I've got enough firepower to cut you in half"..there'd be other episodes when somebody would draw a gun and Lucas would "sting their hand" to keep from having to shoot them. (hokey, yeah, but that's TV for ya). You have to remember that the TV audience and the ABC network in particular expected action in its Westerns and crime dramas. The ABC network wanted a lot of action in its shows at that time because they were trying hard to get established as a network and compete with NBC and CBS. Some claim "The Rifleman" was something of a gimmick show. It slipped close to becoming one from time to time but the warm interaction between Connors and Johnny Crawford as his son Mark were part of what kept the show from becoming a "Colt .45" or "Hotel de Paree" period parody. Fans of the show often mention the cinematography. Yes, it was good, indeed. In fact, until I started seeing episodes on DVD, I didn't know just how good the film work was. Was it a grim show? No. Those who really don't care for dramatic, near-baroque background music probably get that "grim" idea. Was Micah the sheriff near-useless? Yes, I admit that. Lucas usually ended up being a one-man North Fork SWAT team, to be sure. But man oh man, could a viewer get revved up! They got great character actors like Jack Elam, Martin Landau, James Coburn, and John Anderson to play bad guys...and they'd just work you to this crescendo, just get you where you couldn't wait for Lucas to get out that gun and wail on' em! I'd recommend by-passing most of the last-season (1962-63) episodes of the show. By then, Johnny's Mark was now into puberty, Chuck looks bored and tired of the show (he, in fact, WAS tired of doing it and afraid of being typecast by the Lucas character by then)and although Patricia Blair looks great, the shows are pretty uneventful and stale and they tried too much to play to the Ricky Nelson angle and give Crawford an excuse to sing. "The Rifleman" has really aged well, from the dramatic opening sequence right down to the Four Star Banner logo at the end. It's a TV classic near and dear to my heart, regardless of the body count, heh heh...
I've got 2 episodes of "Shotgun Slade" on DVD. It seems to me that Revue Studios was, indeed, trying to copy "Peter Gunn", right on down to having its blonde "Edie Hart"-type girl singer girlfriend character, played by Monica Lewis. Unlike "The Wild Wild West", which was played half-straight to be something of a "spy show in the West", "Slade" was played totally straight. The show is so bad that it's unintentionally funny. The acting and plots are hammy, phony, and unconvincing. Scott Brady was a former boxer so he knows how to throw a punch but the opening of the show gives you an idea he's not much in the acting dept. (and the rest of the show confirms it)...Its badness makes this show a real find. You'd have to look far and wide to find a tackier "Adult Western" of the time period.