7.6/10
129
7 user 1 critic

Ripcord 

A skydiver and a pilot, on their private airplane, are placed in unusual situations where their special skills and abilities are needed, leading them on exciting adventures from chasing dangerous criminals to performing difficult rescues.
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



2   1  
1963   1962   1961  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Larry Pennell ...  Ted McKeever 75 episodes, 1961-1963
Ken Curtis ...  Jim Buckley / ... 75 episodes, 1961-1963
Shug Fisher ...  Charlie Kern 31 episodes, 1961-1963
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Storyline

Operating their skydiving service company "Ripcord", Jim Buckley, Ted McKeever and Alex Fielding are able to get to places that others can't and get there much faster. This leads them on many exciting adventures from chasing bad guys to performing daring rescues. This series inspired the first widespread interest in parachuting as a sport. Written by Wayne Coleman <waynecoleman@swbell.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two planes collided over Somis California in about the end of 1961 while filming a transfer scene. They were flying in formation as a character was supposed to go from one plane to another when they contacted. One plane landed, one crashed. The pilot of the plane that was spinning out of control, Cliff Winters, had two parachutes in the back seat. One was real, one was fake. He just had time to grab only the one before bailing out, fortunately it was the genuine article. Unfortunately Cliff was killed at an air show in Orange County a short while later. See more »

Quotes

[first lines of each episode]
Ted McKeever: This is skydiving, controlled flight without wings - even for experts, the most dangerous game going. This jump, like every jump you will see on this series, is made by a highly trained man who is playing the game for the highest stakes there are - his own life. He has one, and only one, safety device at his command... his parachute and its ripcord.
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User Reviews

Larry Pennell...an actor too easily dismissed
18 September 2005 | by illusiondwellerSee all my reviews

The Ripcord series fit into a cunning and largely appreciated black and white 1960's TV niche. It was situated somewhere between the hybrid "Lassie" genre (which used formula after formula to keep the series going---with middling success, but without a comfortable continuity of characters and situations)...and Whirley Birds which recycled some of the stars and characters from the "Park Ranger Lassies". These Lassies became a real ordeal to watch even for kids.

Ripcord, proffering a welcomed outline--- bereft of non-western and non-private eye predictability--- mixed action, drama, mystery, humor and, well--- swagger to bring a fascinating weekly episode about the infant sport of skydiving to its dedicated viewer-ship of all age groups.

The adventures were of a compelling and happy-ending ilk. The dialog was cleverly written. It pretty much had to be. It was born of the necessity of familiarizing viewers with the intricacies and dangers attendant to a burgeoning sport...and, at the same time, putting forth a fresh plot which could be understood amid the defining of an interesting-if-unfamiliar activity.

The co-main character, Ken Curtis, who went on to play the ubiquitous and well-meaning bumpkin/buffoon on Gunsmoke did well in Ripcord---and, ultimately became an American "Prairie Trash" icon of the small screen---leaving small, grinding parts to follow for his counterpart, Larry Pennell. Pennell subsequently and interminably showed up in just about every type part that had to be auditioned for. See: Dash Riprock's character of The Beverly Hillbillies. A pity, as his talent and visage were quite worthy for their time.

How many within sight or hollering' distance of this piece know that in 1950, Larry "Bud" Pennell was the slick fielding and power hitting first baseman for the Jackson(MS)Senators. Well, he was. And, his exciting play filled-up the rickety green painted board seats of dilapidated League Park...at the fairgrounds...in my hometown. I was then a ten year old bat boy whose crew cut head Pennell rubbed for good luck prior to an at-bat. The Senators folded their tent upon completion of the season of 1950, by the way.

Pennell could hit a baseball farther than you could point. Would that his acting career had been such fodder for excitement. Bud Pennell could play, guys. Buddy Buchanan/Jackson,MS


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ripcord See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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