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|4 reviews in total|
This film has many troubles including a bad timeline. The first season portions guest starring Lee Marvin are set in 1898. At one point he sings the Lizzie Bordon song, referring to a woman who murdered her parents in 1892. Yet in the sixth season segments featuring his brother, Charles Bronson, he writes the year 1887 in the family bible as the year of his just born son. Elizabeth Grainger (Sara Lane) is kidnapped and referred to as Judge Garth's (Lee J. Cobb's) daughter, when in reality she was John Grainger's granddaughter and Clay Grainger's niece, and no relation to, nor never met the judge. MCA obviously was trying to capitalize on the popularity of the film The Dirty Dozen, starring Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bonanza's 14th season lasted just 16 episodes, with only one episode, The Bucket Dog, being rerun on NBC, in the summer of 1973. The first half of the two hour season opener, Forever, covers Little Joe's meeting Alice, their courtship, marriage, honeymoon/life together, and Alice's pregnancy. This story should have been spread out into other stories, and might have kept the series going for a full slate of 24 episodes. The second hour of Forever, which includes murder and vengeance, could have been saved as a separate episode, telecast in 1973 (it is more traumatic than the last Bonanza, The Hunter, guest starring Tom Skeritt as a serial killer, from 1973). The problem with Forever, is that Joe is so changed after losing Alice, that the rest of the season seems unnatural, as it's back to Bonanza as usual. Unlike Adam, who left in 1965, but is mentioned as late as 1971, or Hoss, whose passing is referred to by Alice, Joe, and (three times) by Ben in 1972, Alice is never mentioned again. It's as though she never existed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In 1963, Perry Mason creator Earl Stanley Gardner was annoyed at both Raymond Burr (Perry Mason) and William Talman (Hamilton Burger) for publicly criticizing the declining quality of Perry Mason scripts. By 1965-66, Perry Mason, still in black and white, was up against NBC's Bonanza, which had been in color since it's debut in 1959, and which was #1 in the Nielsen ratings. The president of CBS, William Paley, commissioned a color episode of Perry Mason be filmed, so he could see what the show would look like in color, should it be renewed for a 10th (1966-67) season, the season all prime time shows went color. The color Perry Mason was likely filmed in September or October, 1965. There are no 1966 cars in it, as seen in later black and white episodes. CBS announced in November, 1965, that Perry Mason would not be renewed for a 10th season, but that all 30 episodes commissioned for season 9 would be filmed (black and white filming continued until March, 1966). The color episode, The Case Of The Twice Told Twist, was broadcast on CBS in color on February 27, 1966, about 2/3 of the way through season 9. The final nine episodes, leading up to the May, 1966 finale, were filmed in black and white. Barbara Hale (Della) discusses the color episode in an interview on the 50th Anniversary Perry Mason DVD release from 2008, where the episode is featured in very good color.
It ran 8 seasons, but it's first, in early 1959, and it's last, in the
autumn of 1965, were shorter than seasons 2-7. CBS chief William Paley
canceled Rawhide's production after watching the 1st show of season 8,
in September, 1965, because he disliked the series without Eric Fleming
as Gil Favor, who had departed after season 7. The last new episode
aired on December 7, 1965. The lone 1966 CBS broadcast, on January 4,
1966, was a rerun.
I have often wondered why Rawhide didn't switch to color filming for it's last season? Most of the big westerns of the 1960s had gone over to color by 1965. CBS was broadcasting in color that autumn, for many of their sitcoms, but westerns like Gunsmoke and Rawhide remained in black and white. Gunsmoke was the last western (and last prime time network series to switch to color) on September 17, 1966, for the episode Snap Decision.