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Wanted: Dead or Alive 

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A Civil War veteran with a sawed-off rifle as a holstered weapon makes a living as a bounty hunter in the Wild West of the 1870s.
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2,384 ( 4)

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3   2   1  
1961   1960   1959   1958  

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Steve McQueen ...  Josh Randall 94 episodes, 1958-1961
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Storyline

A Civil War veteran with a sawed-off rifle as a holstered weapon makes a living as a bounty hunter in the Wild West of the 1870s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wanted: Dead or Alive See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the A&E Biography profile of Steve McQueen (featured in the Season ONE DVD Set), McQueen took the role of Josh Randall because his prospects for acting in movies were drying up. When the series started becoming hit, McQueen began getting more and more noticed by the film industry. So much so that director John Sturges, who'd used McQueen in the war movie Never So Few (1959) cast McQueen in the western hit The Magnificent Seven (1960), the movie that launched McQueen's rise to stardom. After making "Mag-7", McQueen began to get more and more movie offers again and decided to quit the show to pursue his film career, thus canceling the series. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bandstand: Episode dated 17 November 1962 (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Trend setting for its era.
15 August 2003 | by eaglejet98See all my reviews

Many viewers have panned this series. It was hockey and implausible at times. However, I recently watched the series again on the Westerns Channel and offer these observations:

When "Wanted" first came out in 1958, network TV was flooded with formulaic Warner Brothers westerns. With few exceptions they were all mostly repetitive and forgettable. My picks for exceptions are, obviously, Gunsmoke, which stood above the others, Have Gun Will Travel, Maverick and Josh Randall's Wanted Dead or Alive.

For the mid 1950s McQueen's character was ground breaking. He was the first anti-hero in a horse opera. Even when grouped with the line up of special gimmicks westerns (the rapid fire Winchester of The Rifleman; the weird Colt of The Rebel; Wyatt Earp's Buntline Special), Randall and his hog leg stood out. Never mind that he didn't reload and the mechanics of the weapon were implausible, the series worked. It was unique. McQueen was unique.

I was 11 years old when the series started and it hooked me. Sure, it is difficult to watch it today without a laugh or question about its relation to reality. But back then it was cool and so was McQueen. And as someone else commented, only McQueen could have played the character of Josh Randall. For that matter, look at all his motion pictures. I don't believe any other actor could have made those films what they were.

Even 25 years after his death, McQueen is as popular as he ever was. As far as I can see, only John Wayne still has that kind of appeal.


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