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Efrem Zimbalist Jr.,
WITH THE BUMPER crop of Westerns that we saw sprout up like mushrooms in the woods after a rain storm, IRON HORSE would have to occupy a position somewhere in the middle. With so many 'Horse Opera' series that made up a Lion's share of programming in the late 1950's-60's, there was plenty of room for experimentation with various basic plot premises.
OUR HONORED REVIEWEE of the day, IRON HORSE, starring Mr. Dale Robertson brought our small screens a somewhat unique look at Raolroad Lore; which was very ingrained in the history of the Frontier. With names like Union Pacific, Santa Fe, Jesse James and Butch Cassidy & Sundance, the subject was all too familiar with the public.
BEING THE SECOND Western Series for the likable, athletic Robertson, he fittingly got a sort of 'promotion.'His previous experience with the six gun was given a back seat. He now became a sort of mover and shaker of Business and Industry. Capitalizing on his physical presence, easy manner and believability in portrayals of a tough guy with cerebral skills as well.
HIS NATURAL PREDISPOSITION in height, build and facial appearance was played up to the hilt as a sort of Clark Gable of the Television Series. Although this wasn't one of our favourite shows, we did find it to be more than adequate in giving us another angle's view of our settling of the land West of the Mississippi.
AND FOR SURE, Dale Robertson, he displayed his versatility in portrayals; with his Railroad Honcho being far different from his investigator in TALES OF WELLS FARGO.
IT ALSO IMPARTED a subtle message of how industrial free enterprise served in building the Nation into what it became.
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