The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV Series 1967–1969) Poster

(1967–1969)

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Geezer Mentors Young'n
jonesy74-111 October 2005
Walter Brennan played all sorts of characters - crusty sidekicks (Rio Bravo), meddling old fools (Disney's, The One and Only, Original Family Band) and evil baddies (My Darling Clementine and How the West Was Won), but rarely did he play a tough guy, mentor and sage as he did in The Guns of Will Sonnett.

Brennan acts assured with the oft-repeated line, "No brag, just fact." This hombre's nobody to mess with, even if he is an old dude.

He's leading his grandson (Dack Rambo), Jeff Sonnett, from town to town looking for his son, Jim Sonnett (Jason Evers), whom they always seem to just miss. This series was reminiscent of The Fugitive where Dr. Richard Kimble always seemed to barely miss finding the one-armed man.

Brennan really doesn't want to fight unless he has to. He's long on scripture, but short on fuse when it's necessary to defend himself and Jeff.

Jim, it seems, has a reputation of being fast with a gun himself, hence, the continual wandering and cutting out of town just before Grandpa and Son show up for a long-standing family reunion.

Dack Rambo, obviously added to draw a young female audience, was a pretty boy, but fast with a gun like his father and Grandpa.

This was a great show. Brennan's character was wise, tough and ready for action. The music was haunting and wistful. I heartily wish it had run for more seasons than it did.
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No brag, just fact: the wisest show in the west.
JohnnyH5 February 1999
Ex-cavalry scout Will Sonnet spouts scripture and wisdom while riding around the west with grandson Jeff. They're looking for the middle generation, Jim, the seldom-seen, lightning-fast, gunslinging anti-hero. Old man Will is grumpy and frugal. He's faster than son Jim ("no brag, just fact," as he says.) Jeff is as good as he is pretty. He sometimes gets suckered by the bad guys, but is still plenty fast and resourceful, since he's been raised by the best. Jim is only occasionally present, but never betrays the moral and badass Sonnet name.
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7/10
The Missing Generation
bkoganbing16 May 2008
More due to changing times than anything else, The Guns Of Will Sonnett only lasted two seasons. Walter Brennan got to star in his third and final television series and the only one that was dramatic, the previous two being comedies.

The premise involved was a simple one. Grandfather and grandson wandered the west looking for the missing generation. Walter Brennan was Will Sonnett, a seminal frontier character, former army scout, buffalo hunter, just about every occupation in the west there was. Of course it took him away from his responsibilities as father and his son, Jason Evers, grew up to be a notorious gunfighter and also an absentee dad.

But Brennan's grandson Dack Rambo had the advantage of having Brennan raise him, gave him a strict moral code to live by as well as how to handle a six gun.

One thing I never did figure out is where were the Sonnett women? There was no mention of Brennan's wife and there was one story where a woman claimed to be Evers's wife and Rambo's mother, but she turned out not to be.

The show had one catchphrase I always liked. When Brennan said he was going to do something extraordinary to some, he would inevitably say in every show, "no brag, just fact". And he always backed it up.

So every week Will and Jeff Sonnett would arrive in some town looking for James Sonnett and getting involved in some local situation. The show afforded an opportunity for Brennan as producer as well as star to cast some of his old friends in several episodes. It did get to look sometimes like a geriatric western.

I wish it had stayed around a bit longer.
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Making Up For Missed Series
happytrails2_u20 September 2005
Walter Brennan in his later years was one of my favorites. His characters matched my personal values. The Sonnet Series appeared at the time of our wedding (1967)and as newly marrieds settling in a strange land (Connecticut)-- a "fir piece" from our native home further west -- we didn't watch much TV. I highly recommend the The 3 DVD boxed set by King World. I purchased it locally in a retail store. Enjoying every episode for the first time now in my retirement. GREAT writing by Dick Carr. He keeps you riveted to the screen. As a writer myself, I thoroughly enjoy the "poetry" that begins and ends each episode. Very original and very "Brennanly". I've got some of Brennan's audio CD's. I'm in love with the west as much or even more so than I was in the 50's watching my silver screen heroes. It would be great if the Sonnet Series was brought back or the plot copied.
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No Ordinary Oater
longcleona22 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As one who always considered westerns to be a dime a dozen, I found "The Guns of Will Sonnett" to be enjoyable. Set in the 1870's, the premise has an ex-cavalry scout, Will Sonnett (Walter Brennan) roaming the Wild West, along with his grandson Jeff (Dack Rambo), searching for the boy's father, Jim Sonnett. Seems that while growing up, Will never had time for Jim, due to his army duties, moving from one fort to another, so at the age of 17, Jim bolts. In the years that followed, Jim gained the reputation of a notorious gunfighter, while keeping no contact with Will. Until the day a stagecoach arrives with Jim's infant son, Jeff, and a simple note: "Take the boy and raise him Not many of us gets a second chance." Will does just that, bringing up Jeff with the love he never showed Jim.

When Jeff reached adulthood, he wants to meet his father, since all he ever heard were stories and legends. Thus, Will and Jeff Sonnett begin their search for Jim. The pilot, like most of the episodes, involve Will and Jeff encountering folks who had run-ins with Jim Sonnett, usually bad ones. Since Jim is long gone, (They always seem to miss him by a few months, weeks, days, etc) the bitter guest stars try to take their frustrations out on a 73 year-old man and his grandson. They soon learn the only gun faster than Jim Sonnett is the man who taught him. "No brag, just fact", is Will's usual warning. Jeff is no slouch with a shooting iron either. By episode's end, it was all a misunderstanding about Jim, and the two searchers depart. Of course, if someone would've said something earlier, the conflict would've been avoided, but it's not much of a story then.

Without giving anything away, this series had a final episode that resolved the premise, and even opened the door to continue the show in a different setting, had ABC decided to renew it for a third season, which was still up in the air at that time.

I'm delighted that TGOWS was released on DVD, although the quality isn't perfect, as mentioned before. The only disappointment for me was that the special features didn't have an interview with the show's last surviving cast member. Jason Evers, who played Jim Sonnett, was still alive when TGOWS was converted to DVD, and I would've enjoyed hearing his insights on the show. It was, perhaps, his most famous role.

In spite of running only two seasons, I find "The Guns of Will Sonnett" to be my favorite western. Western fans who don't recall this obscure gem may find it worth their while to check it out.
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It was a great series!
Loy Ware22 May 2004
I think it was a great series, and wish it had lasted. Walter Brennan,s" NO BRAG JUST FACT " was great line then and still is. I have many friends that watched the series and would like to see a return on TV Land,TNT or any classic TV show. I would buy, Lease,Borrow, Beg, or Steal The film or the whole series. I Just thought they should have had more of Jim Sonnet in the show, But i guess the writers thought it would make the plot more exciting. If anyone Knows where to find a few copies please put it on the WEB at E-Bay or any other site. BUT I think it was a super film and should be revised and put on the Air again. Thank you

UPDATE I have found at www.timelessvideo.com Both seasons of" The Guns of Will Sonnett " Thank you and enjoy.
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Great show now on DVD but rotten video quality, No Slurr - Just Fact!
Morritec7 February 2005
I was really glad to see "Guns of Will Sonnett" was on DVD. I got the first season and wow what a disappointment! It's the worst color TV video transfer on DVD I have ever seen! My guess is every show was from old 16mm prints that were either edited for more TV commercial time or ripped and snapped so many times and spliced back together with large pieces missing, too many obvious cuts and jumps. The film was very faded and 'washed out'. A first for me, as you watch you notice the left side of the screen is out of focus and slightly (only slightly) sharper on the right side. At times you can see some one must have been adjusting the focus even while the film was being transfered! I wonder if they were being transfered first to videotape because many times you see 'lines' going across the picture just as you see when you watch a VHS tape after it was eaten up! Each DVD even warns you about the limited abilities in digital mastering at the start! Thanks for the warning! You can guess - poor sound quality. Since "Sonnett" is now released you can be quite sure no one else will re-release it and do it right! Gul-dern shame! The show is great and it's better we have this over nothing, or is it?
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The Guns of Will Sonnett
raysond12 April 2008
Oscar winning actor Walter Brennan played all sorts of characters. From crusty sidekicks(opposite John Wayne and Dean Martin in Rio Bravo),to meddling old fools(Disney's The One and Only,Original Family Band),and evil baddies(opposite Henry Fonda in My Darling Clementine and alongside James Stewart in How The West Was Won). Brennan also portrayed lovable but cranky family members(like his character Amos McCoy on the 1950's situation television comedy series The Real McCoys which ran from 1957-1963 on two major television networks,ABC and then CBS and was produced by Sheldon Leonard and based on the characters created by Irving Pincus). Rarely did he play a tough guy,a mentor or a sage until this series came along.

"The Guns of Will Sonnett",was producer Aaron Spelling's first and only attempt at doing a weekly western series. Created by Aaron Spelling and produced by Danny Thomas,this series produced 50 episodes all in color and it ran from September 8,1967-March 21,1969 for the ABC network. Produced by Spelling-Thomas Productions under the executive producers Danny Thomas and Aaron Spelling along with producers Shelley Hull and Dick Clark. Filmed at Desilu-Paramount Studios. Walter Brennan played Will Sonnett,a elderly older man and father figure who was quick with a gun unless it was absolutely necessary. He's leading his grandson(Dack Rambo),Jeff Sonnett from town-to-town looking for the older son,Jim Sonnett(Jason Evers)he never got the chance to meet whom in just above every episode they've seem to missed him. This series was reminiscent of the David Janssen's classic series "The Fugitive" where each week the two Sonnetts come even close to meeting their long-lost family member. Along the way they encounter gun-slingers and low-lifes that come in between there quest. This was ABC's sleeper hits during its line-up of shows for the 1967-1968 season.

This was a brilliant western series that lasted three seasons,even at the time went the show went into its second season(for the 1968-1969 season),Spelling and Thomas were producing another great series,"The Mod Squad",which became one of the greatest cop shows ever to come out of the late 1960's and well into the early 1970's. "The Guns of Will Sonnett" was in fact Spelling's only attempt at making a weekly western and after the show went off the air in March of 1969,Spelling continue into his foray of cop shows and dramas.
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2/10
Saw it on TV
okmike7711 March 2012
I saw this when I was a kid, and hated it because they were always searching but never finding. Ever since then I hate shows that are in any way like that. The new Ashly Judd TV show of her looking for her son, seriously, we know she will never find him because that is the only way the show can continue.

Who wants to watch a show were people are always never getting the whole purpose of the show? Every show they almost find him, they just missed him, every show is a let down. Why would anyone like a show like that? I have said all that needs to be said, but this stupid web site requires me to write lots more lines, so I have to write lots more lines. What? A short review is not a good review? No one wants to read a short, to the point review? Bull crap!
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Undistinguished Brennan vehicle
frankfob17 August 2002
Walter Brennan and Dack Rambo played a grandfather and his grandson who roamed the old West searching for Jim Sonnett, Brennan's son and the boy's father, a legendary gunfighter. This was a thoroughly routine western, shot on the cheap, with nothing to set it apart from countless other westerns. Will Sonnet's catchphrase, "No brag, just fact," got old after the first 10 or so times you heard it. While Brennan was always interesting to watch, Rambo didn't make much of an impression, and the only remotely "original" aspect to the show was how the writers would figure out different ways to have Will and his grandson come close to finding Jim, but always managing to just miss him. The show only lasted one season. That was enough.
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